REMARKS IN CHAPEL
On June 23, 1968, the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost, a dilapidated former Ukrainian Orthodox church appeared on the scene as a completely renovated and highly attractive little Roman Catholic house of worship, the ONLY one in the world at that time where the traditional Latin Roman Catholic Mass would henceforth be publicly kept alive and where our younger Roman Catholic generation would be provided with with the traditional teachings of the Catholic Church as they existed on October 9, 1958, the day the Pontificate of Pope Pius XII ended. Fifty years ago yesterday, Fr. De Pauw offered the first public traditional Latin Roman Catholic Mass in this chapel.
Since that June day, Here stands a small church building, which has never known, not even for a minute, the table of "abomination" in its sanctuary. Here stands a small church building which was never desecrated, not even once! by the presentation of the Novus Ordo liturgy, but where the unchanged 2000 years old Sacrifice of the Calvary Cross and the Catacombs has been kept alive.
As a result, this chapel is that unique...one of a kind place, where during the past 50 years we have never been without that uniquely Catholic possession, the living God of the Sacred Host of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
When Fr. De Pauw moved the principle office of the then 4 years old Catholic Traditionalist Movement to Westbury and opened this Ave Maria Chapel, in the words of its Cardinal Protector, Cardinal Ottaviani, " to save the Mass." some said it COULDN'T be done; other said it SHOULDN'T be done; still others said it WOULDN'T be done. In spite of every possible form of harassment and persecution pressed upon us from both the religious and the political establishment, this chapel has not just survived but has flourished, and here we stand at the 50 year mark, to prove that it HAS BEEN done, leaving many to wonder, how did it happen.?
Perhaps the best explanation for it all is the one Fr. De Pauw gave us, found in Chapter 5, versus 34-39 of the New Testament's Acts of the Apostles:
" In that inspired Book we are told of the apostles and the early Christians persecution by the Establishment of that day, and the one voice of warning wisdom in a whole pack of self-sure blinded politican Pharisees.
' One member of the Sanhedrin, ....called Gamaliel, a doctor of law and a universally respected man, stood up and...addressed the Sanhedrin as follows:
Gentlemen, Men of Israel, be careful how you deal with these people. I suggest that you leave these people alone...If this enterprise, this movement of theirs is of human origin, it will break up of its own accord...But, if it does in fact come from God, you will not only be unable to destroy these people, but you might find yourselves fighting against God."
With each and everyone of us, both young and old, having received so many spiritual benefits from this " oasis of Catholic Faith in a desert of Conciliarist decay," today we thank Almighty God and His Blessed Mother for the privelege of being part of the Catholic Traditionalist Movement's Ave Maria Chapel and all it symbolizes, and ask His continued blessings on our Movement and our chapel's future endeavors. And to Fr. Gommar DePauw whom God selected to do His work for us, our prayers of deepest gratitude, as well as to Fr. John who continues to carry on what Fr. De Pauw started 50 years ago. This Friday marks his 10th anniversary of being with us.
We think gratefully of our parents and grandparents who first brought us to this chapel as little children or as babies, or relatives and friends who told us about this chapel and today are no longer with us and join us from heaven in this celebration. Sadly, each one of us can also think of relatives and friends who onced shared these pews with us, but did not have the perseverance to hold on and to stand up and be counted once more, after the death of Fr. De Pauw. They left this chapel ignoring the warnings of Fr. De Pauw.
Realizing that but for the grace of God, that could be anyone of us, let us with firm resolution, make the words of the Communion prayer of the 5th Sunday after Pentecost, our intention for this special anniversary Mass, " One thing I have asked of the Lord, this will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life."