NEWS FROM CTM
First of all, I would like to apologize for taking so long for this latest update. And, I would also like to express my appreciation for your regular and generous donations all thru spring and summer despite not having heard from us for a while. Since Easter Sunday, it has been very busy here at the Catholic Traditionalist headquarters, unfortunately not all good.
Let me start by saying that as far as the Ave Maria Chapel is concerned, we continue to be spiritually successful in holding on to the true Mass and Sacraments. After a truly holy week and beautiful Easter, other religious events that took place such as our crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary in May and in June we celebrated the Feast of Corpus Christi with a beautiful procession.
On May 6th, we observed the 5th anniversary of the death of Father De Pauw. It is hard to believe that it has been 5 years since he was with us. We do believe however, that he would be proud of the way we have carried on and persevered in his absence. We have held on to what he fought for for so many years; the preservation of the true Mass and faith of our forefathers. We’ve accomplished this only with the help of God and following exactly what Father De Pauw taught us. He gave us a successful plan for the future thereby keeping the CTM and Ave Maria Chapel free from any association with any other groups. In doing so we have kept the Ave Maria Chapel as he planned “A LITTLE OASIS OF THE CATHOLIC FAITH IN A DESERT OF CONCILIARIST DECAY”, and the CTM an organization which stands only for what the Roman Catholic Church has always stood for in the past.
Father De Pauw would also be proud of the way the Ave Maria Chapel has been maintained. Thanks to your regular contributions we have been able to install a new bell carillon system, new floors in the “little office” and side chapel entrance, new stairs leading to the chapel extension and new landscaping outside the grounds of the memorial to Father De Pauw.
This past June 27th, the 5th Sunday after Pentecost, we celebrated the 2nd anniversary of our visiting priest who celebrates Mass here every Sunday and holy day of obligation. On this special occasion a High Mass was followed by a breakfast in the annex to show our appreciation for all the sacrifices made by this priest to be with us. The Chapel was able to present him with a restored Patten to match his new chalice.
Following, are remarks made at that breakfast by yours truly:
TRIBUTE TO FATHER JOHN
I would like to thank everyone for coming this morning to help celebrate Father John’s 2nd anniversary with us.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of both the Catholic Traditionalist Movement and the Ave Maria Chapel and also on behalf of all our members, I wish to extend my deepest gratitude to you for the many sacrifices you have made and continue to make each week. You have provided us with what we need; the unchanged Latin Sacrifice of the Mass and all sacraments.
I want to let all of you know that the Ave Maria Chapel appreciates your never failing generosity. Because of this generosity, we are able to present Father John with a restored patten to match his new chalice.
Permit me for a moment to speak on a personal level. The only goal for the Ave Maria Chapel and the Catholic Traditionalist Movement has always been to keep alive the true Mass and faith which was the raison d’etre of Father De Pauw’s life’s work. My only goal has been to ensure that his work, words and dedicated life are never forgotten. The wisdom of how Father De Pauw set up this Chapel was to ensure that no one could ever touch it as long as those he left behind followed his instructions to the letter. Yes, we could have had someone of various questionable training and background to say some sort of traditional looking Mass if I was willing to settle for less than what Father De Pauw wanted, and yes, we might not have had to endure the religious hardships we did for 3 years, if I was willing to ally this Chapel with religious, political and social organizations which no matter how pious or beneficial their work, nonetheless would have changed the nature of this Chapel. I could not and would not do so because to have done that would have thrown away and destroyed everything Father De Pauw worked and stood for.
Fortunately for us God provided and gave us a priest whose only interest is in being what Pope Pius XI called the “DISPENSER OF THE MYSTERIES OF GOD.” I could not have a better working relationship to keep this Chapel going than I have with you, Father John and I appreciate that you fully understand the sole purpose and function of this Chapel.
Father John, you have helped all of us in so many ways these past 2 years. For some who are not here with us this morning, and I am thinking especially of our good friend and associate Tony Gonzalez whose loss we still mourn and to the many others you were a solace to preparing them to present themselves at the Tribunal of the Divine Judge and to cross the bridge to that better world we all hope to attain some day, heaven.
To those of our members who are sick and in pain you have been a source of strength giving them the courage to accept their sufferings in imitation of Our Lord. To all of us you have truly been the dispenser of the mysteries of God. You have enabled us to hold on to the true Mass and the faith of our forefathers. That faith which we were born in, the faith we were raised in and some day the faith we all hope to die in.
THANK YOU, FATHER!
Unfortunately, not all things are happy in this veil of tears we live in and life moves on in another direction. As stated above, all our news has not been good these past few months. This past May 31st, we lost a member of our Board of Directors for the Catholic Traditionalist Movement and the Ave Maria Chapel, Mr. Anthony Gonzalez. Mr. Gonzalez fell ill at Mass on Sunday May 30th and was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital where he died the following morning. Here is a statement made by the CTM which was read at all Masses the following weekend and at his funeral:
The following is a notice from Mr. Richard Cuneo on behalf of the Catholic Traditionalist Movement and the Ave Maria Chapel regarding the sudden and unexpected death of Anthony Gonzalez:
It was with great shock, sorrow and a deep sense of loss early Monday morning May 31st, when we received the tragic news of the death of our friend Tony Gonzalez. We extend our deepest sympathies to Mrs. Gonzalez, Michael, Christina and the entire Gonzalez family.
Mr. Gonzalez served on the Board of Directors of both the Catholic Traditionalist Movement and the Ave Maria Chapel for many years. His loyalty and dedication to both organizations took on many forms including his most visible position as that of proudly serving as usher on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. He was always ready to help organize Chapel functions and special feasts and events.
As a Marine Corps veteran, Tony as he was called brought the spirit and dedication of that elite branch of our military to everything he did for the Catholic Traditionalist Movement and the Ave Maria Chapel. His unwavering belief and loyalty to the true Mass and faith of our fathers made the motto “SEMPER FIDELIS” not just a code to shout but truly a way of life.
In the extremely difficult days and months following the death of Father De Pauw, Tony’s friendship, advice and assistance to me personally as well as to the entire organization was an integral part of helping to keep the ship afloat. His good natured sense of humor and his quick smile always lightened a heavy moment.
When we finally found a real priest for the Ave Maria Chapel, but had not yet seen him offer Mass, Mr. Gonzalez traveled with me so we could see for ourselves if our long search had indeed ended. I will never forget the seriousness with which he took on that task nor will I ever forget our mutual exhilaration after attending that Mass and the words of appreciation he expressed to me for taking him along on that trip.
As we prepare to celebrate the second anniversary of Fr. John being with us, I regret so much that although Tony will not be here with us physically he will surely be joining us in spirit.
We are now left once again to deal with a loss we don’t understand, so we call to mind the words of the prayer, “MESSAGE FROM HEAVEN” which Father De Pauw distributed many years ago and Tony is repeating to us:
The promise and hope of Easter which we celebrated with him only several weeks ago, tells us we will see him again believing and trusting as we do in the words of Our Lord:
“I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE. HE THAT BELIEVETH IN ME, ALTHOUGH HE BE DEAD, SHALL LIVE, AND EVERYONE WHO LIVETH AND BELIEVETH IN ME SHALL NOT DIE FOREVER”.
This past July 16th, the Chapel lost one of its original members and also one of its first ushers, Mr. Eugene Tullio. Following is the statement read at Mass and at his funeral:
It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of Mr. Eugene Tullio. As you all know, Mr. Tullio in addition to taking care of his wife Gilda who passed away not too long ago, has battled many serious health problems. Through all of this his only wish was to be able to be here for Mass in this Chapel each week at his post.
Gene as he was called was one of our original ushers serving the Chapel faithfully each week always standing right here in the front fulfilling the dual role of usher and security.
As many of you know, Mr. Tullio served with distinction for many years as a member of the New York Police Department. Many years ago there was a popular song that appeared on a children’s program to help children learn to respect and trust the police. It was called “THE POLICEMAN ON THE CORNER IS A VERY GOOD FRIEND OF MINE”. Well, the writer of that song must have had Mr. Tullio in mind because that was the kind of policeman he was; always a helpful and friendly smile to those who followed the law. And for those who did not, they knew they would be dealt with and yet treated with the dignity of a human being.
In those early turbulent years after the opening of the Ave Maria Chapel while being one of our first ushers, Mr. Tullio also quietly and respectfully provided a shield of protection to both the Blessed Sacrament and to Father De Pauw by standing here in the front by the Communion rail ready to ensure nothing would ever happen to either the Blessed Sacrament or Father De Pauw.
Through the years Gene made the choice between family and friends numerous times and always remained loyal to the true Mass and to the Ave Maria Chapel. This was evident when Father De Pauw passed away and Mr. Tullio unlike many of his friends remained loyal. Even when illness got the better of him physically he never abandoned the post he so faithfully served for so many years.
The Traditional Roman Catholic Requiem Mass tells us that for those who believe, life is not ended only changed. Father De Pauw told us that only those who persevere till the end will be saved. Its obvious Gene wholeheartedly believed this and indeed is now reaping the rewards he worked for. Along with his wife Gilda and in the company of Father De Pauw and so many of his friends from the Chapel who went before him he is at peace standing at the right side of Our Lord.
In this current age of confusion, nothing could be sadder than the state of our Church. The headlines this past spring and summer ring ever true to the words of Cardinal Newmann, “TOLLE MISSAM, TOLLE ECCELESIAM” … do away with the Mass and you do away with the Church. As Father De Pauw often said, the Church will continue to live under the curse of St. Pius V until the day it returns to the true Mass.
And what a curse it is, that our Church today finds itself living under one scandal after another gracing the headlines of the news services, blogs and websites. With cardinals and bishops fighting each other one cannot help but call to mind the warnings of Our Blessed Mother at Fatima, “CARDINALS WILL FIGHT CARDINALS AND BISHOPS WILL FIGHT BISHOPS AND SATAN WILL BE RIGHT AMONG THEM.” And, indeed Satan is right among them while they all struggle and fight about how to handle these abuse cases. Our Lord made it very clear when he said, “WOE TO HIM WHO SCANDALIZES ONE OF THESE LITTLE ONES, FOR IT BE BETTER THAT A MILLSTONE BE HUNG AROUND HIS NECK AND THROWN INTO THE DEPTHS OF THE SEA”.
Our Lord makes it certainly clear that no tolerance is acceptable. How unfortunate that in the year dedicated to the priesthood such sorrowful scandals should take the lead. Why don’t those responsible for today’s seminarians look at their training and the way they live their daily lives in the seminaries and go back to the rigorous standards the Church always had for candidates to the priesthood? No one could say it better than Father De Pauw who was a seminary professor for 13 years. Candidates were watched closely as to how they lived their daily lives and how they spent their free time. If any hint of unworthiness of their sacred calling was observed, they would be out of the seminary. Before anyone says some of these abuse cases predate the deluge of the Second Vatican Council, I would like to point out that evidence of the relaxation of the seminary standards, especially here in America, was first seen by Father De Pauw in the mid-1950s as documented in his diaries.
Just one final word on this issue which needs to be addressed. The loudest mouths that set themselves up as the spokespersons for the victims and are speaking against the Pope and priests are not doing so because they are interested in seeing the Church return to the faith of old. In many cases these spokespersons are avowed and unabashedly Atheists and see this as an opportunity to put the final blow on an already wounded Church. They hate what the Church, the Pope and the priest always stood for in the world. The Church being the only means by which man can obtain salvation, the Pope the Vicar of Christ on earth, the rock upon which the Church is anchored. But especially they hate what the priest and priesthood has always stood for. They hate the priests because they are in the words of Pope Pius XI, “THE ONE WHO FROM CRADLE TO GRAVE … IS EVER BESIDE THE FAITHFUL, A GUIDE, A SOLACE, A MINISTER OF SALVATION AND DISPENSER OF GRACE AND BLESSINGS.”
The next news items which require some comment is the recent stories in some circles that the traditional Mass was said last October in St. Peter’s Basilica in a side chapel and also most recently in the National Cathedral in Washington. Well, first of all the very fact that both of these Masses (if indeed they were the real Mass at all, since I did not attend either of them myself, nor did anyone else I know) took place are news stories, shows how far we still are from the return of the true Mass. And at the risk of being accused as one who sees the glass always half empty, let’s ask ourselves this question “what have these sensational exhibitions done to bring about the return of the true Mass? Yes, you have to start somewhere, but the latest of these events is now several months old and in the former, the celebrant, the former Archbishop of St. Louis, Raymond Burke, now head of the Apostolic Signatura, reaffirmed that the Mass of St. Pius V (sic) should co-exist with the Mass of Pope Paul VI. May I humbly remind the good cardinal that the Mass he refers to as the Mass of St. Pius V is not a Mass which St. Pius V came up with but rather the true Mass, whose roots go all the way back to the time of the apostles and to Our Lord himself. Not exactly what we would call “victory”. And for those in so-called traditionalist circles who are icing the champagne already for the victory celebration, they better be prepared to order more ice.
With the upcoming 3 year review ordered by the Pope of his motu proprio on the Mass due this fall, one can only imagine the report our American bishops will give to the Vatican! The fact remains, my fellow loyal traditionalist Roman Catholics, that the true Mass will not return to our Church until the day that the Pope himself offers that Mass publicly for the world to see and then follows it by ordering that from this point on, only the true Mass he just offered is permitted and for those who don’t wish to obey, they may now consider themselves ourside the one True, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Yes, a lot of spiritual fortitude is required for that to happen; only a miracle of the Holy Ghost can provide. That is why Father De Pauw always told us, “ONLY A MIRACLE OF GOD CAN STRAIGHTEN THIS MESS OUT”. Until this miracle takes place, paraphrasing the words of the Blessed Mother at Fatima, the Church will continue to be in darkness and the world will continue its plunge into confusion.
Speaking of confusion and proof that the day that the miracle of God is far from near, a lot of fuss is being made in certain quarters about some “conservative” Anglicans returning to the Catholic Church. The official text of the apostolic constitution ANGLICANORUM COETIBUS was only recently received here at CTM headquarters. It was published in the ACTA APOSTOLICAE SEDIS, the only official document to rely on for the exact words of any papal pronouncement. Previews that we have seen of this apostolic constitution left us scratching our heads. Besides not containing any requirement that converts (although that word is not used) make a public renunciation of heresy by making a public profession of faith in which it is stated: “I recognize the Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church as the Mother and Teacher of all Churches and I promise and swear true obedience to the Roman Pontiff, successor of St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles and Vicar of Jesus Christ.” Besides I accept without hesitation and profess all that has been handed, defined, and declared by the sacred canons and by the general councils especially by the sacred Council of Trent and by the (first) Vatican Ecumenical Council and in a special manner concerning the primacy and infallibility of the Roman Pontiff. At the same time, I condemn, reject and damn everything contrary to those teachings as well as any other heresy ever condemned, rejected or damned by the Church.”
It is also reported that these Anglicans will be able to hold on to their version of their so-called “mass” and while in some cases some of these Anglican services are more devotional than some versions of the new mass, anything less than acceptance of the true Mass “with the sacred canon so pure from every error … and composed of the very words of Our Lord, the traditions of the apostles and the pious institutions also of holy pontiffs” (Council of Trent, SESS,XXII) is a compromise!
Hopefully by now you are not too saddened by this sobering assessment of the latest news affecting our Church. However, in case you needed a good laugh, retired Sacramento Bishop Francis Quinn thinks what the Church needs now is a Vatican Council III. Laughable, if it wasn’t a serious proposal made by the retired bishop as reported by a California Catholic daily and the Wanderer.
We here at CTM headquarters and the Ave Maria Chapel will continue to persevere till the end, doing what Father De Pauw taught us to do. Hold on to the traditions of the true Church, the true Mass, and continue to do what St. Paul told us in his epistle of the 11th Sunday after Pentecost which is to pass on what we have received from previous generations to the next generations. After all, that is what the true Roman Catholic Church is all about and why it has lasted for so long. As Father De Pauw told us so often, “As long as there are loyal Roman Catholic laymen and woman who are willing to hold on and continue to pass on to the next generation what they have received, even if they are reduced to a handful, the Church will not die!”