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SAINT PHILOMENA MESSENGER SEPTEMBER, 2009 A.D.
ISSUE NUMBER 49



A LONG HARD ROAD

 

 

I was a child during the "Hippie Years" and remember little about them except hearing the catawauling of the Beatles on the radio. At that time I was a non-
practicing Protestant and, as such, knew nothing of the extraordinary changes the Catholic Church was going through in the 1960s.

Here in Miami, as the Mass changed Sunday by Sunday, like elsewhere the world over, some of the faithful were so disillusioned, they just stopped going to church altogether. Most others accepted each alteration on "blind obedience". A few resisted. At first they sought out more "tradtional" churches. As these "caved in" they resorted to the hospitality offered at the Ukrainian Catholic Church, not really understanding that what they found "traditional" there were really "Westernisations" later to be removed.

Then, a smaller group by this time, arranged Sunday Masses at the Coral Gables Womens' Club, Woodlawn Park Cemetery chapel and in private homes. Priests were flown in from all over the country at great expense. For a while a priest from the Society of Saint Pius X came south from Davie,
Florida, each Sunday.

In 1988 Fr. Gunther Richter, R.l.P., himself once a priest of the Society, ordained by Archbishop Lefebvre, was able to obmin a church bulding and
named it after Saint Philomena, V., M. to whom he was personally devoted.
I replaced him in 1989 and have been here ever since.

In those early times I knew nothing of Saint Philomena. Indeed, I was of the opinion, formed at my seminary, that she was an "humble excuse" for the miracles of the Curè of Ars; in other words a phantasy figure who never existed.

My first visit to her principal shrine in Mugnano del Cardinale in Italy changed all that. I came back convinced of her existence.

Soon after I was able to obtain a First Class Relic of S. Philomena from the Vatican.

At that time it was easy to rally to the battle cry: "It is the Mass that matters!", but gradually one came to realize that although the Mass was a gem in the crown, the crown was the Faith. We needed Doctrine first. We needed to teach the Faith. The Mass without the Faith is totally incomplete.

I remember an Anglican clergyman once saying to me how "aesthetically pleasing" was the Latin Mass. For him it was like going to a concert, the opera, a museum.

Fr. Joseph Rynne (81) who says the Latin Mass in northern Florida for the local diocese was recently quoted as saying: "We all like a bit of mystery. In the Latin Mass you don't know the language, our backs are to you. So there's an element of mystery."

 
WELL, LET'S GO BACK TO MITHRAS!

Some say they yearn for Latin: "a beautiful language"; others love "glorious vestments", "yards of lace"; incense". Others "cannot stand the guitars".
These are peripheral considetations.

The Faith is fundamental. This is why the Society of Saint Pius X has insisted on doctrinal discussions and resolutions before any reconciliation with modern
Rome is to be considered.

 
ROME MUST RTURN TO THE FAITH

One of the most fundamental heresies in the present Church is false "ecumenism" which teaches that there is no one true Church now, but one will exist in the future once all Christians come together. Combined with this is the heresy of "universalism", which teaches that all religions are equally good and
everybody goes to Heaven.

On seeing Pope John Paul II enter the Roman synagogue and worship with "the enemies of Jesus Christ", and shortly after preside over the hideous blasphemy of Assisi, where representatives of all the world religions were encouraged to call upon their gods, His Grace Archbishop Lefevbre could but cry "It is inconceivable!", "It is incredible!".

So much had the rest of the Church already lost the Faith, that they replied "No! No! It is wonderfull!"

Other more terrible heresies abound. The American bishops 15 years ago (!) declared that 65% of "Catho|ics" no longer believed that Jesus Christ was
present in the Holy Eucharist. Denials of Our Lord's physical Resurrection, the Virgin Birth, His Miracles, etc. are worldwide in seminaries, universities,
colleges, schools.

Today's Catholic Church is in a terrible crisis, a crisis far worse than previous ones, the Arian heresy, the Protestant revolt.

I believe it was a ghastly modern 'nun", Rosemary Ruether who said, shortly after Pope John Paul II's first visit to the United States, "Previously the reformers left the Church (Luther, Calvin, etc.) This time we are not leaving. We will change me Church from within." And so they have!

We are in for a long, hard struggle. In human terms I really think we cannot win. This time a Divine Intervention is necessary... who knows?

Meanwhile, we must keep the Faith. We will keep the Faith by much Prayer, by knowing the Faith, by practicing the Faith. Let it not be thought that we
have to have great knowledge of the Faith to enter Heaven. Many who were illiterate in their lives in this world are amongst the greatest of the Saints.
If we only said the Rosary every day, Our Blessed Lady would never allow us to lose the Faith!

May the great Saint Philomena, Patroness of the Faith and Purity bless and protect us in our endeavours!

Every good wish and prayer!
The Reverend Father Timothy A. Hopkins.

 
NEWS FROM MIAMI

Congratulations to the Raffle Winners! The Raffle was drawn on Sunday 9th, August, our Patronal Festival.

First Prize: Statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus:
Graciela Cardona - Miami.

Second Prize: Statue of Saint Philomena:
Patricia Aragon - Fort Lauderdale.

Third Prize: Framed portrait of the Holy Father:
Gabriela Cardona - Miami.

ALL SOULS DAY

Please return the enclosed envelope for your All Souls' remembrances. lt will be placed upon the High Altar on All Souls' Day and remain there for the
rest of November, the month of All Souls. A Novena of Masses will be offered. for your intentions thus inscribed from 1st to the 9th of November.

 
PILGRIMAGES TO THE SHRINE

Pilgrims are always welcome to visit us. Please call/ contact in advance if you wish to visit outside of Mass times. The Shrine is normally open on Sundays
from 7.00 a.m.. to 3.00 p.m; on Saturdays from 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.; on weekdays from 9.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m.

On your arrival you will be given a tour of the Shrine, be able to venerate the First Class Relic of the Saint and be anointed with the Holy Oil from the Italian
Shrine at Mugnano del Cardinale.

There are excellent hotels available in the vicinity of Miami International Airport The Shrine is five minutes away by taxi.

Please do not hesitate to call/ write for further details, questions, etc.

 
PERPETUAL MASSES

Anyone requesting a Perpetual Mass will have his intentions inscribed in the Book of Perpetual Masses. A beautiful Certificate will be sent, inscribed with
the name(s) of those to be remembered at Masses offered on the four principal Feastdays of Saint Philomena, namely: Her Birthday, 10th. January; The Discovery of Her Precious Body, 25th. May; The Anniversary of Her Glorious Death and the moving of Her Relics from Rome to Mugnano del Cardinale, 10th August; Her Principal Feastday, 13th August.

 
DEVOTIONAL ITEMS, BOOKS, STATUES, ETC.

Sadly, as soon as our present stock is sold, we will no longer be providing these items.

Looking after two ailing priests and my elderly Mother has made it impossible for me to complete orders on time. People, for no fault of their own, did not realize that apart from these considerations I am responsible for a very active Latin Mass community and am not getting any younger and have neither
priestly assistant nor secretary.

 
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