SAINT PHILOMENA MESSENGER June, 2011 A.D.
ISSUE NUMBER 54
ARCHBISHOP MARCEL LEFEBVRE, R.I.P.
Dear Friends of Saint Philomena,
On the 25th. Day of March this year of Our Lord 2011, we marked the twentieth anniversary of the death of perhaps the greatest churchman of the twentieth century, His Grace Marcel Lefebvre.
His Grace was a saintly gentleman with a great sense of humour. I well remember meeting him at Econe, Switzerland in 1988. I had taken the flight from London to Geneva, then boarding the train to Martigny (A very expensive experience – I remember paying the equivalent of
$ 25.00 for a sandwich!).
From there a car was provided me to the seminary at Econe, a beautiful location, situated among hills covered in grape vines, backed by the Alps.
Every form of hospitality was afforded me on my arrival.
First I said Mass, helped by one of the seminarians (Was his name Scott or Morgan?) I am sure I made many mistakes, since I was a convert from the “Novus Ordo” and had taught myself how to celebrate the “old Mass” a few years before.
During the evening I met many of the Seminary staff and students. It was a most enjoyable time. Many of those seminarians are priests today with years of experience.
The next day I was privileged to partake of lunch at the “High Table” at the right hand of the Archbishop. I remember the horror expressed by a visiting American Sedevacantist priest (and evidently a Janenist) when the Archbishop called for the best wine be brought from the cellar in honour of the “Entente Cordial” (For those not familiar with European history, His Grace was referring to the rare times Britain and France have maintained friendly relations!)
During luncheon, and during my too brief time I was with His Grace, I was certain of being the presence of a Saint of God.
I was privileged to spend an hour or so with him alone before returning to England.
He told me, “If you continue firm, you will have much to suffer, but do it! I will pray for you.”
After lunch I remember going for a long walk with a Father Sim from New Zealand, who re-founded the Redemptorist Order.
Three years later His Grace died an holy death.
I was then here in Miami. It was the Feast of the Annunciation to Our Blessed Lady.
We were blessed that dozens were present in church that morning and offered their prayers for the soul of this great man.
Archbishop Lefebvre, the founder of the Priestly Society of
Saint Pius X was the Saint Athanasius of the Twentieth Century!
I am sure he is now praying for us!
NEWS FROM MIAMI
Holy Week, 2011, A.D.
It has long fascinated us why so few Catholics attend Holy Week Services. At the end of extended research into this matter, I am of the conclusion that before “the changes” most parishes did not celebrate the Holy Week rites at all.
Rather, they were carried out, because of their complexity, only in major parishes, monasteries and cathedrals.
Here, we attempt to celebrate the full Holy Week Rituals. The Holy Saturday Rites take a whole day to set up. Once finished it takes three hours to get the church ready for Easter morning Mass.
I cannot imagine how, in earlier days, I would celebrate the Easter Vigil, followed by three Masses on Easter Day!
The good news is that all Holy Week Services were well attended this year.
This celebration was particularly beautiful this year since it fell on the first Sunday of May.
This enabled us to combine Mothers’ Day with our May Celebration.
We had an extremely beautiful ceremony of the Crowning of Our Blessed Lady, followed by High Mass, Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Sung Litany of Our Lady in Latin and Benediction.
Unfortunately, the planned street procession of Our Lady had to be cancelled for the reason of my injured knee.
As everyone knows, I love dogs. My biggest one, William – a kind of enormous hound, weighing 110 pounds – went on of those “mad run rounds” in my garden that happy dogs do at their pleasure. This was on the afternoon of “Spy Wednesday”.
After circling the garden three times, Willy crashed into my right leg with his “concrete” head, giving me a fracture and a torn tendon, together with excruciating pain.
It was not his fault and I assure you that presently Willy is here at my feet, along with Maximillian and Patrick.
The knee is gradually improving. However, its condition made bending during the Holy Week Triduum impossible. I felt quite “Low Church”!
SAINT PHILOMENA NOVENA
A Novena of Masses will be offered prior to the Principal Feastday of Saint Philomena ( August 13th.)
To participate in the spiritual benefits derived from these Masses, please send in your intentions.
If you can send a donation, this will be most gratefully received.
Your intentions will be placed on and will remain on Saint Philomena’s altar for the nine days of the Novena.
I give you my priestly blessing, dear Friend of Saint Philomena!
The Reverend Father Timothy A. Hopkins, Administrator.