Letter from the Dominicans of Avrillé # 28: May 2018

Letter from the Dominicans of Avrillé

No. 28: May 2018

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Chrismal Mass at the Friary (Holy Thursday)

Christian Vacation: a Few Tips

• God is never on vacation, because He is Pure Act. “My Father worketh until now, and I work” (John 5:17).  Therefore, there should not be any “vacation” in our relations with Him.  When one truly loves God, vacation time is not an occasion to diminish our love for Him, nor for our neighbor.

• There’s no vacation when it comes to education, either.  Parents are still charged with the task of watching over their children, helping them, and supporting them.  They must take advantage of vacations to spend more time with their children, according to their possibilities, and reinforce family life.  That means taking the time to talk, live, and pray together.

It can be beneficial to send the children on a good summer camp (when possible), provided that the parents also fulfill their duty to spend time with their children.

• Determine a schedule for rising and going to bed.

morning: Set a time for rising relatively early (rising late softens the body and weakens the will); say morning prayers as a family.

evening: banish all screens, which impede relations between family members; say night prayers together, and set a time for going to bed.

• Make a schedule. For example:

morning: a time for reading (catechism, lives of the saints, history…)

afternoon: wholesome activities such as games outside with the participation of the parents as well as the children; excursions to learn about your region, its history, its traditions (that may require a bit of preparation); long nature walks to contemplate, admire and learn more about the plants and animals of the area, observe the stars…  Stay away from beaches that are a danger for morals.

It’s important that during all these activities, the parents and children be together as much as possible.  For a mother to stay in the house in order to “get things done,” while sending the children to play outside without taking an interest in what they’re doing, can be a double fault: not supervising the children, and not making them participate in household chores.  “There’s more joy in giving than in receiving.”

Adults: beware of letting children of all ages, boys and girls mixed together, play together unsupervised, so the adults can be at peace.  Alas! How many tragedies are discovered afterwards, when it’s too late!

• Don’t forget regular confession, and going to Mass more often, when it’s possible.

Community Chronicle

January 12th: Father Reginald is in Saint-Malo-du-Bois (Vendee region) with the Knights of Our Lady for a formation session.

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Candlemas procession in the cloister

February 5th: Fathers Innocent-Marie and Terence visit Schola Nova, a school in Belgium where spoken Latin is taught successfully, from the primary grades to high school.

At the Friary, the Student Brothers and seminarians undergo three days of exams.

February 24th: Bishop Zendejas celebrates a Pontifical High Mass for the Tonsure and First Minor Orders (Porter and Lector) for several seminarians and the Second Minor Orders (Exorcist and Acolyte) for our Brother Agostinho (Brazil).  The following Sunday, His Excellency gives a conference for the faithful on the situation of Tradition in the U.S.

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Tonsure and Minor Orders : Feb. 24th

March 2nd: On the eve of the first Saturday of the month, the pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima that visited our region in 2017 is permanently installed in Saint Dominic’s Oratory (the chapel connected to the vestibule of the Friary Church).  Her presence among us will be a constant reminder of the urgency of the message of Fatima, last remedy given by Heaven to save the world, especially from the danger of communism (global socialism).  Thanks to the generosity of the faithful, a second pilgrim statue was also acquired, so that Our Lady may continue to visit the families of the parish.

March 24th: Fathers Louis-Marie and Angelico are in Paris to represent the Friary at the annual “Reality Fair” [“Fête du Pays Réel”].  This gathering organized by the Catholic nationalist organization “Civitas,” brings people from all over France to meet writers, artists, activists, clergy, and religious communities who make up the “real world.”

March 29th-April 1st: Easter Triduum.  With the help of the seminarians, a few visiting priests (and two Bishops!), the Triduum ceremonies were celebrated with particular solemnity.  For the third year in a row, we were blessed to have a Chrismal Mass.

At the same time, Father Reginald was in Brazil helping Bishop Thomas Aquinas provide the Holy Week ceremonies to the faithful.

April 2nd-8th: Father Marie-Dominique is in Saint-Malo-du-Bois (Vendee region) preaching the annual retreat for the Sisters of Our Lady Co-Redemptrix.

April 8th-14th: Annual trip to Rome for the seniors of St. Thomas Boys’ School, accompanied by Father Hyacinthe-Marie.

April 12th-16th: Trip to the U.S. for Fathers Angelico and Marie-Laurent.  After a short stop in New York visiting with Bishop Zendejas, the Fathers preach a day of recollection for the faithful at St. Joseph’s Mission in Emmet, Kansas.  On Sunday: High Mass followed by a potluck and conference, with a get-together for the tertiaries in the afternoon.

May 1st: At the end of a week-long retreat, our three postulants receive the habit of the order:  Brother Gabriel (Timothy, from Arizona), Brother Pie-Marie (Louis, from France) and Brother Marie-Thomas (Nicolas, from France, former student of St. Thomas Boys’ School).

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One of the postulants receiving his new name

News from our worksites

Thanks to the expert help of a parishioner, we were able to greatly reduce the construction costs for the new Parish Hall.  What’s more, the new blueprints are even better adapted to our needs than before.  However, that has involved a few delays…  Hopefully in the next newsletter we will finally be able to show some pictures of the progress of the worksite.  At the Priory (St. Thomas Boys’ School), the arched gate of the main entrance had to be renovated after severe damage due to age and weather.  The stones overhead had become dislodged from the mortar, and there was a risk of collapse.

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Renovation of arched entryway

Crisis in the Church:

Pope honors pro-abortion activist

The Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great was created in 1831 by Pope Gregory XVI in order to honor certain people for their personal dedication and self-sacrifice to the cause of the Holy See and the Roman Catholic Church.

It’s “surprising,” therefore, to see that last January, membership of this prestigious order was granted to Mrs. Liliane Ploumen, former Dutch minister of Commerce, who is particularly active in the worldwide propagation of abortion and LGBT associations.  She specified to the press that her pro-abortion activism was not mentioned during the ceremony of decoration, but seeing that she had been congratulated for her role in developing “resources in society,” she sees that as a “confirmation of what [she’s] doing for young women, for abortion.”  (Medias-Catholique.Info n°18 – week of January 18th, 2018)

Masonic grip on the Vatican

In February, 2017, Pope Francis named Mr. Peter Sutherland president of the International Catholic Commission on Migrations, and counselor to the Administration of the Heritage of the Holy See.

Sutherland, an active member of the directing committee of the Bilderberg Group, and of the European section of the Trilateral Commission, was also president of Goldman Sachs International from 2005 to 2015:

Goldman Sachs International is an invisible empire worth 700 billion euros (six times the annual budget of France); a money empire “over which the Sun never sets,” constituting a power over and above governments.  It doesn’t matter whether the Pope is a conscious agent or just being manipulated.  The result of these tight links with the “One World Order” is a perfect alignment between Vatican policy and the freemasonic, humanistic, globalist universalism which is working toward the dissolution of nations and cultures, to welcome migrants from all over the world with the goal of constructing a new multi-cultural, multi-religious world without boundaries: the world of the Anti-Christ. (Medias-Catholique.Info n° 16, week of January 4th, 2018)

For timely articles and spiritual reading, please go to our website:

www.dominicansavrille.us

To send a donation:

YOU MAY USE PAYPAL (ON OUR WEBSITE), OR SEND TO:

In the U.S.:

Dominicans of Avrillé, Inc.
P.O. Box 23, Newman Lake, WA. 99025

In Canada:

Association of St. Dominic

C I B C, 201-21 Street East

Saskatoon (SK) S7K OB8 Canada

Please include a note, and specify:

acc. #40-91531

In the U.K.:

Association of St. Dominic

R B S Edinburgh, 17 Comiston Road, Edinburgh EH10 6AA

Please specify: acc. # 00105564

For more information :

Couvent de la Haye-aux-Bonshommes

49240 Avrillé, France

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Letter from the Dominicans of Avrillé # 27: January, 2018

Letter from the Dominicans of Avrillé

No. 27: January 2018

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St. Thomas Boys’ School in the frost

A Canonical Recognition?

When Archbishop Lefebvre founded the Society of Saint Pius X in 1970, he had obtained its canonical erection as a “pious union” from Bishop Charrière of Fribourg, Switzerland.  The Archbishop’s work remained canonically recog­nized for five years.

However, on November 21st, 1974, after a canonical visit of Ecône by two envoys from Rome, Archbishop Lefebvre published a declaration manifesting his refusal “to follow the Rome of neo-Modernist and neo-Protestant tendencies which were clearly evident in the Second Vatican Council and, after the Council, in all the reforms which issued from it.”

From that point forward, the dividing line between the two “churches” was drawn.  Shortly after, the “Rome of neo-Modernist and neo-Protestant tendencies” was given the name of the “conciliar church” by Bishop Benelli [letter addressed to the Archbishop on behalf of Pope Paul VI].  It has kept this name ever since.

The canonical “suppression” of the SSPX was decreed by Bishop Mamie, on May 6th, 1975.  Archbishop Lefebvre rightly stated that it was “irregular, and in any case, unjust.”

This “suppression” was therefore consid­ered as null and void by Archbishop Lefebvre and all those who follow the rules of the Catholic Church, whereas it was deemed valid by the representatives of the conciliar church.

Recently, however, there has been more and more talk of a “canonical recognition” of the SSPX from the present authorities in the Vatican.  Can such recognition be accepted?

Per se, canonical regularity in the Catho­lic Church is something that is good, and even necessary.  Archbishop Lefebvre sought this reg­ularity in 1970, and obtained it.  Nevertheless, today, if a canonical recognition were to be ac­corded, it would be in the framework of the new Code of Canon Law.  It is in this framework that the Pope has granted jurisdiction for marriages celebrated by priests of the SSPX.

That reason alone would suffice in order to refuse this recognition:

“We cannot content ourselves with particular guidelines for the Soci­ety; we refuse this new Code of Canon Law be­cause it is contrary to the common good of the entire Church, [which is what] we want to pro­tect.” [Fr. Jean-Michel Gleize, Courrier de Rome n° 499, May 2017]

We may add that under present circum­stances, there are other disadvantages.  Just to name a few:

— It would make us enter into the con­ciliar pluralism, with Tradition being recognized on an equal footing with the Charismatic move­ments, the Focolari, Opus Dei, etc.  This would put Truth on a par with error, at least in the public opinion.

— It would bring into our chapels faith­ful who are determined to remain conciliar, modernist and liberal, along with all that this implies regarding their lifestyle (because bad ideas lead to bad morals).

— It would necessarily reduce any at­tacks against the errors professed by the authori­ties under which we would then directly find ourselves.  It’s rather easy for all to see that the superiors of the SSPX have already diminished their criticisms of the present errors coming from Rome (Year of Luther, Amoris Laetitia, etc.).

—Lastly, such a canonical recognition would place us directly under the authority of superiors who are themselves under Freemasonic influ­ence.  Indeed, various studies published in Le Sel de la Terre have shown that the conciliar church is an instrument in the hands of Freemasonry to force Catholics to work toward the establishment of the New World Order, willingly or not.  (See the editorial n° 101, summer 2017.)   Providence permitted Archbishop Lefebvre and those who followed him to be exempt from this Freema­sonic influence: it would now be a grave impru­dence to subject ourselves to it voluntarily.  Freemasonry was born exactly three centuries ago (June 24th, 1717).   After having destroyed all the Christian states (with the revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries), and subjugating the Church (with the plan of the Alta Vendita, accom­plished by Vatican II), will Freemasonry succeed in spreading its influence over the work of Arch­bishop Lefebvre?  This would certainly be its ap­parent triumph on earth.

Consequently, a “canonical solution” can only be foreseen in the case of a Rome that has converted doctrinally.  Moreover, this conversion will have to be proven by concrete efforts to work for the social reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ, while fighting against the adversaries of this reign.

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Chant of the Gospel at one of the “stations” (during the procession on November 2nd)

 

A Luciferian Religion

Last June 24th marked the 300th anniver­sary of the foundation of Freemasonry.  This sect constitutes a sort of “Counter-Church” offering worship to Satan (See especially the book by Jean-Claude Lozac’hmeur, Les Origines occultists de la Francmaçon­nerie).  Msgr. Henri Delassus, author of the mon­umental work, The Anti-Christian Conspiracy — The Masonic Temple Wanting to Build Itself upon the Ruins of the Catholic Church (1910), made a re­markable analy­sis of the progression of this Lu­ciferian cult as a preparation of the reign of the Antichrist:

Just as in pagan times there were se­cret ceremonies and an esoteric doctrine that were known only to the “initiated”, leaving to the crowd of “ordinary men” the things which they could handle, giving satisfaction to their religious instincts in a sort of natu­ral­ism, we see reborn today certain prac­tices and dogmas that constitute a properly Lu­ciferian religion for the “initiated”, whereas the public is little by little led to a purely naturalistic religion. […]

This is not the first time that Satanism has invaded Christianity.

In the 15th century, the Renaissance, which was the first manifestation of the anti-Christian conspiracy, was preceded by an extraordinary development of magic.  It grew everywhere that Protestantism took hold, and this led to an epidemic of witch­craft that throughout the 17th century was a night­mare for Germany, England and Scot­land, while the Latin countries remained practi­cally untouched.

The Revolution, as well, was preceded by a fever of Satanism.  Magnetizers, necro­mancies, as they were called, showed up everywhere. The corrupted nobles had themselves initiated in rites where Satan was invoked, and in the towns as well as in the cities people gave themselves up to all kinds of occult practices.

But never, since the times of paganism, has Satan been as alive and active as he is today, hav­ing been invited back into the domain from which the Cross of the Divine Redeemer had chased him away. (pp. 723-725)

Community Chronicle

August 16th:  After a beautiful feast of the As­sumption, with its Solemn High Mass and proces­sion, it’s time for Father Reginald and our two Brazilian Brothers to leave on a month-long mis­sion to Brazil: a total of 2,500 miles by car visit­ing the faithful of various Mass centers.

September 2nd and 3rd:  Five Fathers attend the annual Chiré-en-Montreuil book fair, in or­der to represent our community.  A conference given by Fr. Louis-Marie was a good opportunity to make known to the public some of the various books and articles published this year by Le Sel de la Terre concerning the Protestant Revolution and its disastrous effects on souls and society.  A group of several students from the Boys’ School came along to help out the organizers.

September:  Back to school for the children… and for the Fathers and Brothers who take care of the Primary school, the Boys’ school, Our Lady of Fatima youth club, etc.

September 4th:  Fr. de Mérode comes to stay for the week, for his annual retreat.

September 10th: Fr. Marie-Dominique gives a conference on Saint Dominic for about 30 mem­bers of the “Friends of the Sacred Heart,” a youth group of the Combat for the Faith.

September 11th: Three of our tertiaries from the Czech Republic are among us for several days, happy to immerse themselves in the prayerful atmosphere of the Friary, and the Dominican Liturgy.

September 14th: Father Marie-Dominique leaves to preach the start-of-the-school-year retreat for the seminarians of St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort Seminary.  It’s also the official start of the school year for our student brothers.

September 23rd/24th: Third Order meeting in Chartres/Paris.  In the weeks to follow, Brittany, Alsace, Lyons, and Avrillé will have their turn at starting up a new year of activities.

October 25th:  We have the pleasure of re­ceiving H.E. Bishop Zendejas for a few days be­fore he goes on to Fatima for the pilgrimage of Christ the King.

November 13th:  Arrival of Br. Agostinho O.S.B., from H.E. Bishop Thomas Aquinas’ mon­astery in Brazil, for two months of rest.

December 22nd – January 7th: Fathers Marie-Dominique and Angelico, accompanied by Br. Alphonse-Marie, travel to various Mass centers in North America.  It was the occasion to visit our tertiaries, friends and benefactors, as well as to help out Bishop Zendejas for the Christmas ceremonies.  On the list: South Salem, NY (NYC area);  Emmet, KS;  Houston, TX;  Northome, MN;  Newman Lake, WA;  Buffalo, NY;  Winnipeg, MA (Canada).  Congratulations to the five tertiaries who made their profession in presence of the Fathers during this trip!

News from our worksites

We don’t have much news to tell for the moment, except that our building project has been accepted by the municipality. Thanks to your help, we have already gathered a good part of the funds necessary to start building.  The preliminary work (surveys, soil tests, entry roads for the construction vehicles, etc.) should be able to start in the next few weeks. Thank You!

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Parish Hall project

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The finished Chapter room, with its new altar.

—–

For timely articles and spiritual reading, please go to our website:

www.dominicansavrille.us

To send a donation:

YOU MAY USE PAYPAL (ON OUR WEBSITE), OR SEND TO:

In the U.S.:

Dominicans of Avrillé, Inc.
P.O. Box 23, Newman Lake, WA. 99025

In Canada:

Association of St. Dominic

C I B C, 201-21 Street East

Saskatoon (SK) S7K OB8 Canada

Please specify: CAN$: acc. #40-91531

In the U.K.:

Association of St. Dominic

R B S Edinburgh, 17 Comiston Road, Edinburgh EH10 6AA

Please specify: acc. # 00105564

For more information :

Couvent de la Haye-aux-Bonshommes

49240 Avrillé, France

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Letter from the Dominicans of Avrillé # 26: September, 2017

Letter from the Dominicans of Avrillé  # 26:  September, 2017

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Public Procession (feast of the Assumption)

The Myth of a “Neutral State” -“Who’s attacking you?” -“Nobody!”

Ulysses called himself “Nobody,” when Polyphemus asked his name. When this latter cried for help to his fellow cyclopses, and they asked who was attacking him, he stupidly replied “Nobody”!   Of course, they did not come to his aid.

Freemasonry has adopted the same trick to make their enemies look like fools.  The states under its control never openly declare themselves Freemasonic.  They claim to be “neutral” or “secular”.  When one asks who is persecuting the Church, the answer is ready-made: “neutrality,” that is, “no one”; and it’s the same “neutrality” (“no one”…) who indoctrinates the children in the atheistic [and totalitarian] public school system.

The myth of the “neutral” state

The stratagem of the “neutral” state — presented as a purely administrative machine, free from any religious or metaphysical principal, limiting itself to the material direction of the country, leaving each citizen to think as he likes — is an essential pillar of Masonic dictatorship.

However, the Masons are not always able to hold their tongue.  They’re so sure of their victory that they easily reveal their secret.  Vincent Peillon (French Minister of Education from 2012 to 2014) publically declared that secularism is a religion.  His predecessor, René Viviani, had already confessed neutrality to be a “necessary lie.”  Another “insider,” T.G. Masaryk, clearly showed that the modern secular state aims at nothing less than to take the place of the Church.

A well informed Freemason

The Freemason Thomas Garrigue Masaryk (1850-1937) was not just anybody.  During the First World War, he repeated to all who wanted to listen that the principal goal of the war was “the dismemberment of the Hapsburg Empire.”   This well-informed agent then went on to become the first president of the very Masonic (and very artificial) Czechoslovakian Republic.

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Corpus Christi 2017


A special vocabulary

Of course, Masaryk, as a good Mason, muddles his words.  He calls medieval Christendom — which carefully distinguished between the spiritual and temporal powers — “theocracy.”  On the other hand, the regime that mixes the two powers, reuniting them in one hand (or rather, one fist!) is designated by him as “non-theocratic.”  But this coded language does not prevent us from understanding what he means to say.

Masaryk’s avowal: a state “charged with the functions of the Church”

Over and above the words, it’s the reality that counts.  Therefore, in reading the following quotation, let us not be duped by the misuse of the word “theocracy”, or the sarcastic attack against the “medieval state, servus Ecclesiae,” and let’s look at this supposedly wonderful, modern, democratic state imposed upon the world by Freemasonry.  Is it a neutral state, free from all ideology?   No, just the opposite!   Masaryk clearly admits it: the “secular” state has “taken on the functions of the Church,” and has even “extended and multiplied them.”

[W]hat makes the democratic state new, is the fact that its goals and its organization proceed from a new conception of the world, a non-theocratic conception.  That’s the innovation.  The modern state has taken on the functions of the theocracy, especially those of the Church […].  Before, the state was not interested in schools, nor in culture; all the education of society was directed and dispensed by the Church.  To the contrary, the new state has, step by step, taken over all education.  Just as the Reformation, humanism and the Renaissance had engendered a new, secular morality, the state has also taken Charity away from the Church, and transformed it into social legislation.  Compared to the modern state, the former states were practically nothing.  I would even say that they did not think for themselves: the Church thought for them.  If under theocracy philosophy was the “ancilla theologiae,” [Editor:  “handmaiden of theology”]  the old medieval state was the “servus Ecclesiae.” [Editor:  “servant of the Church”]   In secularizing itself, the state was forced to start thinking.  It took on the functions of the Church; it extended and multiplied them.” (T.G. Masaryk, La Résurrection d’un Etat, Paris, Plon, 1930)

It’s clear: the secular state is not just (as they claim) a state separated from the Church.  It’s the state taking itself for the Church, which is only logical for the religion of Man taking himself for God.


Mother Anne-Marie Simoulin (†) (Foundress of the Dominican Sisters of Fanjeaux) and the Question of Modesty

The keen awareness of her duty to transmit an integrally Catholic education was inseparable from an insistence upon practical moral requirements that are a necessary consequence of this Christian formation.  That’s why Mother Anne-Marie was, for example, so virulent when it came to the question of appropriate dressing, despite the pressure from parents and even bishops.  At Montréjeau, for example, the vice-president of the APEL (Parents’ Association), Mr. Vallet, had written to her:

Most Reverend Mother, we would like to call your attention particularly to a problem which has gained such proportions that the members of the APEL of Sainte-Germaine School find themselves obliged to inform you.

Indeed, practically all the parents disapprove of your prohibition for our girls to wear pants. Certain families are even seriously considering taking their children out of the school if no dispensations are made to this prohibition for the time being.

One must take into account that winter is long and rigorous in this region. Tights are very costly and wear out quickly, so certain families are not able to replace them as often as necessary.

Locally, our girls have become victims of a very unpleasant atmosphere, and the situation has gotten worse since it has been known, by trustworthy sources, that other establishments of the Congregation have allowed the new style of clothing.

We would be very grateful to you if we could have your answer before the general assembly to be held on December 1st, 1973, so that we may inform the families of the outcome of this initiative.

Mother Anne-Marie therefore explained the reasons for her refusal:

I am aware of all the arguments put forward, almost everywhere, in favor of pants:  frugality (or purported frugality, because the same people count their pennies less when it comes to following fashions), comfort, practicality, ease…  I understand how appealing these arguments can be for parents who feel obligated to make calculations, but none of these reasons will force me to yield…

Next, Mother exposes some considerations on the disciplinary as well as esthetic levels.  Lastly, she comes back to the fundamental argument:

Just as we refuse co-education […], because we think it is impossible to form a girl’s intelligence and sensibility in the same way as with boys, we refuse all complicity with decadent trends that are sabotaging our civilization.  We want to treat your girls as girls; we want them to be treated as girls, and therefore we want them to be dressed as girls.  We want to help them deepen their sense of properly feminine values, to desire and to cultivate the virtues specially entrusted to women, which will make them particularly capable of giving and nurturing life, whether it be natural or supernatural life.  We want your girls to be fully women, who are proud to be so, and who love to dress accordingly.

For all these reasons on the disciplinary, esthetic and moral levels, we therefore require your girls to dress in conformity to their feminine nature…

—Quoted by Sr. Alice-Marie (Dominican Sisters of FANJEAUX), Rupture ou fidélité 1948/1975. Une congrégation religieuse dans l’Eglise ébranlée, Clovis, 2016, p. 222-224.

 

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Community Chronicle

May 25th: Ascension of Our Lord. In the Dominican rite, the Solemn High Mass is preceded by a procession in the cloister (accompanied by the men and boys of the parish) symbolizing the cortege of Our Lady and the Apostles following Our Lord from the Cenacle to the Mount of Olives.  A second Solemn High Mass is celebrated by Fr. de Mérode for St. Thomas Boys’ School, during which twenty students pronounce their profession of Faith after having followed a retreat preached by the same Fr. de Mérode.

June 3rd: First Saturday.  It’s a true consolation to see the faithful doing their best to respond to the requests of Our Lady of Fatima for the first Saturday of each month: the St. Dominic Oratory is overflowing with faithful at the 6:30 a.m. Mass (followed by the 15-minute meditation requested by Our Lady), and the main Church is almost full at the 10:00 a.m. Mass.

June 18th: Corpus Christi Procession.

July 1st and 2nd: End of the school year ceremonies for St. Philomena Primary School and St. Thomas Boys’ School, followed by the annual parish lawn fete.  With the school year behind us, the busy summer schedule starts immediately:

July 3rd-8th: Men’s retreat.  Fathers Louis-Marie and Angelico are happy to receive a bit of reinforcement from Fr. Pierre Roy who came in from Canada to help preach a retreat on “The Incarnate Word” to about 20 fervent men, among which were a certain number of recently baptized.

July 14th-16th: Annual Jean Vaquié Days, with the theme: 1917-2017: From Communism to Globalism.

July 16th: Departure of Fathers Terence and Angelico for the Boys’ Summer Camp in Brittany.  Three weeks of camping, hiking and exploration, as well as activities for the soul: daily sacraments, apologetics competitions…

At the same time, Fr. Hyacinth-Marie chaplains the camps for the boys and girls of Our Lady of Fatima Youth Club (7-12 yrs.) and the adolescent girls of “Valiant Souls”.

July 17th-22nd: Fathers Marie-Dominique and Emmanuel-Marie preach a retreat for married couples, with the help of Fr. de Mérode.

July 24th-29th: Lady’s retreat with Fathers François-Marie and Marie Laurent, aided by Fr. Ballini.

August 4th- 13th: The community is reunited for the annual retreat preached this year by Fr. Joaquim FBVM, from Brazil.  Father Joaquim is no stranger to the community, as he studied philosophy and theology here at Avrillé before being ordained in Brazil.  Theme of the retreat: “Our spiritual life in the present crisis in the Church.”

News from our worksites

All is ready for the parish hall project.  God willing, the building permit will be granted in the coming weeks.

Other various projects have begun or progressed.  The chapter room now has its wooden beams.  Once it’s painted, we’ll be able to put in the new altar.

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To help solve the problem of insufficient classroom space at the Boys’ School, a wall has been knocked down (permitting the renovation of a loft) and the grounds have been cleared in view of restoring an old tower (to be used as a study hall).  Also, the recreation courtyards were professionally paved. (To the delight of the seminarians and friars, as well!)

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For timely articles and spiritual reading, please go to our website:

www.dominicansavrille.us

To send a donation:

YOU MAY USE PAYPAL (ON OUR WEBSITE), OR SEND TO:

In the U.S.:

Dominicans of Avrillé, Inc.
P.O. Box 23, Newman Lake, WA. 99025

In Canada:

Association of St. Dominic

C I B C, 201-21 Street East

Saskatoon (SK) S7K OB8 Canada

Please specify: CAN$: acc. #40-91531

In the U.K.:

Association of St. Dominic

R B S Edinburgh, 17 Comiston Road, Edinburgh EH10 6AA

Please specify: acc. # 00105564

For more information :

Couvent de la Haye-aux-Bonshommes

49240 Avrillé, France

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Letter from the Dominicans of Avrillé No. 25: May 2017

Letter from the Dominicans of Avrillé

No. 25: May 2017

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The Passion of the Church

On the evening of Holy Thursday, Our Lord had with His Apostles what has come to be known as the “Last Supper Discourse” (Jn. 13:31 to 16:31).

During the Last Supper, Our Lord ordained His Apostles as Priests and Bishops, and gave them Communion for the first time. He also announced the betrayel of Judas, who left in the night to accomplish his crime…

Being relieved by the absence of the traitor, Our Lord took advantage of these few moments of intimacy with His Apostles in order to prepare them for His imminent departure, and the persecutions to come. That is, He prepares them for the Passion, and gives them the necessary counsels to be able to endure it. Alas, they will not take heed and the prophecy of Jesus will be fulfilled: “You shall be scattered every man to his own, and shall leave me alone.”

As the Passion of the Church unfolds before our eyes, it is useful for us to meditate on this discourse. At a time where the “ shepherd is struck and therefore the sheep are scattered” (Zach. 13:7), let us listen to Jesus’ instructions, so that we may go through this passion while remaining faithful.

Commentary of Saint Thomas Aquinas

Saint Thomas Aquinas composed a very profound commentary on the Gospel of Saint John. Let us just summarize here what concerns Jesus’ words after the Last Supper.

After an introduction (Jn. 13:31-38), in which Jesus states the purpose of the Passion (reestablish the glory of God by the perfect sacrifice of the Cross) and the conditions for staying united (charity and humility), He comforts His disciples with regard to the emotions which trouble them: the sadness caused by His leaving (ch. 14) and the fear of persecutions (ch. 15).

His departure should not trouble them, because it brings with it three advantages:

  • free access to the Father through Jesus, who is the “way”, and the perfect image of the Father
  • the coming of the Paraclete
  • Jesus’ own return (in a new manner)

The Paraclete will bring His “gift”: perfect knowledge of God; and Jesus will bring His: peace, a peace that can only come from Him.

Then, Jesus fortifies His Apostles against the fear of persecutions, to which the Passion was only a prelude. He starts with the beautiful “allegory of the vine”: the branches, that is, the faithful as members of Christ’s Mystical Body, need to be purified through suffering in order to bear fruit: not only fruits of (personal) sanctity, but fruits of a productive apostolate. The conditions to bring about this purification and bearing of fruit are: to “keep His words” (Faith purifies the intelligence), prayer (for this work is supernatural), and above all, a love of Jesus proven by the practice of His commandments.

Our Lord does not content Himself with speaking of His Mystical Body; He goes on to explain to His disciples the source of these persecutions: the world, ennemy of Our Lord. The world is united in its hatred, just as the Church is united by charity. The hatred of the world for Jesus’ friends is a reason for consolation: it makes them similar to their Master. In addition, sustained by the Holy Ghost, they will use it as an opportunity to witness to their Faith, even at the price of martyrdom, when necessary.

Chapter 16 adds a few precisions. Regarding persecutions, the Apostles will have to suffer not only from the part of pagans, but also from the Jews, who will “put them out of the synagogues”, and will put them to death “thinking they are doing a service to God.” Regarding the (physical) absence of Jesus, the three Divine Persons will intervene to console the faithful: the Holy Ghost will convince the world of its sin, Jesus will bring perfect (interior) joy, and the Father will from then on listen favorably to all prayers said in the name of Jesus, by those who love Jesus.

A veil of sorrow passes over Jesus’ face at the thought of the impending defection of His Apostles, but right away He promises them peace, and encourages them: “Have confidence, I have overcome the world.”

Application to the Present Situation

In the present passion of the Church, we must first be convinced that God has allowed it only to bring about a greater good (without doubt, the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary promised at Fatima). We must also do all we can to abide in charity and humility, which are the indispensable conditions to receive the help guaranteed by Our Lord.

Because of the crisis in the Church, we no longer benefit from the habitual spiritual aids of times past, in particular the facility to go to Mass and receive the sacraments. We must therefore try by other means to develop our interior life, the life of union with the three Divine Persons present in every soul in the state of grace.

Let us set aside each day a time of meditation to better know and love Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is “the way, the truth and the life,” in letting ourselves be guided by the Holy Ghost. Even outside of this time specially reserved for prayer, we must put ourselves habitually under the influence of this divine and invisible “guest” of our soul (“You shall know him, because he shall abide with you, and shall be in you”), in following His inspirations when He invites us to do an act of charity or make a sacrifice. Lastly, it is important to remain in the peace of Jesus, consequence of order and justice in our life, according to the definition of Saint Augustine: “serenity of mind (order in our intelligence), tranquility of soul (order in our passions), simplicity of heart (order in our will), concord with God and neighbor.”

With regard to persecutions, seeing as Jesus warned His Apostles that they would have to suffer from the part of the Jews (something which was particularly painful for them), let us not be surprised if we must suffer at the hands of members of the Church, subject since Vatican II to the influence of the world, that is, the anti-church (Freemasonry, communism, anti-Christian globalism, etc.).[1]

The tribulations inflicted upon us by the world, and the privations we must endure in order to preserve ourselves from its influence, will only serve to sanctify us, to console the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to save sinners, and, in a mysterious way, to prepare the victory of Jesus and His Holy Mother: “Have confidence, I have overcome the world.”

[1] One of the most powerful means the world uses today to kill the divine life in souls, is internet. 90% of youth consult pornographic websites. Regardless of the question of impurity, screens are anti-contemplative, because they captivate the senses and inhibit the noblest operations of the mind: judgment and contemplation. The remedy? : meditative reading.

Community Chronicle

December 22nd: High Mass in thanksgiving for the 800th anniversary of the approbation of the Order of Friars Preachers by the Holy See. “It is a pious and precious tradition of the Order of Preachers, handed down by its earliest historians, that it owes its existence to a special intervention of the Most Holy Virgin with Her divine Son. She had the inspiration; She is its Mother, Patron and Queen. She takes pleasure in calling it “My order”; the sons of Saint Dominic are Her sons, and they vow obedience on the day of their profession to the Blessed Virgin Mary.” (Fr. Langlais O.P.)

December 25th: Christmas. With the help of the seminarians of St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort Seminary, we are able to sing the three different Masses of Christmas.

January 15th: This year being the 500th anniversary of the revolt of Martin Luther, presented as a hero by the conciliar church, the Friary begins a series of sermons on the Council of Trent, “the most beautiful and precise synthesis of Christian doctrine in opposition to the errors of Protestantism” (Fr. Jean-Baptiste AUBRY, Cours d’histoire ecclesiastique).

March 7th: Feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas. Bishop Faure celebrates a Pontifical High Mass, during which he confers the tonsure to four seminarians, the orders of porter and lector to Brothers Louis-Bertrand and Agostinho, and the orders of exorcist and acolyte to Brother Alain. Each new step is a deeper participation in the sovereign priesthood of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

March 25th: The Annunciation. On this day when Our Lady clothed Our Lord with the “habit” of His humanity, our postulant Godefroy receives the religious habit and the name “Augustin-Marie”.

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The new Brother receives the kiss of peace.

April 23rd: Father Marie-Dominique is at Saint Malo-du-Bois to represent the Friary for the habit-taking ceremony of Miss Collins (Ireland) in the Institute of the Sisters of Our Lady Co-Redemptrix.

May 5th-8th: Father Angelico replaces Father Ballini in the south of Ireland for weekend Masses. A public 15-decade Rosary (prayed on every First Saturday in the streets of Cork) was attended by a fervent group of faithful, and accompanied by the distribution of Rosaries and booklets on the message of Fatima. A good initiative to imitate!

May 11th: Father Angelico is in Vienna, Virginia, to represent the Friary at the episcopal consecration of His Excellency Bishop Gerardo Zendejas, and his first Pontifical High Mass the next day.

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The four bishops consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary during the first Pontifical High Mass of Bishop Zendejas

News from our worksites

The project of a new school/parish cafeteria is now officially under way. The architects have submitted the plans, but ground has not yet been broken. This new building will not only be used by the primary school and Boys’ High School, but also for a wide variety of parish activities: (conferences, parish library, sewing room…).

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Future cafeteria and parish building

The growing number of students and parishioners has rendered this project necessary due to government safety regulations.

Meanwhile, the architects are still studying the restoration of the two “guard towers” at the Priory (the manor house where the Boys’ School is located). The buildings will be used for classrooms.

These two ambitious projects would be out of the question, were it not for the generosity of our loyal benefactors. Please accept our heartfelt thanks for all your support in the past, and we thank you in advance for your continued help!

For timely articles and spiritual reading, please go to our website:

www.dominicansavrille.us

To send a donation:

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Dominicans of Avrillé, Inc.
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C I B C, 201-21 Street East

Saskatoon (SK) S7K OB8 Canada

Please specify: CAN$: acc. #40-91531

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R B S Edinburgh, 17 Comiston Road, Edinburgh EH10 6AA

Please specify: acc. # 00105564

For more information :

Couvent de la Haye-aux-Bonshommes

49240 Avrillé, France

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Friends and Benefactors Letter number # 24, January 2017 (updated with pictures)

Letter from the Dominicans of Avrillé

No. 24: Jan 2017

Arise!

 

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Bethlehem

 

“Arise, O man; for you God has become man. ‘Awake, sleeper, and arise from among the dead, and Christ will enlighten thee.’ [Eph. 5:14] For you, I repeat, God has become man. If He had not thus been born into time, you would have been dead for all eternity. Never would you have been freed from sinful flesh, if He had not taken upon Himself the likeness of sinful flesh. Everlasting misery would have engulfed you, if He had not taken this merciful form. You would not have been restored to life, had He not submitted to your death; you would have fallen, had He not succored you; you would have perished, had He not come.

Let us joyfully celebrate the coming of our salvation and redemption. Let us celebrate the festal day on which the great and timeless One came from the great and timeless day to this brief span of our day…”

-St. Augustine, Sermon for Christmas [Sermon 185]

The Year of Luther

“What unites us is greater than what divides us” ?

“In 2017, Lutherans and Catholics will celebrate together the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation.  Today, Lutherans and Catholics have the joy of understanding each other better and better, and of cooperating and respecting each other more and more. They have finally recognized that what unites them is greater than what divides them.”

[“From Conflict to Communion”, report from the Lutheran-Catholic Commission (2013), of which Card. Müller, Prefect for the Cong. of the Doctrine of the Faith, is a member]

 

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Statue of Luther enthroned by Pope Francis in the Vatican

 

A smiling Pope Francis receives a copy of Luther’s 95 “theses”

Last October 31st, the Pope was in Sweden to inaugurate “The Year of Luther” with the Lutherans.  He signed a joint declaration with the representative of Lutheranism in which he repeats this sophism: “What unites us is greater than what divides us”.

In reality, what divides us from the Protestants is much greater than what unites us, because what divides us is the Faith.

Protestants do not have divine Faith;  they believe in Luther, but they do not believe in God.  Regarding this point, let us quote the Catechism of the Crisis in the Church:

“He who denies even just one single dogma has lost the Faith.  This is because he does not accept Revelation from God, but establishes himself the judge of what must be believed.”

●   Isn’t it possible to deny one dogma while continuing to believe the others, and therefore – at least partially – conserve the virtue of Faith?

“… [H]e who dissents even in one point from divinely revealed truth absolutely rejects all faith, since he thereby refuses to honor God as the supreme truth and the formal motive of faith” [Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum, 1896].  Pope Leo XIII then quotes St. Augustine, speaking of heretics:  “In many things they are with me, in a few things not with me; but in those few things in which they are not with me the many things in which they are, will not profit them”.

●  What should we think of this oft-repeated slogan according to which, in our relations with “separated Christians”, we must consider what unites us rather than what divides us?

In matters of Faith, it is absolutely false and contrary to the traditional teaching of the Church to say that we must “consider what unites us rather than what divides us”.   This would give the impression that these differences only concern details of little importance, whereas, in reality, it is a question of the fullness of revealed truth.

[Fr. Matthias GAUDRON, Catechism of the Crisis in the Church]

We have in common with the Protestants our human nature, and, perhaps, a few natural virtues, but Protestants have neither the true Faith, nor supernatural Hope, nor infused Charity [except in the case of invincible ignorance, if a Protestant is Protestant in name only, through no fault of his own, being ready to accept all the dogmas of the Catholic Church, and therefore being already Catholic in his heart]. That constitutes an enormous division!  In Heaven, there are only Catholics; there are no Protestants, because to be saved one must have the true Faith: “He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be condemned” [Mk. 16:16].   Between the two, as Our Lord says in the Gospel, “there is a great abyss, so that they who would pass from hence, cannot, nor from thence come hither” [Lk. 16:26].   Such is the Gospel truth: between Catholics and Protestants there is a vast chasm which cannot be crossed.  Of course, during this life, it may be crossed if the Protestant comes back to the Church, but after death, it is too late.

How Luther invented Lutheranism

As a monk, Luther had a tortured conscience, feeling separated from God.  Was it a temptation, a scruple, or was he just not making enough of an effort to stay in the grace of God?  Whatever the case may be, since he felt unable to change himself, he decided to change religion: it was much easier.  From now on, it was no longer necessary to serve God, to obey Him, for that was “impossible”; it was sufficient to have “confidence” in Christ, and all was well.  The Dictionary of Catholic Theology thus exposes the doctrine of Luther:

Over our corrupt souls, God places a “mantle”, that is, the merits of Jesus Christ.  This “justification” is entirely exterior, a marble covering over the rotten wood of a cabin.  In the work of our salvation, Jesus Christ – and Jesus Christ alone – is active, and we have no part in it; it would be an insult to want to cooperate by our works in what He has over-abundantly accomplished.  And how does one obtain this “mantle”?   […]  By Faith – or, to be exact – by confidence in Jesus Christ.  The soul will continue to produce fruits of death, but thanks to the confidence in his heart, the sinner will merit that God may “attribute” to him the merits of Jesus Christ.

On August 1st, 1521, in a letter to Melanchthon, Luther pronounced the famous formula that summarizes his new religion: “Pecca fortiter, sed fortius crede” (“Sin greatly, but believe still more greatly”).

The year of Fatima

Instead of the anniversary of Luther’s revolt, let us celebrate the anniversary of Fatima.

The Blessed Virgin is an “anti-Luther”.  Luther claimed that it is impossible to obey God; Our Lady, whose motto is “fiat”, tells us to “do whatsoever He shall say to you” (John 2:5).  At Fatima, the Blessed Virgin exhorts sinners to convert, and change their lives.

What’s more, Our Lady gives us the means to do so with the devotion of the Five First Saturdays.  Doing (and living) this devotion is the best way to celebrate this centenary, and to make reparation for the scandalous “Year of Luther”.

Community Chronicle

September 18th:  Resumption of their priestly studies for the Scholastic Brothers and the Seminarians, and resumption of activities for the Third Order.

Fathers Marie-Dominique and Marie-Laurent are in Paris for the first meeting of the year for the Fraternity of St. Thomas, which groups together our tertiaries from Normandy, Paris, and Chartres, accompanied by their many children.  Mass, Divine Office, Rosary, alternate with instructions on spirituality and doctrine, in a family atmosphere.  In the following weeks, it will be the turn of the other Fraternities in Alsace, Brittany, Avrillé, and Lyons.

Why belong to the Third Order?  It provides a rule of life to better sanctify yourself while living in the world; it allows you to benefit from the spiritual support of a religious order and the fraternal Charity of other tertiaries.

September 20thFather Angelico begins a new year of his bi-monthly adult catechism classes on Bible History.  The study of the Old Testament using commentaries of the Fathers of the Church is an excellent way to enrich our spiritual life, according to St. Paul: “…all these things happened to them in figure: and they are written for our correction” (I Cor. 10:11).

October 2nd:  Fathers Marie-Laurent and Reginald resume their apostolate among the students of the military academy at La Flèche: confessions, Mass, conference.  This year they will be studying the fundamental book “Liberalism is a Sin”, by Don Sarda y Salvani.

October 8th:  Meeting of the “Saint Raphael Circle” for medical students, nurses and physical therapists, with Fathers Marie-Dominique and Hyacinthe-Marie.  Today the topic is “abortion and its consequences”.

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Vestition of Brother Michel-Marie

October 22ndFeast of the Dedication (Consecration of our Church). “In the world, you were known as Maximilien;  in the Order, you will be called Brother Michel-Marie, under the protection of the leader of the Heavenly Militia.”  A new brother is born into our community.  “The Popes have asked us to be ‘fighters for the Faith’”, comments Father Prior.  “Fight using the ‘arms of light’: zeal in spreading the Gospel, “the shield of Faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one… the sword of the Word of God” (Eph. 6:16).

December 2nd-5thFather Angelico is in Ireland for Masses and preaching in Longford and Dublin.

December 8thFeast of the Immaculate Conception.  After a Solemn High Mass in the majestic setting of “Saint John’s Hospice” (13th cen.), the clergy and faithful go into the streets of Angers for a candle-light procession in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. image

“We have a very certain hope and complete confidence that the most Blessed Virgin will ensure by her most powerful patronage that all difficulties be removed and all errors dissipated, so that our Holy Mother the Catholic Church may flourish daily more and more throughout all the nations and countries, and may reign “from sea to sea and from the river to the ends of the earth…” [Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus]  This is our hope as well, as we approach the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima.

December 18th:   Christmas Pageant performed by the students of Saint Philomena Elementary School.

 

News from our worksites

The furnishing of the Chapter room in the eastern wing of the Friary is under way. Soon, the oak beams will be installed in the ceiling, and the wooden gothic altar (which has been patiently waiting for several years) will be mounted.

The projects for the Friary workshops and cafeteria for the Boys’ school are presently being studied by the architect, in view of obtaining the necessary construction permits. This work will enable us to put the guest house back to its proper use, as it is currently occupied in large part by the school (for its kitchen, bathrooms, dining room…).

At the “Priory” (the manor house which is used for the Boys’ school), the excavation of the old “towers” is continuing, and we are in negotiations with the Historical Monuments Department to get the permission to transform them into study halls.

 

For timely articles and spiritual reading, please go to our website:

www.dominicansavrille.us

To send a donation:

YOU MAY USE PAYPAL (ON OUR WEBSITE), OR SEND TO:

In the U.S.:

Dominicans of Avrillé, Inc.
P.O. Box 23, Newman Lake, WA. 99025

In Canada:

Association of St. Dominic

C I B C, 201-21 Street East

Saskatoon (SK) S7K OB8 Canada

Please specify: CAN$: acc. #40-91531

In the U.K.:

Association of St. Dominic

R B S Edinburgh, 17 Comiston Road, Edinburgh EH10 6AA

Please specify: acc. # 00105564

For more information :

Couvent de la Haye-aux-Bonshommes

49240 Avrillé, France

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Friends and Benefactors Letter number 22, May 2016 – Consoling Our Lord

Letter from the Dominicans of Avrillé

No. 22: May 2016

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Chrismal Mass on Holy Thursday

Consoling Our Lord

“And I looked for one that would grieve with me, but there was none: and for one that would console me, and I found none”. In the present time of the Church’s Passion, Our Lord renews this complaint from Psalm 68 (verse 21).  However, how can Our Lord, Who is gloriously reigning in Heaven, be sad and ask for consolers?

Saint Thomas Aquinas provides the answer when he explains the following expression of Saint Paul: “Sadden not the Holy Ghost” (Eph. 4: 30):

“How can this be said, since the Holy Ghost, being God Himself, cannot possess any passion (that is, emotion) or suffer sadness?  Answer: The Holy Ghost is “saddened” when the person in whom He dwells is afflicted, according to the words of Our Lord: “He who despises you, despises Me” (Luke 10:16).  Also, one can say that it is a metaphorical expression, as when one speaks of God’s “anger” in order to designate His avenging justice, which [for God] is not a passion (as it is in us), but a virtue.  Thus, it is said that God is saddened, when He withdraws from the sinner, as a saddened man takes leave of the person who has afflicted him.  As a result, the expression “sadden not the Holy Ghost” signifies: do not drive Him out of your soul by sin.”

Accordingly, we can say that Our Lord Jesus Christ is saddened insofar as the members of His Mystical Body are afflicted, as is presently the case of so many Catholics being persecuted under Islamic, Communist, and Hindu regimes.

Secondly, Our Divine Lord is saddened in the sense that the sins of men cause Him to turn away.  In the prayer of the Act of Contrition, do we not say that sin offends God, or displeases Him?  It is a way of saying that God acts toward the sinner in the same manner as someone who, upon receiving an offense, suffers grief and separates from the person who has given the offense.

Furthermore, Father Garrigou-Lagrange explains:

“If this is true of God considered in His Divine and purely spiritual nature, it is even truer when speaking of Christ’s holy soul […]:  His soul in fact is capable of feeling, and therefore Jesus is truly sensitive to the love which is due to Him, but which many refuse to give.”  [Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, OP, in the preface to Élévations sur la prière au Cœur Eucharistique de Jésus – Elevations on the Prayer to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus.]

Thus, because Our Lord Jesus Christ is “the Word made flesh” (something which cannot be said of the Father or the Holy Ghost), there is a third reason for His sadness:  while He was on earth, particularly during His agony in the Garden of Olives, Our Lord experienced a veritable sorrow:  “My soul is sorrowful even unto death (Mt 26:38)”.  Now, Our Lord was grieved by the sins of all men, including those being committed today.  Our Lord had a perfect knowledge of all these sins thanks to the “beatific vision” which He possessed from the moment of His conception.

When Our Lord asks us to console Him, He is asking us to comfort Him with respect to this triple sadness:  that of His Mystical Body, by consoling persecuted Christians;  the metaphorical sorrow of His Divinity offended by our sins, by doing penance;  and that of His Sacred Humanity, by sharing in the pains of His agony, especially through the practice of Holy Hours, but also through the meditation of the Rosary, attending Mass, and receiving Holy Communion in reparation:  “Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men.  Make reparation for their crimes, and console your God”  (the angel to the three children of Fatima in 1916).

“We do not console someone effectively unless we participate in his sufferings;  thereby taking a portion of them upon ourselves.  It is certainly an admirable and touching condescendence of Almighty God – the God of all consolation, entirely sufficient to Himself – to want to be in need of us, the same as He chose to be in need of the consoling angel at Gethsemane.  This implies that we must have our share in the sufferings of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, participating, in a certain measure, in the sorrowful life that He led on earth, before we partake of His glorious life in heaven.” [Garrigou-Lagrange, work cited above, page 14.]

This was well understood by little Francisco of Fatima.  Sister Lucy wrote of him as “having no other thought than to console Our Lord and Our Lady, after seeing how sad they were in the visions.”   Sister Lucy writes further:

“One day, I asked him, ‘Francisco, what would you rather do: console Our Lord, or convert sinners so that there will be no more souls going to hell?’  He answered, ‘I prefer to console Our Lord.  Didn’t you see how Our Lady looked so sad last month when she told us that no one should offend Our Lord anymore, because He has already been offended too much?  I would like to console Our Lord and then afterwards convert sinners so that they will no longer offend Him’” (see the Sel de la Terre, #53, pp.232-233).

Today, more than ever, Our Lord is saddened:  by the persecution of Catholics everywhere in the world ─ including the more hidden, subtle persecution taking place in our formerly Christian nations, carried out by secularist propaganda, whose program is to instill atheism in the souls of men;  and by the worldwide revolt “against God and against His Anointed One” (Psalm 2:2) ─ including in His Church, where the modernists “prefer the fables of men” (2 Tim. 4:4) rather than Tradition.

Let us console Our Lord by our efforts to live a truly Catholic life, for example, by not wasting our time with audio-visual entertainments, or with other useless amusements, by fleeing excessive modern-day comforts that only make us soft and lazy, by reading a good catechism or other edifying books, etc.

Community Chronicle

December 31st: The community goes on pilgrimage to one of Anjou’s most hallowed sanctuaries: “Our Lady of Béhuard” situated on an island in the middle of the Loire River.  After Compline, a (growing) number of faithful join us in singing a Te Deum of thanksgiving (with a plenary indulgence).

January 16th:  Mr. François-Xavier Peron gives a conference for the faithful on Pope Francis’ revolutionary “Synod on the Family”.

January 16th – 17th:  Fathers Angelico and Marie-Laurent are in Alsace for a tertiary meeting, followed the next day by Sunday Mass and conferences for the faithful of the Combat for the Faith.  Regular tertiary meetings throughout the year give us the chance to provide Sunday Mass for a growing number of faithful in many different regions:  Paris, Brittany, Alsace, Lyons, Clermont-Ferrand… (Not all these meetings can be mentioned in this short chronicle.)

February 3rd – 4th:  Father Prior and Father Marie-Dominique preach the preparatory retreat to the seminarians of Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort Seminary before their cassock-taking.

February 5thPontifical High Mass and imposition of the cassock by H.E Bishop Faure for six seminarians.

February 21stFathers Marie-Dominique and Reginald lead the boys of the Marian Congregation of our school on a pilgrimage to Pontchâteau, in Brittany, to pray at the famous Calvary of St. Louis-Marie Grignon de Montfort.

February 27thFathers Angelico and Hyacinth-Marie are with the “Our Lady of Fatima Youth Club” for one of the regular outings in the countryside of Anjou.

March 7thFeast of St. Thomas Aquinas, light of the Church and glory of the Dominican Order!   The festivities include a Solemn High Mass and a conference on the method of St. Thomas.  We also have the joy of receiving the visits of Fr. McDonald, Fr. Bruno (U.S.M.L.), and Sr. Marie-Liesse (former SSSPX).

March 24th:  Holy Thursday.  For the first time at the Friary, we are graced with a Chrismal Mass, officiated by H.E. Bishop Faure.  At this Mass, the Bishop consecrates the Holy Oils necessary for the sacraments of Confirmation, Extreme Unction and Holy Orders (and solemn Baptisms) during the coming year.  What an eloquent demonstration of the importance and necessity of the recent episcopal consecrations!  Without Bishops, it is impossible for priests to continue their apostolate, and have their candidates ordained to the priesthood.

March 26th – 27th:  Easter Vigil.  The wind and rain seem to be stirred up by the devil (no doubt angered by the two adults to be purified in the waters of Baptism that night) in order to prevent the blessing of the new fire and the procession with the Easter candle.  Their efforts are to no avail, and the Vigil Mass is celebrated in presence of an unusually large and fervent crowd of faithful.

April 4th – 11th: Fr. Louis-Marie is in Rome for a pilgrimage with the senior class of Saint Thomas Aquinas Boys’ School.  It was an occasion for them to see up close the glories of Eternal Rome, as well as the miseries of Conciliar Rome…

April 12th:  Classes start back up for the schools, the clerical brothers and the seminarians.

April 17thFr. Marie-Laurent, accompanied by two seminarians, mans a booth at the annual assembly of the “French Renewal” patriotic movement, in Paris.  More and more people are worried about the world political situation; our presence at such gatherings allows us to help souls analyze current events under the light of the Faith.

May 5th:  Feast of the Ascension and annual gathering of the alumni of St. Thomas Aquinas Boys’ school.  What a consolation to witness the perseverance of former students, and hear them say “thank you” for the doctrine and apologetics courses they received!

May 13th-15th:  Fr. Angelico and Br. Louis-Bertrand are at Le Puy-en-Velay (France’s oldest Marian Shrine) for the Pentecost pilgrimage of the Combat for the Faith.  In his sermon during the Pontifical High Mass on Sunday, His Excellency Ferreira da Costa (Dom Thomas of Aquinas O.S.B.), recounted how the official recognition of the conciliar church led inevitably to the abandonment of the combat for the Faith in the Barroux monastery (France) and Campos (Brazil).  His conclusion: it is now up to us to continue the fight!

News from our work sites

The installation of the new library is progressing.  One by one, the donated movable bookshelves are being adapted by a local ironsmith to fit the rails on the floor.

A large part of the stone wall protecting the property having collapsed, “Eddy”, our maintenance man (a professionally trained mason), is doing a beautiful job in restoring it with the help of a few of the high school boys, happy to learn the trade.

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Stone wall under repair. In the foreground we see the beginning of the foundations of a future wood shop for the boys’ school.

 

A few overdue projects to accomplish:

-The paving of the parking lot and two entrance roads, which have been seriously deteriorated over the years by the steady increase of traffic (daily drop-offs and pick-ups for the school children, three Sunday Masses, as well as other various parish activities).

- New buildings for the Friary workshop.  For the moment, the lay brothers work in temporary barracks built by the US army in 1945, and we’re not sure how long they will remain standing. (A wood shop for the boys’ school is also planned).

-The refurbishing of the Chapter room; in particular, the installation of a worthy altar for the daily Masses which are celebrated there.

 

For timely articles and spiritual reading please go to our website:  

www.dominicansavrille.us

 

To send a donation:

YOU MAY USE PAYPAL (ON OUR WEBSITE), OR SEND TO:

In the U.S.:

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P.O. Box 23

Newman Lake, WA. 99025-9998

In Canada:

The Association of St. Dominic

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

201-21 Street East

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

S7K OB8 Canada

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In the U.K.:

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The Royal Bank of Scotland plc, Edinburgh Comiston Branch, 17 Comiston Road

Edinburgh EH10 6AA

Please specify: Acc # 00105564

 

For more information :

Couvent de la Haye-aux-Bonshommes

49240 Avrillé, France

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Friends and Benefactors Letter number 21, January 2016 – The Importance of Principles, Part II

Letter from the Dominicans of Avrillé

No. 21, January 2016

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Group photo with H. E. Bishop Faure and our three newly tonsured Brothers (see chronicle).

 

 

The Importance of Principles (Part II)

Maintaining Principles in the Modern World

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

Escaping the seduction of false principles is especially difficult nowadays because these false principles are being taught to the youth beginning at elementary school (thanks to the pseudo-educational system), continually hammered out by the media, and largely accepted by the Conciliar Church:

“The battle is mainly a battle of doctrines. Your resistance, dear brothers, consists therefore in being firm in your minds against the seduction of false and misleading principles. […]  When I ask the wise [men] of this era to identify the worst hardship of modern society, they reply unanimously that mankind is becoming weak and soft.  This reply has even become cliché.  However, we must go further, and ask the ultimate question. […]  Where does this weakness come from?  Isn’t it the natural and inevitable consequence of doctrinal weakness, weakness in belief, and, to be more exact, weakness in the Faith?  After all, courage has no reason to exist if it isn’t at the service of a conviction.  The will is a blind faculty when it is not enlightened by the intellect.  One cannot walk with assurance in the darkness of night, nor even in merely dim daylight. […]  Dear brethren, today, more than ever, the primary strength of the wicked is the weakness of the good.  The core of Satan’s reign among us is the toning down of Christianity in Christians”  (Cardinal Pie. Panégyrique de Saint Émilien, November 8, 1859.  Note that Saint Pius X cited the last sentence of the above passage, in his sermon on December 13, 1908, when he beatified Saint Joan of Arc).

The Importance of Education, Especially in the Family

It is especially in the home that moral principles are acquired.  These principles are indelible when they are learned right from childhood – which is the reason why the Revolution constantly wages war against the family, in order to remove any obstacle to the spreading of its errors:

“Nowadays [in 1910!] we have become helpless witnesses to such acts which – if we were living in the ancient times of paganism – even the barbarians and savages would have violently opposed.  Everywhere in France, schools in which the young are taught to know, love, and adore God, are being closed by a government declaring openly that its goal is to establish a nation of atheists.  We are helpless to remedy the situation because we no longer have firm principles solidly established in our souls.  Instead, we have but vague and unstable ideas, incapable of giving us the strength and energy we need.  Why are our ideas unstable?  It is because the higher, fundamental principles have not at all been inculcated in the souls of children by parents, who, having been formed by these principles, have not transmitted them.  In a word, our families no longer have the sense of tradition.”   (Msgr. Henri Delassus. L’Esprit familial dans la maison, dans la Cité et dans l’État. Lille, France. Éditions Deslcée de Brouwer, 1910. pp. 147-148).

The Force of Principles

There is a force attached to the confession of the truth.  If we know good principles well, and if we count on the grace of Our Lord to make these principles known, there will always be men of good will to listen and understand:

“Today more than ever – and let it be understood rightly – society needs strong and consistent doctrines.  Even though ideas are falling apart everywhere, asserting the truth can still be done in society, provided that this assertion of truth be firm, substantial, and without compromise.  The exchanges between men are becoming more and more sterile; each one seems to hold on to a part of truth, without grasping the whole.  As in the early days of Christianity, it is necessary now that Christians attract the attention of all, by the unity of their principles and judgments.  They have nothing to borrow from this chaos of negations and endless experimentation that testify so eloquently to the powerlessness of modern society.  This society is only living off the rare remnants of the former Catholic civilization that the Revolution has not yet taken away and which God’s Mercy has preserved from destruction.  It is up to you, convinced Catholics, to show yourself as you are.  The world may fear you at first, but be convinced that it will come back to you.  However, if you try to flatter these men by using their language, you will amuse them only for a time.  In the next moment they will forget you because you have not made a serious impression on their minds.  They will see in you the image of themselves; and since they have no trust in themselves, they won’t have much more confidence in you.  There is a grace attached to the full and entire confession of the Faith.  This grace, according to Saint Paul, is the salvation of those who accomplish this confession; and experience shows that such a confession is also the salvation of those who witness it.  Be Catholic and nothing other than Catholic.”   (Dom Prosper Guéranger, O. S. B. Le Sens Chrétien de l’Histoire. The Christian Sense of History. Cited in Le Sel de la Terre: issue 22 – Fall 1997, p.196).

Community Chronicle

September 5th – 6th:  Fathers Innocent-Marie, Louis-Marie, Reginald and Terence, accompanied by a group of the high school boys, attend the yearly book fair at Chiré-en-Montreuil (the Publishing house which handles our Éditions du Sel).

September 7thStart of the school year for Saint Philomena Elementary School, and Saint Thomas Aquinas High School.  Among the extracurricular activities for the high school boys:  weekly study groups to give them a formation for the doctrinal, political and economic combats of tomorrow.  The number of volunteers having grown from last year, there are now three different groups, under the direction of Fathers Innocent-Marie, Reginald and Terence.

September 14th:  Start of the school year for our three clerical brothers.  On the same day, according to the Constitutions of our Order, the Regent of Studies (Fr. Emmanuel-Marie) and the Master of Novices (Fr. Marie-Dominique), renew their Tridentine Profession of Faith, the anti-modernist oath, and the oath to always hold firmly to the doctrine of Saint Thomas Aquinas.

September 26th:  “Our Lady of Fatima Youth Club” has its first meeting of the year, with Fathers Angelico and Hyacinthe-Marie.

October 3rd: Father Prior and Father Angelico represent the community at the official blessing by Bishop Faure of Saint Louis-Marie Grignon de Montfort Seminary in nearby Avrillé.

October 16thEntry of our three new postulants:  Filip (Poland), Tiago (Brazil), and Maximilien (France).

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October 24th to 11th November:  Fathers Marie-Dominique and Angelico fly to the U.S. to preach two retreats with Father Zendejas on the 15 Mysteries of the Rosary.  In all, about 35 men and woman from all over the U.S. followed the retreats, and will now hopefully know how to get more out of their daily Rosary.  These retreats were also the occasion for five postulants to be received as novices in the Third Order.  For the Feast of Christ the King, the Fathers replaced Fr. Zendejas at his chapels in Connecticut and Pennsylvania.  Before returning to France, the Fathers made a small detour to Minnesota for Sunday Masses, and a few conferences.  A large number of faithful came out, despite the distance.  In each of the places visited, the zeal and fervor of the faithful was remarkable.

November 21st: Meeting for the preparation of next summer’s “John Vaquié Days” (yearly doctrinal session on the tactics of the enemies of the Church).  Three graduates from Saint Thomas Aquinas Boys’ school begin to take an active role in organizing this event, which gives us hope for the future!

December 1st:  As on every first and third Tuesday of the month, Fr. Angelico meets with a group of faithful in the Friary Library for the adult catechism class.  This year’s theme: Old Testament History.

December 8th:   Second annual Mass and candle-light Procession in the city of Angers, in honor of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady.

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On the same day, Pope Francis inaugurated the “Year of Mercy” with a light show at the Vatican.  The show, jointly sponsored by the World Bank, had a “New Age” environmental theme, in conjunction with the Pope’s recent Encyclical on ecology.  We cannot participate in this “Jubilee”, whose sole purpose is to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Vatican II and the new humanistic religion it has ushered in.  For a more detailed refutation of those who advocate participating in the “Year of Mercy”, please go to <http://www.dominicansavrille.us/should-we-participate-in-the-jubilee-of-mercy/>

December 22nd:  Feast of the Patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary over the Order of Preachers.  Bishop Faure confers the ecclesiastical tonsure to our three clerical Brothers.

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Brothers Alain, Louis-Bertrand and Agostinho offer their candles to the Bishop as part of the ceremony.

December 25th: After the solemn ceremonies of the Dominican Christmas Liturgy*, the afternoon is reserved for the traditional Christmas recreation.  As each year, Christmas carols were sung in French, English, Portuguese, Polish and Flemish (the five most common mother tongues among the members of our very international community), but this year there was something new:  it’s the first year we were privileged with the presence of a Bishop (H.E. Faure)!

*The Dominican liturgy has conserved a few practices that have been abandoned in the Roman rite, for example, the beautiful sequence Laetabundus that is sung just before the Gospel.

PLEASE NOTE:

THE UNITED STATES IRS HAS NOW APPROVED OUR TAX EXEMPT STATUS

To send a donation:

– In the U.S.:

Dominicans of Avrillé, Inc.

P.O. Box 23

Newman Lake, WA. 99025-9998

 

– In Canada:

The Association of St. Dominic

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

201-21 Street East

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

S7K OB8 Canada

Please specify:

CAN$: acc.#40-91531

 

– In the U.K.:

The Association of St. Dominic

The Royal Bank of Scotland plc, Edinburgh Comiston Branch

17 Comiston Road

Edinburgh EH10 6AA

Please specify:

Acc # 00105564

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For more information write to:

Couvent de la Haye-aux-Bonshommes

49240 Avrillé, France

Friends and Benefactors Letter #20, September 2015

Letter from the Dominicans of Avrillé

No. 20: September 2015

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Corpus Christi

The Importance of Principles

Dear friends, family, and benefactors,

Bishop Charles-Émile Freppel (1827-1891), of the diocese of Angers 1870-1891, highlights the importance of principles in the following passage:

The worst kind of disaster than can afflict an era, or a country, begins when men abandon the truth, or minimize it.  It is possible to recover from any other loss, but one never recuperates from the sacrificing of principles. Men may wander from the straight path from time to time, and public morals may receive some damage from the vice and bad example of such men; but as long as the doctrines of truth are left intact, and in their integrity, nothing is lost.  For, if these doctrines are not abandoned, men and institutions will recover sooner or later; and goodness will return.  However, if society chooses to abandon these principles of truth, all hope of recovery is useless, because it is impossible to construct anything solid and durable without true principles.  Hence the greatest service that one can render to his fellow men – even when weakness and darkness rule the age, and even when no one cares to listen – is to affirm the truth without fear, like a ray of light opening a path through the minds of men.  If the voice of truth does not manage to dominate the noise of the moment, at least it will be received sometime in the future as a messenger of salvation [Bishop Charles-Émile Freppel. Panégyrique de Saint Hilaire à Poitiers. January 19, 1873. Œuvres de Mgr Charles-Émile Freppel. Paris, Roger et Chernoviz, 1881. p. 234].

Are Principles Unchangeable?

That certain principles are practical – as opposed to speculative principles, which are at the origin of the speculative sciences – does not imply that these principles are only relative.  Principles, even those which are practical, remain unchangeable.  Thus, the truths of the Decalogue are not relative; and the Syllabus (1864) of Pope Pius IX cannot be reformed.  What is changeable, however, is the application of the principles to different circumstances.

For example, the 5th Commandment requires that we “do not kill” (the innocent).  This principle applies in the case of abortion, forbidding the killing of the unborn child.  However, the principle does not apply in the case of the death penalty.  The convict can be judged and executed legitimately because he is not innocent.

Maintaining the Purity of Principles

When circumstances prevent the full application of Catholic principles, these principles cannot be replaced by false ones.  It is characteristic of liberal Catholicism to mix truth and error together.  Such is what took place at Vatican II, which affirms, in Dignitatis Humanae, that “all men are obliged to seek the truth, especially regarding God and His Church” (§1), and yet claims, in the next paragraph, that man has a right to religious liberty, which is a false principle.

The following is a citation of Pius IX’s speech in Rome to pilgrims from Nevers, France in June 1871:

Mixing principles together is the affliction of your country which prevents it from meriting God’s blessings.  I will now express my thoughts and will not hold my peace.  I do not fear these miserable men of the Commune of Paris…  Rather, what I fear is this wretched political code – Catholic liberalism – which is the true scourge of France.  This teeter-tottering between truth and error is destroying the Catholic religion.  Although one must be charitable, doing all that is possible to bring our erring brethren back to the fold, it is not necessary to adopt their opinions.

…to be continued in the next newsletter

Community Chronicle:

April-May-June: Fathers Marie Dominique, Angelico, Marie Laurent and Hyacinthe Marie are busy with regular tertiary meetings in Paris, Brittany, Avrillé, Alsatia, Lyons…

May 23rd: Confirmations for 42 faithful by newly consecrated Bishop Faure. Despite the inconvenience for a large number obliged to watch the ceremony on a projector screen in the vestibule (because of the crowd), all were happy to get together and meet with their fellow “combatants for the Faith” in a joyous and relaxed atmosphere after a beautiful ceremony.

May 24th:  Father Angelico accompanies Bishop Faure for the Pentecost pilgrimage in Rocamadour.

June 3rd: Funeral services for one of our most edifying faithful, Mr. Jean Kerhoas.  Always willing to help out, he was no less diligent in his desire for religious instruction, even taking notes during the Sunday sermon. R.I.P.

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Confirmations by Bishop Faure

June 25th-30th: Fathers Marie Dominique and Angelico make a brief trip to the U.S.  After two days visiting with Fr. Ringrose and the faithful at St. Athanasius Church (Vienna VA), they participated in a Confirmation ceremony with Bishop Williamson, organized by Fr. Zendejas in the Connecticut area.

June 27th:  End of the year ceremonies for St. Philomena Elementary School, and St. Thomas Aquinas Boys’ School.  With the Solemn High Mass, buffet lunch with the families, a student play recounting the life of Garcia Moreno, and the graduation award ceremony – complete with musical interludes by the students – it was a very full day for Fathers François Marie, Innocent Marie, Louis Marie, Reginald and Terence, who had the consolation of seeing all their hard work throughout the year come to a wonderful conclusion.

July 11th- 13th:  “True and False Counter-Revolutions” was the theme of our yearly doctrinal seminar dedicated to studying the enemies of the Church and their tactics.  The Friary was honored with the presence of ecclesiastics from many different communities (and continents!), as well as a good crowd of heads of family with a serious desire to study the problems affecting Church and society.

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Boys’ summer camp in Brittany

July 14th-29th:  Fathers Reginald and Terence find themselves once again with the high school students for the summer camp in the countryside near Tours.  The summer camps for the middle school boys (in Brittany) and the Our Lady of Fatima Patronage (in Anjou) were also in July.

July 13th –August 1st:  Three retreats were preached at the Friary for men, women, and couples. Fathers de Mérode and Salenave, as well as Fr. Bruno O.S.B. were also there to help out for confessions and retreat instructions.

August 4th-13thAs every year, all the Fathers and Brothers are back at the Friary for our annual spiritual retreat, placed between the feast of Our Holy Father St. Dominic and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Fr. Pinaud of the Priestly Union Marcel Lefebvre nourished us for ten days with the profound doctrine of Cardinal Pie (1815-1880), the Bishop of Poitiers whose writings had a great influence on St. Pius X.

August 14th-18th: “The Dominican Friendship Days” brought once again to the Friary a large group of tertiairies from all over France (and beyond), for several days of Catholic camaraderie and instruction.

September: The Friary gets back into its normal rhythm of studies, as the school year starts up again for our three clerical brothers (14th September), as well as the Boys’ School and Primary School (7th September).  On October 5th, it will be the turn of our three postulants, who will be joined by several seminarians from Bishop Faure’s seminary located nearby in Avrillé.

News from our work sites:

Mr. Maertens, father of Br. Jan Maria, built us 2 magnificent chests of drawers for the storage of priestly vestments.  Until now, these vestments had to be folded when put away, which was damaging the fragile fabric.

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Delivery of the new tractor

For a bit over a year now, the Friary has a tractor, generously donated by a retired farmer, and refurbished by a mechanic friend.  With another donation of equipment for cutting hay and splitting logs, this has allowed us to save much on property maintenance expenses, and fill up our reserve of wood for heating in winter.

The classification and moving of books into the new library is continuing at a regular pace.  We succeeded in acquiring a few metal carts and rails necessary for the installation of moving book shelves (which allow for a more economic use of space).  A blacksmith, friend of the Friary, adapted them to the required dimensions, which enabled us to install a dozen shelves.  We now only need about 20 more to finish the installation.

A picture says a thousand words

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During a papal visit to Bolivia in early July, the President Evo Morales offered a blasphemous “hammer and sickle” crucifix to Pope Francis, who accepted it joyfully (contrary to certain rumors).  Morales is a socialist internationally known for his campaign to legalize the trade of coca [used in the production of cocaine].  One of his slogans is “long live coca – death to the Yankees!”  While in Bolivia, Pope Francis publically praised Morales for his “reforms”.   We need to pray now more than ever!   Not only do these recent Popes refuse to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, but they actively participate in the spreading of “Russia’s errors” against which Our Lady of Fatima warned us so emphatically.

“November Dead Lists”

Several of you have asked if we accept “November dead lists”.   This pious custom consists in giving a list of deceased loved ones to a priest, who will then keep the list on the altar each time he celebrates Mass throughout the month of November.   If you send us such a list (on paper in a neat, small format), we will be happy to perform this duty to the Poor Souls.   Prayer for the souls in Purgatory is a devotion that has always been in honor in the Dominican Order.   (Please send them directly to Avrillé, France.   However, any donations should still be sent to the Newman Lake address.)

For timely articles and spiritual reading, please go to our website:

www.dominicansavrille.us

To send a donation:

– In the U.S.:

Dominicans of Avrillé, Inc.

P.O. Box 23

Newman Lake, WA. 99025-9998

In Canada:

The Association of St. Dominic

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

201-21 Street East Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

S7K OB8 Canada

Please specify: CAN$: acc. #40-91531

— In the U.K.:

The Association of St. Dominic

The Royal Bank of Scotland plc, Edinburgh Comiston Branch, 17 Comiston Road

Edinburgh EH10 6AA

Please specify: Acc # 00105564

For more information:

Couvent de la Haye-aux-Bonshommes

49240 Avrillé, France

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Friends & Benefactors Letter #20, April 2015

Letter from the Dominicans of Avrille

No. 19, May 2015

Dominican Life:   A Mixed Life

The Consecration at a Solemn Dominican High Mass.

The Consecration at a Solemn Dominican High Mass.

Dear Friends, Family and Benefactors,

“Seeing how great is the evil nowadays and how no human strength will suffice to smother the fire kindled by heretics – even though attempts have been made to organize opposition against them – as if such a great and rapidly spreading evil could be resolved by the mere force of material weapons, it seems to me, nevertheless, that we should now conduct ourselves as in time of war : The sovereign of the country retires into a fortified city, out of which, from time to time, he attacks and wins the battle thanks to the courage of the city’s elite warriors. Since this little castle of ours, our castillo, is the home of good Christians, no one must be won to the enemy’s cause. Therefore, the captains of the castle, namely, the preachers and theologians, must be eminent. Hence, it is indispensable, as I have already said, that the ecclesiastical arm, and not the secular one, come to our help.”

The above citation from Saint Teresa of Avila’s work, The Way of Perfection, well describes Saint Dominic’s motives in founding the Order of Friar Preachers.

Religious life is distinguished as belonging to two categories. The first category consists of contemplative religious who continue the role of Saint Mary Madeleine “seated at the feet of Jesus to listen to His words,” loving Him exclusively.

The second category consists of active religious who continue the role of Saint Martha, drawing out of their love of God the zeal to serve their fellow men, in whom they serve Jesus Himself.

However, Dominican life does not belong to either category.

Our friary some years ago before the fourth wing and a bell tower were built.

Our friary some years ago before the fourth wing and a bell tower were built.

In fact, Saint Dominic aspired to the apostolic life – the form of life of the Apostles themselves – in which the priests and religious would be “entirely consecrated to prayer and to the preaching of the Gospel” (Acts 6:4). Saint Thomas Aquinas, the most eminent son of Saint Dominic, summarized the apostolic life and spirit of the Order by the famous expression, “Contemplari, et contemplata aliis tradere – to contemplate and to give to others the fruits of one’s contemplation” (II-II, q.188, a.6).

Consequently, the friar preacher is neither a pure contemplative, nor a pure active – supposing that these two categories could exist in a pure state. Rather, Dominican life is a mixed life, which is not merely adding exterior action to contemplation. On one hand, after spending several hours at chapel, the hospital Sister, animated by the love of God, spends the rest of her day caring for the sick, yet her religious life remains active. On the other hand, for apostolic Orders, such as the Dominicans, the exterior action of preaching is the direct continuation of contemplation. Thus, the hospital Sister cares for the sick using medicine and bandages – and not what she had contemplated in prayer – whereas the friar preacher imparts to souls the truths and lights received from contemplation. In fact, the Dominican has the obligation to “shout from the housetops what he has heard in his ears” (Mt. 10:27).

Hence, the contemplation and exterior action of a Dominican are well united: firstly, due to the motive, which is divine charity; and secondly, due to the content: “the words which Thou gavest me, I have given to them” (John 17:8). Consequently, the Dominican preacher must be able to repeat the following words of Saint John: “We announce to you that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and which our hands have handled, of the Word of life” (1 John 1:1).

The litany of the Blessed Virgin at the end of Compline on Saturdays.

The litany of the Blessed Virgin at the end of Compline on Saturdays.

Even theologians outside the Dominican Order consider apostolic life – or the “mixed” life – as the most perfect form of religious life, because priority is given to contemplation, and because exterior action is considered only as the continuation and fruit of contemplation. Here is a passage written by the Carmelite Fathers of Salamanca, Spain, cited in the work Une Journée à Saint-Maximin (A Day Spent at the Dominican Monastery of Saint-Maximin) by Bernadot O. P., Father Marie Vincent; Saint-Maximin, France, 1924, pp 11-12:

The mixed religious Order is more perfect than the other Orders, because it is similar to the life of Christ, the Apostles, and bishops. The mixed religious Order is not ordered firstly to preaching and teaching, but, rather, gives priority to contemplation, by principle, and, only afterwards, performs exterior works for the good of others as the overflow of contemplation. Without this principle, much perfection would be lacking in the preaching and teaching of doctrine… Therefore, it is wrong to teach that religious Orders dedicated firstly to preaching and teaching are apostolic. Their exterior activities do not come from the overflow of contemplation, but are, rather, works of the active life.

Thus, in order that our contemplation, preaching, and teaching of sacred doctrine may bear abundant fruit, the Constitutions of the Order provide four fundamental means to achieving the work:

  1. The religious state with the three vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience,
  2. The solemn recitation of the Divine Office,
  3. The life of regularity with its traditional monastic observances (silence, fasting, abstinence, chapter of faults, etc.), and
  4. The assiduous study of Sacred Truth.

These four means, according to the Constitutions, “have been given to us by our Holy Patriarch Saint Dominic to arrive at our goal, and, therefore, these four means cannot be suppressed nor modified substantially.”

From this general study of the basic principles of Dominican life, an important lesson for the spiritual life can be drawn out for the good of all.

We all have the tendency, unfortunately, to put action above, and before prayer, thus not only time-wise, but also in our esteem. Even if perhaps we do not have much time for prayer, we should nevertheless consider prayer as the most important work of the day. “Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and His justice, and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33)

Hence, let us make a real effort – at least in our esteem – to give priority to prayer, like Saint Mary Magdalene. If, however, despite all our efforts, we are crushed with work, like Saint Martha, instead of being annoyed, let us humble ourselves at the feet of Jesus, at least for a little while, in order to listen to what He has to say.

Community Chronicle

January 9: One of our Fathers assists at part of the Chapter of the Knights of Our Lady at the school of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary in Vendée.

February 5-7: Exams for our scholastic Brothers.

February 12: Father Marie Dominique is at St. Nicolas du Chardonnet Church in Paris for the funeral of Miss Claudine Germinet (Sister Marie Madeleine of Jesus, in the Dominican Third Order). Next June she would have celebrated her twentieth anniversary of profession in the Third Order.

February 25: Our boys’ school has their first rugby game against one of the biggest clubs of the area.

Our boys’ school rugby team on the pitch.

Our boys’ school rugby team on the pitch.

 

March 1: Rev. Fr. Faure gives a conference to our community on the fight of Archbishop Lefebvre.

March 19: At the Monastery of Santa Cruz in Brazil, Father Emmanuel Marie represents the community at the Episcopal consecration of His Excellency Bishop Jean Michel Faure.

March 28: Father Marie Dominique and Father Hyacinth Mary speak to several nurses, students in medicine, etc. about the moral problems of the present evolution of medicine. There will be regular meetings to form these young Catholics of the new St. Raphael group.

April 4: At the Easter Vigil this year we have the joy of the Baptism of an adult.

April 15: A community hike to strengthen the fraternal charity among the Brothers and Fathers during Eastertide.

The work site

After several years passed without touching his chisel, our Brother sculptor made a Sacred Heart statue in order to get the feel again. Now he will be able to sculpt the Blessed Virgin destined for the entrance of our cemetery in the woods (to replace the one that fell and broke a few years a go).

The statue of Our Lady in the woods that fell and broke and that we must now replace.

The statue of Our Lady in the woods that fell and broke and that we must now replace.

 

As for our library, built from 2007-2009, it is not yet filled with all the books. The cataloging and classing of the books has advanced thanks to several friends that come to help regularly. However there are still many books to enter on our lists and many shelves to put up.

We confide these projects to your prayers and thank all those who can help us to finish up the library by purchasing the last equipment necessary.

New information:

-Please take notice of our new US address. The address in Huntington, Indiana is no longer to be used (and please make things out to “Dominicans of Avrille”).

-For more about our life and apostolate, as well as to have some doctrinal and spiritual reading, you can now go to www.dominicansavrille.us

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FOR MORE INFORMATION

write to:

-Couvent de la Haye-aux-Bonshommes

49240 Avrillé, France

You may send donations to the address above, or:

– In the U.S.:

Dominicans of Avrille, Inc.
P.O. Box 23

Newman Lake, WA. 99025-9998

In Canada:

The Association of St. Dominic

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

201-21 Street East

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

S7K OB8 Canada

Please specify: CAN$:acc.#40-91531

In the U.K.:

The Association of St. Dominic

The Royal Bank of Scotland plc, Edinburgh Comiston Branch

17 Comiston Road

Edinburgh EH10 6AA

Please specify: Acc # 00105564

Issue #18 (Jan 2015), Friends & Benefactors Letter

Issue #18 (Jan 2015), Friends & Benefactors Letter

 

Before the Cathedral of Angers at the end of the procession in honor of the Immaculate Conception (see chronicle).

Dear Friends, Family, and Benefactors,

Dear Friends, Family and Benefactors,

During a September 1988 conference to seminarians, Archbishop Lefebvre responded to the objection of those who were telling him, “You only speak of anti-liberalism and anti-modernism. You are too negative.” Here are the words of the Archbishop:

“Do not be intimidated by the labels we are given, « You are anti-liberal! All you ever do in the seminary is anti-modernism! » Do not be impressed by such reflections which could well be applied to all the encyclicals of all the Popes before the Council, as well as to the Faith of the Middle Ages, the entire life of the Middle Ages – the life of Christendom – in which Our Lord reigned in civil society.”

Moreover, the Archbishop explained that, in order to be the doctor of souls, one must know about the diseases of the soul. We know of what spiritual health consists: the principles of the Faith. However, we must also understand the current errors which are opposed to these principles, and especially the error of liberalism which is at the root of all modern errors. We must have the weapons to defend and protect the souls entrusted to our care. Such has always been the conduct of the Church. For example, in the first years of Catholicism, the Church has had to fight against the errors of the Judaizers and the Gnostics, and, later on, against the Cathars, the Protestants, the Jansenists, the “Enlightenment” philosophers, the secularists, and so on.

Procession through the streets of Angers in honor of the Immaculate Conception.

Archbishop Lefebvre continues to point out the importance of studying errors for the reason that

“We are only following the Popes, in fact all the Popes, who have studied and condemned liberalism. It is even amazing to take note of the numerous encyclicals and Papal teachings, from Popes Pius VI and VII right up to Pope Pius XII, which deal with the pursuit of error.”

For example, the Popes, from the 18th to the 20th century, have promulgated 15 documents that condemn Freemasonry, which is just one aspect of liberalism. The encyclical Humanum Genus (April 20, 1884) of Pope Leo XIII is the most well-known of these anti-Freemasonic documents. Doesn’t this example illustrate the importance the Church gives to pursuing and condemning errors?

To study such errors is to understand the causes that are currently destroying society, and which are also destroying souls and the Church… If we remain ignorant of error, we will be incapable of understanding the current situation in the world – and in the Church – which are so disastrous. If we choose to remain ignorant of error, we will be powerless to understand the diffusion of the evil that is spreading everywhere now, even in the Church itself. Thus, not only shall we be powerless to stop evil from growing: we ourselves will fall prey to evil. Hence, “it is an absolute necessity to study liberalism, and to know it well,” concludes the Archbishop.

The Archbishop speaks further:

“Many of those who have left us to join [Conciliar] Rome have a wrong understanding of liberalism and have never really understood how the authorities in Rome, ever since Vatican II, have become infested with error. If they had a right understanding of liberalism, they would have shunned and avoided these authorities, and then remain with us. But they did not want to believe in the danger of these errors, which is a grievous matter, because having relations with these authorities necessarily results in being contaminated by them. These authorities are imbued with the liberalism and necessarily act according to their way of thinking. Therefore, once they begin having relations with us, they shall impose their ideas on us because they are the authority, and we, their inferiors. We will become liberal because they have imposed liberalism on us. Thus, as long as they hold to these errors of liberalism and modernism, there is no way to get along with them.”

May our Infant King give us the grace during this New Year to study more profoundly both truth and error in order to fight ever more faithfully to spread His reign.

News of Occupied Rome

Our readers remember that June 8, in the Vatican gardens, the Pope and the Jewish and Palestinian Presidents “prayed for peace”. Two days later Mosul fell into the hands of the Sunnite Muslims, and since then the blood of Christians has been flooding the Middle East. There have been children beheaded, people crucified, and other horrors. Yet, the prayer for peace in the Holy Land “has absolutely not been a failure”, as Pope Francis calmly affirmed August 18 coming back from Korea on the plane:

“The door of prayer has been opened. (…) Afterwards happened what has happened. But that is conjectural. On the other hand, this meeting was not conjectural. It is a fundamental step of human attitude: prayer.”

At the Epistle during a Solemn High Mass of our boys’ school

For fifty years the Conciliar Church hierarchy remains obstinate in this false ecumenism that leads to death. It would be time to learn one’s lessons.

It is known that Tertullian said that the blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians. As for the Pope, after the September 7 assassination of three religious Sisters in Burundi, he hopes that “the blood shed become seed of hope in order to build a true fraternity among nations”.

The Worksite

The All Saints’ Day break for the school allowed us to finish up the new dormitory “Naïm”. The study hall on the second floor was able to be painted and the floor installed. Thanks to your generosity, the boys now have a true dormitory up and running.

The completed boys’ dormitory

However, the projects continue (for example, a new sewer system for the school), and we still have some last bills to pay. Be assured of our grateful prayers for all your help in whatever way it may be.

Community Chronicle

August 14-18: Three days of formation and Catholic friendship for our tertiairies here at our friary.

September 8: First vows for our three scholastic Brothers: Brother Alain (Quebec), Brother Louis Bertrand (Brazil), and Brother Agostinho (Brazil). “O Lord, grant us many holy Dominican vocations!”

September 20-21: Father Marie Dominique and Father Angelico preach for the pilgrimage to Our Lady of Laus in the French Alps.

First vows of three brothers in Avrillé

October 4: Second reunion of the Society of Jesus Crowned with Thorns (for the practice of perfect Christian ladylike modesty) under the direction of Father Prior and Father Hyacinth Marie.

October 11-12: Several meetings for our tertiaries throughout France.

October 18: Conference for the high school boys and the faithful by Father Pagès on the dangers of Islam. Although Father Pagès is not “traditionalist”, but he bravely says the truth about Islam.

October 24: Father Marie Dominique and Father Terence begin a mission to the US and to Canada under the protection of Saint Raphael. They have the joy to meet everywhere faithful thirsting for doctrine. Unable to visit them often, we are opening a website (www.dominicansavrille.us) in English so that we can give them articles and documents of our publications.

October 31: Most of the community goes on pilgrimage to Pellevoisin where Our Lady appeared about fifteen times to a Dominican tertiary named Estelle Faguette in 1875 and 1876.

November 15: Father Marie Dominique and Father Marie Laurent give a public conference in Paris. The theme is “How to see clearly through the current situation of Tradition” and the goal is to analyze peacefully and objectively official documents without judging persons.

December 8: A candlelight procession in honor of the Immaculate Conception follows a solemn High Mass. We give this public homage to our Blessed Mother through the streets of Angers and in front of the Cathedral.

December 22-January 6: Final preparations and solemn offices to honor, once again, Our Lord and Savior’s birth and the mysteries of His Nativity.

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