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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Strength and Gentleness of the Sacred Heart

Letter from the Dominicans of Avrillé

No. 23: Sept. 2016

Strength and Gentleness of the Sacred Heart


The Sacred Heart of Jesus is still alive in Heaven.  Continuously, and for all eternity, it is beating in His chest.  At every moment, it is full of love for each one of us.
During the trials, sufferings and difficulties of this life, we are tempted either to get discouraged, or to harden our hearts.  Let us turn, then, to the Sacred Heart to find “STRENGTH and GENTLENESS” (Wis. 8:1).



The Heart is a muscle, and as all muscles, it is made to provide an effort.  Our heart is gifted with extraordinary energy, because all throughout our life it beats millions of times, without ever stopping.  Yet one day it does stop, and that means our death.
The Heart of Jesus experienced this “stop” – without, however, ceasing to be united to the Divinity.  It started beating again on Easter Sunday, and this time it will never stop again.  It is now endowed with an invincible STRENGTH. 
“Christ rising again from the dead, dieth now no more, death shall no more have dominion over him.” (Rom. 6:9)
May this consideration help us to never get discouraged, and to make at every moment the effort Our Lord is expecting from us.
However, this Divine Heart hasn’t lost anything of its GENTLENESS, which, while on earth, drew all hearts to Him, especially the hearts of children and the lowly.  Let us not harden our hearts as a result of the tension caused by the combat we are forced to lead.
“Let us be gentle souls, whom the Little Divine Child ‘leads in the paths of peace’ (Is. 11);  Who endure malicious men in patience, and Who ‘overcome evil by good’ (Rom. 12).   Teach us, Lord, to be meek and humble of heart.”  [Dom Maréchaux, “Pages doctrinales sur le Sacré Coeur.]
By this GENTLENESS, joined with STRENGTH, we will be victorious.  We will triumph over our disordered passions, but we will also win souls for Jesus:
“Authentic gentleness, founded on a firm adhesion to truth, conquers hearts. This is what Our Lord meant when He said, ‘Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the land’.  The Apostles accomplished this prediction; by their gentleness, they became the ‘Princes of the Land’.”  [Dom Maréchaux, ibidem]

Community Chronicle

May 28th:  Confirmations by Bishop Faure for about twenty children and adults.
May 30th:  Meeting with Mr. Storez, architect, to work out our future building projects. (See below)
June 12th:  Thanks to the help of a devoted group of faithful, the Friary’s first summer lawn fete was a great success, and the perfect opportunity to strengthen ties between the families who attend Mass here.
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Summer lawn fete at the Friary.
June 14th:  Funeral services for Mrs. Denise Guède, Sr. Claire-Marie in the Third Order.  Faithful to Tradition from the earliest days, (since 1973), Mrs. Guède moved near the Friary after the death of her husband in order to take advantage of the daily liturgical life and to offer her services to the Fathers, especially her bookbinding skills. R.I.P.
June 18th:  The community has the double joy of seeing our Br. Alain receive the first two minor orders at the hands of Bishop Faure, and the vestition of our new Brother Rosary (Filip from Poland).
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Minor orders and vestition
June 19th: Public Stations of the Cross after Vespers, in reparation of the annual satanic “Hellfest”, held each summer in the nearby town of Clisson.
June 18th,19th, 25th and 26thFather Marie-Laurent is in Ireland replacing Fr. McDonald at his Mass centers in Dublin, Longford, Cashel and Cork.  It’s not easy to preach and give conferences in a foreign language, but Father is abundantly consoled in his efforts by the very warm and charitable reception of the faithful.
June 25thSolemn High Mass, conference, buffet, concert, award ceremony and a theatrical presentation are all on the program for the graduation ceremonies of St. Philomena Primary School and St. Thomas Aquinas Boys’ School.  The play recounting the martyrdom of St. Maurice (patron of the city of Angers), complete with authentic costumes and a real horse (!) were the highlight of the day.
June 29th:  Father Reginald flies to Brazil for two months at the Benedictine monastery of Santa Cruz.  This will allow Bishop Thomas Aquinas to spend the summer in Europe.
July 4th-9th:  Men’s retreat preached by Fathers François-Marie and Angelico.  At the same time, Father Hyacinthe-Marie accompanies the summer camp for Our Lady of Fatima youth group (Boys and girls from 7 to 12 yrs.), and the Servants of Mary (girls from 13 to 18 yrs.).
July 14th-16th:  Annual “Jean Vaquié Days”.  About a hundred men are present for three days of study, centered on the theme: “Five Centuries of Protestant Subversion”.  Bishops Williamson, Faure, and Thomas Aquinas are present, as well as Father Joaquim FBVM, Fathers Bruno, Salenave, Chazal and Ballini.
July 17th-August 2ndFathers François-Marie and Marie Laurent are in Brittany with the boys of “Saint Joan of Arc’s Pages” (10-13 yrs.), while Fathers Emmanuel-Marie and Terence lead the boys of the “Cadets of the Sacred Heart” (13-18 yrs.) on an itinerant camp in the region of the Puy-en-Velay (France’s oldest Marian shrine, located in the Southeast).
July 18th-23rd:  Retreat for couples, preached by Fathers Marie-Dominique and Hyacinthe-Marie.
July 25th-30th:  Women’s retreat, preached by Fathers Marie-Dominique, Louis-Marie, and Angelico.
August 4thFeast of our Holy Father Saint Dominique, and the start of our annual retreat, preached by His Excellency Thomas Aquinas.  Our table reading is Archbishop Lefebvre’s “Spiritual Journey”, and the retreat instructions are based on the course on spirituality given by the Archbishop at the Holy Ghost Fathers’ novitiate in Mortaing (Normandy).
August 15th: Solemn High Mass and procession for the Feast of the Assumption, with the renewal of the “Vow of Louis XIII”, consecrating France to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  A large crowd of faithful is present to implore the protection of Heaven for France, and especially for our Traditional Catholic works.
August 16th-20thDeo gratias! The “Latinitas” session is a great success, thanks to the competency (and patience) of Professor William Little of California.  More than two dozen participants (about half of whom are seminarians, fathers or brothers) are immersed during five days in the language used by the Church to form Western culture.  Grammatical exercises, stories, songs, games, news articles, meals, recreations and outings – all in Latin!
August 22nd:  Solemn High Mass for the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  This day is also the start of three different sessions taking place at the Friary: Gregorian Chant session (with Mr. Bévillard) for the schola;  Grammar “catch-up” session for incoming students at St. Thomas Boys’ School;  French session for the newly arrived foreign seminarians of Bishop Faure’s seminary.
August 28thUpon his return from Brazil, Father Reginald gives an account to the community of his apostolate visiting the various Mass centers of the Combat for the Faith, where he was very impressed by the fervor of the faithful.
September 3rd-4th:  Fathers Prior, Louis-Marie, Innocent-Marie, Angelico, and Terence, accompanied by a group of high school students from St. Thomas Boys’ School, attend the annual book fair at the headquarters of DPF Publishers in Chiré-en-Montreuil (near Poitiers).  This year, France’s most renowned anti-revolutionary publishing house celebrated its fiftieth anniversary.
September 5th:  Classes start up for the primary school, while the high school students are on retreat with Father Pivert at his priory of Villeneuve, before resuming their classes on the 12th.  In the following weeks, it will be the turn of the novices and seminarians.

News from our worksites

Apart from the continued installation of the library, and renovation of the stone wall surrounding the property, no large works have been undertaken.  However, after several preliminary meetings with the architects and municipal authorities, two important projects will soon begin: the aggrandizement of the guest house (cafeteria and conference rooms), and the restoration of the two “guard towers” of the Priory (for much-needed classrooms).
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Future classroom?

Prayer against Islam

This prayer used to be designated in missals as the “prayer against the Turks”.  Today (in traditional missals), it is the collect of the Mass “Against the Pagans”, or “In Defense of the Church”.  It was specially recommended by Pope Callixtus III in a bull dated June 29th, 1456, three years after the fall of Constantinople (to the Turks) and a few months before the battle of Belgrade, which liberated Hungary from Muslim attacks.
At a time when Islam is becoming more and more of a threat, there’s no point in waiting for a call to prayer from the Roman Authorities (Sister Lucy had already said this to Fr. Fuentès in 1959).  To the contrary, Pope Francis’ repeated criticisms of countries and politicians who are trying to protect themselves from the danger, and his highly mediatized support of illegal and aggressive “migrants”, makes it abundantly clear that it is up to us to do something.  Let us have recourse to the powerful prayers that saved our ancestors in similar situations (with the Rosary and the Angelus):
Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, in cujus manu sunt omnium potestates ac omnium jura regnorum: respice in auxilium christianorum, ut gentes paganorum, quae de sua feritate confidunt, dexterae tuae potentia conterantur. Per Dominum nostrum…
“Almighty and everlasting God, in Whose hands are the powers and rights of all governments, look favorably upon Thy Christian people and come to their aid, so that the pagan nations, whose only source of confidence is their savage brutality, may be crushed under the power of Thy right hand.  By Our Lord Jesus Christ…”