February 27, 2014

Fr. Z, Dr. Peters and me...

I posted a passionate response to a post by Fr. Z entitled QUAERITUR: Wearing protest clothing and denial of Holy Communion. My comment elicited  responses not only from Fr. Z, but Dr. Ed Peters, the Canon Lawyer, who's blog is here.

I suppose the author of a post sees what he writes in a different light than the reader. I did not think my response an attack on Fr. Z but more so an attack on the broad statement he made to which I responded. Oh well, something to keep in mind the next time I get passionate...but in no way apologizing for the post. At any rate, my respect for Fr. Z and his blog remains untarnished.

Feel free to state your views...all will be published within the guidelines of my stated policy. You certainly won't offend me...


I have posted my comments to Father's post and his comments-within-my-comments. The exchange elicited a flurry of followup responses and which I posted a few below also. I think it all lends well to the variety of passions within the layity on the matter of divorce and/or annulments.

 To see the entire thread, go here.

("Dave H" is obviously me)

DaveH says:
“First, remember that divorce is not objectively sinful, and it is certainly not sinful with the gravity that homosexual activity is sinful. Sad as they are, there are legitimate reasons for divorce. The Code of Canon Law recognizes this.”
“Legitimate Reasons”, Father? There are no legitimate reasons – short of unrepentant and routine physical, psychological or moral abuse on spouse and/or children – for divorce.[Those sound like reasons.] Divorce is evil – and is recognized by the Church as such in CCC #2384 & 2385 – and serves no useful purpose other than fulfilling the selfish desires of one or both spouses. [Not in every case.] As far as I know, the Church gives no legitimate reasons other than a sub-text to CCC #2383 saying “If civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance, it can be tolerated and does not constitute a moral offense.” What #2383 does state definitively is that “The separation of spouses while maintaining the marriage bond can be legitimate in certain cases provided for by canon law.” Though I probably should be intimately familiar with The Code of Canon Law as regards to marriage (I am in the 4th year of an unsolicited, unwanted and unnecessary divorce and annulment) I have read many of the Canons that concern marriage and do not recall any that legitimizes divorce (please correct me if I am wrong). There are many, however, that promote reconciliation and the good of the children – 1134,1136,1141,1151-1155 – and there are probably more that promote the healing of the existing marriages. It is this healing that is constantly and routinely ignored by Holy Mother Church and many of the Bishops, especially in the USA. When was the last time anyone read a report that touted the number of troubled marriages saved through diocesan intervention programs? It seems the focus has always been on the divorced and re-marrieds – “the service after the sale” of a civil divorce – as opposed to intervention programs to save troubled marriages and families – “the service before the sale” of civil divorce, which may then remain unnecessary. I know of the USCCB’s For Your Marriage website and the helps they list – but what of the Bishops and Tribunals? Do they even know of its existence? Do they even make a stab at trying to protect and save a SACRAMENTAL MARRIAGE, rather than trying to promote its destruction through a more or less easy annulment process? What is more important in God’s eyes – the good of the children or the good of the spouses?
My apologies Father, if I appear to ramble…I do not mean to do so. [That's what happens when people are a little out of their depth.] Divorce may not be objectively sinful within a very precise and defined window, [ERGO....!!!] but what is it then to the children of divorce when that window is laid wide open and they are sacrificed before the secular altar of a civil divorce court? “Irreconcilable differences” is just a catch-phrase for the selfishness of one or both spouses, who have given up their desire to sanctify each other’s Souls. What is divorce then? Is it still not objectively sinful even though it destroys the safety and security of a child’s home and future simply because Mom and Dad aren’t adult enough to reconcile their “irreconcilable differences” or Catholic enough to “live the lie” for the good of their children?
I have watched with no legal recourse available to stop it because of No Fault Divorce, as my spouse decimated a family through her subjective application of established divorce methods that resulted in destroyed parent-child relationships, and fought every attempt of mine these past three years to heal those wounds. I have children in open violation of the 4th Commandment and basic Catholic Charity, and she has done nothing to prevent it. Nor has the Church done nothing to abet this travesty. They did in fact promote it all throughout her annulment proceedings and eventual re-marriage.
Divorce is pure evil, Father, and is nothing more than a destroyer of marriages, families and Souls. And it is this that the Catholic Church “tolerates” and tacitly promotes. There can be be no “legitimate” reasons for divorce in the Catholic Church, short of danger to life or Souls. It is a detestable, cancerous, pus-oozing wound and deserves to be treated as such.
[Now... breathe into a paper bag. I answered the questions.]

Dr. Peters response (for which he received a Gold Star):

Dr. Edward Peters says:
Whew.
1. Fr. Z’s approach re Communion and dress is correct. See my Advisory Opinion at the bottom of this page: http://www.canonlaw.info/canonlaw915.htm.
2. The original question reflects what I see incessantly, namely, not the slightest effort to track down an answer on one’s own. These topics (e.g., working for divorce lawyers) have been handled repeatedly in the literature. Are people truly unaware of the most basic moral and catechetical guidebooks? I’ve lost count of the number of elementary Catholic life questions posted on the internet with an “ah-ha! gotcha!” tone as if no one had ever thought of them before. I suppose this is the price of the last generation’s failure to pass along our tradition. Anyway.
3. DaveH needs to set aside his obvious grief over divorce and, instead of lashing out at Fr. Z (or at least his reasoned answer), understand what the Church ACTUALLY SAYS about divorce, and accept it. The Truth is true.
Bottom line: If folks can’t post calmly, they really shouldn’t post at all.
Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

My response to the above responses (which did not get published, unless I missed something):

OK, Father...I breathed into the bag as you suggested and thanks for answering the questions.  Agree that physical, psychological and moral abuse are valid reasons for allowing the divorce of Catholic spouses and would negate the selfish label I applied. But "irreconcilable differences" such as was in my case does not constitute any of the former three listed. As 80 percent of divorces fall under the "irreconcilable differences" category, it should throw the red flag up to any priest/diocesan official to investigate these differences and not rely on the subjective statement of one spouse that the marriage is over and non-repairable, as again, was in my case. It seems that once a divorce is in hand, it provides the validity to substantiate the "irreparably broken marriage" meme and the impetus to green light annulment proceedings, rather than call both parties to counsel and try to preserve the marriage and family.  What are Canons 1151-1155 for if they are not meant to help troubled spouses restore conjugal living, as the wording of some authoritatively state?

While I may be a little out of my depth from a moral theology position,  so were the diocesan officials who streamlined the destruction of my family at the expense of 10 children.  It was left to me - a layman; a Husband; a Father - to singularly defend the Sacrament of my  22 year Marriage from annulment...while having to set and watch as the Diocese and my spouse worked to destroy it. So please forgive me if I seemed more than a little passionate before. I have every right to be. I neither wanted nor promoted either divorce or annulment, but I was a silent voice among the cacophony of no fault divorce and annulment devotees. It was a no-win battle, but one I was nevertheless morally bound to fight. 

Dr. Peters, thank you for your comment. Obvious grief? Most assuredly... and rightly so as I watch the continued spiritual decline of 4 of my older children most affected by their Mother's divorce/annulment. My grief is at times overwhelming as I consider the possible loss of their Souls, only bearable by the comfort of their Baptismal Consecration to Our Lady and the knowledge she will not let them suffer damnation. The only Truth that needs to be stated - is that divorce causes verifiable, untold destruction of families. I obviously (and perhaps embarrassingly) lack a Canon Law degree, but in my layman's mind if a man-made Canon Law leads to or tacitly condones this destruction of families, I find it hard to believe it serves any moral good and needs to be modified or abolished. 

And a few of the responses to all the above: 

February 26, 2014

Creative Minority Report: Pope Francis and the SSPX: An Opportunity

Since he requested sharing this article, I re-post here Patrick Archbold's recent well balanced commentary at Creative Minority Report re: his now-removed National Catholic Register article on the SSPX and the Pope. Excellent and balanced article about a situation that has dragged on far, far too long...



Pope Francis and the SSPX: An Opportunity

I must say that I am still in a state of shock, so I will refrain from any commentary on the situation.  Suffice it to say, below you will find the contents that the Register felt was beyond the bounds and removed after posting, even though I had advance clearance to run it.
. . .

Pope Francis and the SSPX: An Opportunity
By PATRICK ARCHBOLD
By now, many of you have probably seen the Tony Palmer video last week that was so exciting to many.
At a Protestant conference, Tony Palmer, an Anglican priest, brought along an iPhone video of greeting from Pope Francis. The subject of the presentation and of the Pope’s recording was unity of Christians.

In his remarks, Pope Francis made the following statements to our separated brethren regarding the separation: “Separated because, it’s sin that has separated us, all our sins. The misunderstandings throughout history. It has been a long road of sins that we all shared in. Who is to blame? We all share the blame. We have all sinned. There is only one blameless, the Lord.”

It is certainly true. Regardless of the truth of Catholic doctrine, the Church has accepted its share of the blame for the misunderstanding that were allowed to deepen and harden, leading to centuries of separation.

When I heard this, something else written by Pope Francis’ predecessor came immediately to mind. In 2007, along with the issuance of the “motu proprio” Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict XVI issued a letter explaining his reasoning. In that letter, he made the following statement.

Looking back over the past, to the divisions which in the course of the centuries have rent the body of Christ, one continually has the impression that, at critical moments when divisions were coming about, not enough was done by the Church’s leaders to maintain or regain reconciliation and unity. One has the impression that omissions on the part of the Church have had their share of blame for the fact that these divisions were able to harden. This glance at the past imposes an obligation on us today: to make every effort to unable for all those who truly desire unity to remain in that unity or to attain it anew. I think of a sentence in the Second Letter to the Corinthians, where Paul writes: “Our mouth is open to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. In return … widen your hearts also!” (2 Corinthians 6:11-13). Paul was certainly speaking in another context, but his exhortation can and must touch us too, precisely on this subject. Let us generously open our hearts and make room for everything that the faith itself allows.

It strikes me that this may be one of those critical moments in history to which His Holiness refers.

With the breakdown of discussion between the Holy See and the Society of St. Pius X at the end of the previous pontificate, the public mood during this first year of the current pontificate, and other internal events, traditional Catholics, both inside and outside the Church, have felt increasingly marginalized. Whether fair or true, I say without fear of contradiction that this is a prevailing sentiment.

This perception of marginalization has manifested itself in increasingly strident and frankly disrespectful rhetoric on the part of some traditionalists and their leaders.

I have great concern that without the all the generosity that faith allows by the leaders of the Church, that this separation, this wound on the Church, will become permanent. In fact, without such generosity, I fully expect it. Such permanent separation and feeling of marginalization will likely separate more souls than just those currently associated with the SSPX.

I have also come to believe that Pope Francis’ is exactly the right Pope to do it. In his address to the evangelicals, he makes clear his real concern for unity.

So here is what I am asking. I ask the Pope to apply that wide generosity to the SSPX and to normalize relations and their standing within the Church. I am asking the Pope to do this even without the total agreement on the Second Vatican Council. Whatever their disagreements, surely this can be worked out over time with the SSPX firmly implanted in the Church. I think that the Church needs to be more generous toward unity than to insist upon dogmatic adherence to the interpretation of a non-dogmatic council. The issues are real, but they must be worked out with our brothers at home and not with a locked door.

Further, Pope Francis’ commitment to the aims of the Second Vatican Council is unquestioned. Were he to be generous in such a way, nobody would ever interpret it to be a rejection of the Council. How could it be? This perception may not have been the case in the last pontificate. Pope Francis is uniquely suited to this magnanimous moment.

I believe this generosity is warranted and standard practice in the Church. We do not insist on religious orders that may have strayed even further in the other direction sign a copy ofPascendi Dominici Gregis before they can be called Catholic again. So please let us not insist on the corollary for the SSPX. Must we insist on more for a group that doctrinally would not have raised an eyebrow a mere fifty years ago? I pray not.

Give them canonical status and organizational structure that will protect them. Bring them home, for their sake and the sake of countless other souls. I truly believe that such generosity will be repaid seven-fold. Pope Benedict has done so much of the heavy lifting already, all that is required is just a little more.

Please Holy Father, let us not let this moment pass and this rift grow into a chasm. Make this generous offer and save the Church from further division. Do this so that none of your successors will ever say, “If only we had done more.”



Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

February 23, 2014

The Grand Celtic Music Tour

I had a very enjoyable two hours attending The Grand Celtic Music Tour this afternoon at McCabe Theatre on the Campus of Saint Mary's Academy and College. It was one of the most enjoyable Sunday afternoons I have had in a long time, made even more enjoyable as the entire Grand Celtic Music Tour are musicians from the Parish.  Headlined by Mr. Patrick Werick, an accomplished multi-instrument musician in his own right (and an excellent MC!), we were taken on a musical tour that stretched from Ireland to Brittany; from Scotland to Spain to Kansas City, MO and back to Ireland again, complete with an Irish Dancer! The musicians were marvelous and it never ceases to amaze the level of talent that encompasses the students at the Academy and College and within their Families. Father McBride (and his guitar) with some of the young college men took part as well. Kudos to all involved!

 I copied the musical program below and will attempt to post a video, when and if it becomes available and if permission is received. (My apologies for the picture quality...I had it folded in my pocket.)


Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved


February 22, 2014

Remember That Together...

The daughter of close friend was married recently...I wrote the following poem for them in honor of their Love and their Vows. I also now share it here, for those approaching their own marriages, as a reminder of what you are vowing to the person (and to Our Lord) and to whom you will be bound for the remainder of your natural lives...


Remember that together…

There are no words that cannot be forgiven…

There are no hurts that cannot be healed…

There are no pains that cannot be relieved…

There are no excuses for not talking…

There are no reasons for not praying…

There are no hindrances to loving…

There are joys to be felt…

There are tears to be dried…

There are ego’s to mend…

There are memories to share…

There are children to adore…

There are quiet times to love…

But above all, remember…

There is Him to Bless for Bringing You Together….

There is Him in which to share your marriage…

There is Him to ask for strength and courage…

There is Him to Honor and to Obey…

There is Him to ask for help…

There is Him to show you the way…

There is Him to Share in your Love.

Congratulations in advance to all who are approaching the sublime privilege of Holy Matrimony! God Bless you all!


Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved




February 20, 2014

My Beautiful Woman...

Originally linked from Creative Minority Report, this video has made the rounds elsewhere also. There are two more touching video's on the My Beautiful Woman website... If I were a woman, after watching these video's, I would be a loyal buyer of Wacoal products.

It is refreshing to see a company that not only did not advertise their product but simply honored the consumer of their products, and that in such a manner that evokes the exalted position of the woman as envisioned in the Old Testament and by the example of Our Lady...
Proverbs 31:10
Who shall find a valiant woman? far and from the uttermost coasts is the price of her.


Enjoy...but I warn: You won't be able to stop smiling - or tearing...






Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

February 15, 2014

Regina Magazine: Megan In the Mirror

Regina Magazine (a fine on-line publication which I highly recommend) posted this true story from a child of divorce that hits home on many points and reflects the many-tentacled arms of no-fault divorce, but ultimately shows the Beauty and Truth of God's work, as stated by Aquinas in the Summa Theologica:  

For God allows evils to happen in order to bring a greater good therefrom; hence it is written (Romans 5:20): "Where sin abounded, grace did more abound."  (Citation here.)

Clearly, with Megan, Grace was bountiful, but it is also apparent she was ripe for its harvest through her acceptance of the gift offered by her Creator.

 Deo Gratias!




February 10, 2014   

Megan in the Mirror

Posted by 


“I am happier than I have ever been in my whole life. And I attribute all of it to going to the Latin Mass and having an opportunity to receive the Sacraments so frequently.”
At 31, Megan (not her real name) is a beautiful woman by anyone’s standards. It’s not just her long blonde hair, her ready smile or the elegant way she wears her clothes. She’s also happily married, and a blissful new mother in America’s Midwest.
Some might think Megan a ‘golden girl,’ whose every step in life has been charmed. But this would be very misleading, because the truth is far more complicated.  Here’s beautiful Megan’s story, in an exclusive interview withRegina Magazine.

Like many people in your generation, your parents were divorced.

My parents’ divorce was one of the worst tragedies of my life and yet it brought me closer to God. I think because I knew there had to be something better than what I was living in, and so I searched for the truth.
Or the Truth found me, because the Truth is a person.

Do you have siblings?

I have a sister; she’s one year older than me, now 32. She is into drugs. She’s had one abortion, and then had a baby. That baby was taken away by the State. Our dad adopted my niece.
I pray for my sister every day. She asked me once why our lives turned out so differently and I tell her it’s because I prayed and became Catholic. I think she might finally start to see it.
The hardest thing is convincing my family that it’s more than just prayer, that it’s Confession, the Eucharist and all the sacraments. There is healing there and the grace to fight evil.

My sister is into drugs. She’s had one abortion, and then had a baby. That baby was taken away by the State.

Were you brought up Catholic?

My parents converted to Catholicism when we were young but they fell away. My sister and I were baptized, but they stopped going to church. When my parents were divorcing my dad took us to St. Louis and we visited the Cathedral Basilica.
I prayed and wept there. I was ten years old.

What happened after the divorce?

My mother re-married, to the man she had an affair with. He was from a Polish background, and his mother was very Catholic. He kept a rosary around the house.

So the Faith was still there somehow, in the background of your life?

In my preteen years we went on a trip to Indianapolis and we stopped by a Catholic bookstore. They told me I could get whatever I wanted so I went to the kids section and I looked around a bit. There was a kids’ book about the lives of the Saints, a small book on how to pray the rosary and little rosaries here and there. So I grabbed a couple of items.
From the small books I taught myself how to pray the rosary. At first I prayed all the Mysteries: joyful, sorrowful etc and thought, ‘man this is LONG to do in one sitting.’ LOL. I didn’t realize that you only had to pick one Mystery, until a little later.
I got this really neat mirror and wall stand. I made myself a little altar with candles and the rosary. I started praying occasionally, and then I just had this inspiration to join the Catholic Church. Like a super-strong desire.

I made myself a little altar with candles and the rosary. I started praying occasionally, and then I just had this inspiration to join the Catholic Church.

What was your life like?

I was living in sin. Following my sister, experimenting with drugs, numerous terrible boyfriends, losing my virginity at a young age. All things that were killing my soul.
I was a product of the MTV generation, where society and youth culture is saying these things are fun and make you happy.  Meanwhile I’m so unhappy and killing my soul.

I was living in sin. Following my sister, experimenting with drugs, numerous terrible boyfriends, losing my virginity at a young age. All things that were killing my soul.

Did you abandon the idea of being Catholic?

No.  I called St. Charles Catholic church and asked if I could take classes. They put me with the adults and paired me up with a sponsor. I was a senior in high school.

So did your life settle down?

No. My mother divorced her second husband and things got really bad at home. She started dating this really, really, bad guy and he was absolutely terrible. A drunk, etc. It was sooo bad.
My dad was meanwhile dating so many different women and I hated them all. He was also verbally and somewhat physically abusive to my sister and me after their divorce.
After her second divorce my mother was verbally abusive and I would fight with her because her lifestyle was disgusting and I couldn’t believe all the bad stuff she was doing to our family.
So I got kicked out of her house and have to live with my Dad. I didn’t agree with his lifestyle –with all the women he is dating –and so then I got kicked out of his house.
So now I had nowhere to go.

My mother divorced her second husband and things got really bad at home. She started dating this really, really, bad guy and he was absolutely terrible.

That’s a scary situation at age 17.

Yes, but my mother was less strict than my dad, so of course thinking like a teenager, I opted to live with her. I made a decision to swallow my pride, shut my mouth, and apologize to her for all of the things I said about her sinful life.
I really didn’t ever feel that I had a place to call home, that felt like home. Too many bad memories in either house.

I really didn’t ever feel that I had a place to call home, that felt like home. Too many bad memories in either house.

You still didn't abandon the idea of being Catholic?

No, I was still in the RCIA program and trying to finish my senior year of high school. So I’m still not an angel, but I feel this STRONG desire to receive the sacraments. I look forward to this class every two weeks and am so excited to go. I ask so many questions to the teacher lady, and when the priest came from time to time I would ask him questions also.
My number one question was, “what will it feel like to take communion”?
He told me, “I’m not sure you will feel any differently, but I will pray that you have this miraculous experience for your first time.”

Interesting that you focused on the ‘feeling.’

Yes, at my first confession I felt this incredible sensation after he gave me absolution. Like I was touched by the Holy Spirit and I could fly. A true weight, not some sentimental figurative thing, but a true feeling in my whole body of warmth and love and weightless feeling.
The same thing happened at my Confirmation a few weeks later, after I received Holy Communion for the first time. I remember being really cold because I didn’t have on the right kind of sweater and I was wearing sandals.
But when I took Communion, this incredible warmth came over me. It was amazing. It wasn’t my imagination but a true miracle.
I have never experienced it since.

At my first confession I felt this incredible sensation after he gave me absolution. Like I was touched by the Holy Spirit and I could fly.

So you finished high school…

…yes, but my mom’s house was not working out, unsurprisingly. I moved in with my Dad. I was not sure where to go to college but my Dad, of all people, knew of this Catholic college book that I could get at school. So I checked it out.
There was a small Catholic Junior college in Illinois. It didn’t look too hard to get into.  So I took the risk, applied, got in and moved there for college.
Meanwhile Easter was the last time I went to Mass. When I was in RCIA they never really said, ‘now you have to start coming on Sundays.’ I don’t know why I didn’t go but they never really followed up with me.
I thought “I’m Catholic now” like it was a one-time thing. You would have thought that the miracle feeling would have made me go back, but I was young and still had some problems.

Easter was the last time I went to Mass. When I was in RCIA they never really said, ‘now you have to start coming on Sundays.’

What happened at college?

So I’m at college and I immediately start dating this terrible guy. He pushes me down the stairs and gets kicked out of school. It was bad. I probably dated terrible guys because I had low self- esteem and psychological problems from my childhood and previous sinful behavior.
So in my sophomore year I make friends with Sister Judy (she doesn’t wear the habit) and she helps me get into an all-girl Catholic College. I go there for my Junior and Senior year.
I continued partying and drinking. I meet this guy Tom from a neighboring co-ed Catholic University. We start dating, sleeping together etc. I graduated and moved to a small Midwestern city, because that is where is he from and he is going to medical school there.

I’m at college and I immediately start dating this terrible guy. He pushes me down the stairs and gets kicked out of school. It was bad.

Tom was a ‘catch,’ huh?

Tom’s family is SUPER Catholic and I liked them a lot. His dad is SUPER devout and introduced me to the Latin Mass. They go to Mass every Sunday.
Then Tom cheated on me with a girl in his medical school class. I broke up with him.

How disappointing! How did you cope?

I promptly started dating this guy who worked near me at the airport.
This was a diabolical relationship. We started sleeping together and then he starts treating me like crap. Won’t accept my phone calls and is super mean. I felt used and unwanted so I got really depressed, and I started drinking.
One night I thought if I took a bunch of pills and told him, he would come running back and we would be together. (My sister did this before, so I learned this from her.)

I felt used and unwanted so I got really depressed, and I started drinking. One night I thought if I took a bunch of pills and told him, he would come running back and we would be together.

Oh that is terrible!

Well that didn’t happen, and I had to call Tom and ask him to drive me to the hospital to get my stomach pumped. So now I was in the worst shape of my life.
In this hospital I called out to God. I asked Him ‘why is this all happening to me? Would He help me? Please?’

In this hospital I called out to God. I asked Him why is this all happening to me? Would He help me? Please?

What happened next?

So after I am released, I see that there is a position open in a different city. I apply for the job and I get it!
After I moved, I began to slowly cut ties with my sinful life. I also had this voice say to me one morning, “Obey the 10 commandments.” It was weird.
I wondered if there was a cool church that offers the Latin Mass in my new city. I love music so much, and the town where I grew up has one of the best music schools in the world.
I remembered that the Latin Mass church where Tom’s dad took me had an amazing choir. So I looked up the Latin Mass in my new city and I found one. It was run by a religious order of priests, dedicated to the Latin Mass. 
When I entered the church, I saw all these people in line for Confession, so I went too. The priest asked me, are you ready to change your ways?
I said ‘I think I am.’ I prayed in that moment, “God, please send me someone to marry. Clearly I cannot choose, so please choose for me. Your will be done, not mine.”
That’s when I met my future husband.

The priest asked me, are you ready to change your ways? I say I think I am. I pray in that moment, “God, please send me someone to marry. Clearly I cannot choose, so please choose for me. Your will be done, not mine.”

How did you meet him?

One of my best friends growing up moved to the same city in which I was now living. She invited me to a Christmas party and that’s where I met Rob.  He asked for my phone number and I told him I’m not interested in dating anyone, but thanks.
Unbeknownst to me, my friend gave Rob my phone number. He called one day and we agreed to go to dinner but on one condition-only as friends.
Something about him though seemed different than other guys I dated in the past. His demeanor is super respectful, caring and kind. He seemed genuinely interested in me as a person, so I decided to give it a shot.

Rob’s demeanor is super respectful, caring and kind. He seems genuinely interested in me as a person, so I decide to give it a shot. I asked him if he wanted to start going to Mass with me, for Lent.

I asked him if he wanted to start going to Mass with me, for Lent. He is Catholic and so he agreed. We started going to the church down the street. Then I started bringing him to the Latin Mass with me.
He hated it. Over time, though, he started to meet people, understand the Mass, and liked it.
We got married there, and now we have a baby. : )

How did you get involved at the Oratory?

I decided to register at the church. I’m sitting in the office, wearing a black shirt, hot pink knee length shorts and sandals, and in walks this tall 6 foot 4 tall priest in a long cassock.
I’m 5’3. I looked up and am like ‘oh my goodness.’ I was terrified.
He takes me to his office and starts asking a few questions, “your name” and he writes it down with his left hand. He asks me how I found the Oratory and I tell him, I’m not really sure but I looked it up online and I liked the music.
He says this is most unusual and normally people come because they have heard about it from someone else. I didn’t really have this “I’m fed up with the Novus Ordo Mass and that’s why I’m coming to the Latin Mass” thing like some people do.
I came because it was beautiful and it seemed holy.

I didn’t really have this “I’m fed up with the Novus Ordo Mass and that’s why I’m coming to the Latin Mass” thing like some people do.  I came because it was beautiful and it seemed holy.

As I’m leaving, on the way home, I get cussed out by some homeless man who bangs on my window. He screams “hey b****” and bangs on my window. Luckily my doors were locked, the light changed, and I sped off.

Wow, so it was very welcoming, but scary too.

Another time I was visiting, while I was walking into the building, a group of thug-looking people started yelling at me so I ran fast and was able to make it inside the building.
I also experienced extreme anxiety driving to the Oratory, and also in the church, and in line for Confession. That feeling has since gone away but it took several months. I also had several experiences where a voice told me to spit out the Communion while it was in my mouth. I WAS TERRIFIED!
But I read somewhere that a few saints had this, St. Faustina in particular, and the Lord told her they were temptations and as long as she didn’t listen or take any pleasure in them, it was not sinful.

Did you tell a priest about these supernatural things?

At the time I remember they were pretty amazing, some scary, but I never really told anyone. I think I told the priest about the Eucharist experience and asked him why that might have happened.
He said perhaps because the Lord wanted to show me what the other side is like. What was hidden behind the veil, the Sacraments, like a doorway. So I would remember.
After all of my bad experiences, he said that he was surprised I ever came back. Clearly, the devil did NOT want me there!

My supernatural experiences were pretty amazing, some scary, but I never told anyone.  I told the priest about the Eucharist experience and asked him why that might have happened. He said perhaps because the Lord wanted to show me what the other side is like. So that I would remember.

What is your life like now?

Now I am a regular at Confession, every two weeks. I help out at the Church, I go to Mass every Sunday, and I receive Communion with reverence and deeply pray.
I am still very much a sinner, but I try to steer clear of mortal sins. It is VERY hard to come to the church once you are in the pit of mortal sin, but I had some divine assistance.

I am still very much a sinner, but I try to steer clear of mortal sins. It is VERY hard to come to the church once you are in the pit of mortal sin, but I had some divine assistance.

What about the future?

What gives me great hope is that there are saints like Magdalen and Augustine who were very close to our Lord. My hope is to raise my children closer to spiritual innocence, like our Lady and St. Therese were raised.
My Dad is also back in the church. He remarried, and they have some issues, but he prays and goes to Mass sometimes. I pray for him.
megan bottom
 What gives me great hope is that there are saints like Magdalen and Augustine who were very close to our Lord. My hope is to raise my children closer to spiritual innocence, like our Lady and St. Therese were raised.





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