Thank you for this.
Now I know a little something about this fine priest, who made the very
useful ABL brochure. And now, he has made a very useful recoding of a
fine sermon in a fine place, a sermon that very well could be the spark
that ignites a vocation, or two, or a thousand. A lot could depend on
its distribution, or on YouTube, ironically!
A lot could depend on you, and on me...................
I wish someone could tell us where he is, and how he's doing.
I knew someone who was at that pilgrimage. Small world.
The property there in Auriesville has a Jesuit seminary building on it,
that was among the "abandoned buildings" inasmuch as it has no longer
been used as a seminary.
The church-in-the-round is in disrepair. It was built in the 30's, for the
canonizations of the North American Martyrs, St. Isaac Jogues and
Companions. Apparently not many Americans care much about these
martyrs anymore. Some do, of course, but it's a very tiny demographic.
The old seminary building is a fine structure, and it has been purchased
by Buddhists, who find it most useful for their purposes. I have a friend
who visited there and looking for someone to answer his questions, he
came across one of the Buddhists who knew a lot about what's going on
there. He explained that no one should be concerned with the state of
the church-in-the-round, because the Buddhists are going to buy that
too, and then they'll fix it up, to be a Buddhist shrine. It will be very nice.
There's nothing to worry about.
You can walk down the very wide path, a road, really, that goes down a
very gently sloping hill into the forest where our martyrs were killed
for their faith, so many years ago, getting close to 400 years these days.
When you walk down the path, you can see markers that identify the
various places where things had happened, where one priest had been
attacked by the Indians, had his skull split open by a tomahawk, or was
tied to a stake and tortured, or where a body lay in a hasty, shallow
grave for a while, until it was found some months later but had been
torn asunder by wild animals and the relics therefore of that saint had
been scattered, and then some of them were found, but that many were
never found, such that we are now standing in the dust of first class
relics that are part of the very soil we are walking on.
Go on down and come to an open area, a clearing on level ground,
where the pilgrims gather every year to commemorate these great
martyrs' lives, and there are several stone altars set up amongst the
trees at various levels high and low, near and far.
One is up the hill to the right. One is down the hill straight ahead.
Another is found following a trail around behind the trees and behind
the second altar. One of them has a reliquary below the altar with a
window, showing the resting place of Our Lord's tomb, with Jesus lying
there as He was on Holy Saturday.
And on each of these altars you see a niche or a cut-out on the surface
of the top of it, where the priest celebrates the Mass, and places the
chalice and the patten. The niche is for placing your altar stone. But it
is on a horizontal surface, amidst the trees, and not maintained, so you
find the niches are filled with dirt. The dirt has been removed many
times, I'm sure, but the niches are not clean, like an altar should be.
During the winter, the altars are covered with snow, most likely, and
in the spring the snow melts and leaves behind the soiled surfaces
like these, that are level, and any hollows like these that are for the
altar stones are filled with melted snow, and probably the birds come
and drink the water, if they choose to do so, as if in commemoration
of the animals that came to alight on the holy bodies of the saints
who lay on the ground over 3 centuries ago here...
Traditionally, a Mass must have an altar stone on which to place the
bread and the wine for the Holy Consecration. And so when these
altars have been used for Mass, the dirt must have been cleaned out
and the niche filled with the altar stone, and made flat by filling the
space under the stone, if necessary, by putting napkins or perhaps
some flakes of tree bark, which are all around there, so the chalice
will stand up straight during Mass. The altar stone, once in place is
covered by the altar linens, and finally by the corporal cloth, on which
the patten is placed, and the chalice, and during the consecration,
the host itself touches the corporal, as the body of Our Lord touched
the burial cloth, the shroud, that covered his body.
But now, when they have a Novus Ordo liturgy there, and there have
been many, they do not bother, usually, to have an altar stone, for in
any of the parishes you would find in your neighborhood worldwide,
they no longer use an altar stone. It is another casualty of the post-
Conciliar apostasy from the Faith.
The Canonized Traditional Latin Mass of these martyrs is fading away,
their relics are fading away, the stone altars are fading away, the
pilgrims are fading away, the shrine is fading away, and the Faith is
Don't miss the shrine, don't forget to visit, and don't forget to make
Because the others in your group will not be interested in spending
time there. "Can we go now?" must have been uttered a million times
there. If only the rocks could talk!
They'll have lots and lots of reasons not to walk down the long path,
the straight and narrow way of salvation, that takes you to the most
peaceful and inspirational clearing area, where you can easily imagine
a priest at each altar at the same time years ago, all saying Mass at
the same time, and the faithful gathered on the rocks nearby, in the
bushes, on the earth, the terra firma, where the relics of saints may
find their way between your toes. It may be the closest you ever get
to a real saint.
Don't miss it.