Rebuilding the Faith

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Corpus Christi Procession in St. Louis (Rome of the West) on 10 June 2012

Do you ever wish you could just move away to a traditional Catholic country and leave the growing Modernism, Marxism, Nihilism and Feminism of Anglo-America (specifically the United States and Canada) behind? Well, that is NOT really an option for two reasons.

The first is that there are no traditional Catholic countries to flee to. Granted, I suppose the Vatican might be one such refuge (maybe?) but the tiny City-State is not designed to accommodate tens of thousands of religious refugees, and that is exactly what we would be. There would be no reasonable source of employment at the Vatican for all of us, and besides, the tax rate is 100%. Everyone lives off a stipend there.

The second reason is that we, as Catholics, are called to transform the countries in which we live, not run away to a sanctuary and hide.

I’ve spent the better part of a decade trying to figure out how this can be done in Anglo-America and I’ve learnt some important lessons…

  1. Western Civilisation (Europe, Hispanosphere, Lusosphere, Francosphere and the Anglosphere) is headed for collapse and nothing can stop that now. It must be allowed to run its course. Many Americans believe they can turn the United States around by electing the right people into public office. This may slow the downward trend, but it CANNOT reverse it, and elections can swing in any direction. They can be used to buy precious time, but they’re not a reliable method of social reform.
  2. The Catholic Church in the West is in collapse as well, and this is due to the influence of Marxism on various Church leaders (in violation of official Church teaching), which has led to all sorts of innovations and abuses. This too must be allowed to run its course. We cannot rescue those who do not want to be rescued. It’s primarily a generational problem, the Baby-Boomer Generation, and we are nearing the end game now. Upcoming Church leadership from Generation X (GenX) will be more agreeable to traditional reform, and future Church leadership from the Millennials will insist on it. So the problem is temporary, but before it’s remedied, the Catholic Church in Anglo-America will be significantly reduced in size, to just a fraction of what it is now.
  3. The only Catholic parishes in the United States experiencing any kind of meaningful growth are the traditional Catholic parishes. These include those that celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass and the Traditional English Mass.
  4. The primary problem younger, more traditional Catholics face is ISOLATION. They are spread out too far and wide, all throughout North America, and many of them are rendered helpless by their isolation from each other.
  5. The Catholic Faith can only be rebuilt in North America if the younger, more traditional Catholics are willing to step out of their comfort zones and unite together in faith.

What is needed, desperately, is the formation of small traditional Catholic communities (colonies), and by that I mean little enclaves of traditional Catholic presence in small towns, little cities, and scattered neighbourhoods within big cities. I’m talking about a Catholic re-colonisation of Anglo-America. Such traditional Catholic enclaves will provide the “launching base” the younger, more traditional Catholics need to begin the process of re-evangelisation of Anglo-America.

We have to get some things out of our heads. We’re not going to retake the mainstream culture overnight. It’s not going to happen with some election. It’s not going to happen with some sweeping religious re-awakening on this continent. The days of religious revival are over. Cultural Marxism has now swept across the land, and whatever Marxism touches it leaves in ashes. We cannot reasonably expect Anglo-American culture to ever embrace Christian virtues again. It is simply going to do the same thing that all Marxist-influenced nations have done. It’s going to decay and collapse. Even if economic policies are structured in such a way as to position the United States for greater economic prosperity, that does not stop the social decay. If anything, it only accelerates it.

In order for the continent to be retaken for the Kingdom of Christ, it must be re-evangelised, and it cannot be re-evangelised until it is first re-colonised. That’s how we Catholics have to start looking at things. We cannot rely on our separated Protestant brethren to help us any more. Too many of them are waiting for the mythical “Rapture” to take them away, so they don’t have to deal with the responsibility of fixing the mess we have here. We can no longer rely on our Catholic leadership to guide us. Too many of them are embroiled in sexual-abuse scandals caused by homosexual predation of teenage boys among their clerical ranks. Too many more are still enamoured by the cultural Marxism of “liberation theology” and the “seamless garment” of social justice. Still, too many more are content to let retro-1970s Baby-Boomers run their offices of liturgy, vocations, education and evangelisation. Meanwhile, nearly all of them are dealing with the managed-decline of their dioceses, merging parishes and selling off old properties, as the U.S. Catholic Church begins its nationwide downsizing project. Only a handful of Catholic bishops in Anglo-America have the courage to step up to the plate and do something about the real problem. The real problem is a wholesale abandonment of the traditional Catholic faith by Church leadership over the last 50 years. This handful of bishops is trying to restore what was lost among those few Catholics who are willing to retake it, while managing the decline of those who won’t. So a faithful and good Catholic bishop in Anglo-America today looks like this. On the one hand, he’s working to restore the traditional faith that was lost 50 years ago. Then on the other hand, he’s managing the decline of those in his diocese who are unwilling to do what is necessary to reclaim the faith. So which hand do you want to be on? Young, faithful and traditional Catholics not only have to relocate themselves to those dioceses where the option exists, but they also have to plug themselves into the specific parishes were the traditional renewal of the Church is taking place.

So how do we do this? It’s not easy but it is simple. You see, the foundation of the emerging, traditional, and renewed Catholic Church has already been built. The framework is in place. The skeleton, if you will, has already been fitted together. All that is needed is for young, traditional Catholics to come and build upon what has already been provided.

I’m speaking of the traditional Catholic communities around Anglo-America. When I say traditional Catholic communities, I am speaking specifically of those Catholic parishes, wherein the Traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form, Vetus Ordo or Tridentine) is celebrated no less than once a week, or the Traditional English Mass (Divine Worship or Anglican Form) is likewise celebrated no less than once a week. These parishes are places we can use to rebuild traditional Catholic communities (colonies), and rely on each other to help educate and raise our children in the faith.

This requires us to take a risk, a leap of faith if you will, and step out of our comfort zones, sometimes requiring us to move long distances to get within close-proximity of these traditional Catholic parishes. Close-proximity means within a half-hour walking distance. Why must we be within a half-hour walking distance? Because if there is ever an energy crisis (due to war, civil unrest, economic collapse or natural disaster), we have to be close enough to these parishes, so we can still be able to attend regularly, even if we can’t drive there due to a gasoline shortage of some kind. They have to be close enough to easily reach by walking or bicycling. I know this may sound extreme, but in the face of the kind of total collapse the West is eventually facing, it’s not unreasonable to think this way at all. The idea here is to create large traditional Catholic communities, wherein each member lives within reasonable distance of the parish and each other.

The criteria for a stable traditional community is the existence of a Traditional Latin Mass, or a Traditional English Mass, at a parish that celebrates it (minimally) once a week on Sundays. Believe it or not, there are many such parishes all around Anglo-America. Just because there may not be one near you doesn’t mean they are hard to find. It just means you may need to move! The following links are strictly for Anglo-America…

  • THIS LINK (or click here for Canada) will take you to a map of parishes where the Traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form, Vetus Ordo or Tridentine) is celebrated regularly. All of them are licit and in full-communion with Rome.
  • THIS LINK will take you to a map of parishes where the Traditional English Mass (Divine Worship or Anglican Form) is celebrated regularly. All of them are licit and in full-communion with Rome. This map includes all of Anglo-America (USA & Canada).

Choosing a pin on a map is just a start. You’ll need to contact the parish and talk to the staff to determine if this parish is right for you and your family. Then, once you’ve found the right parish in the right kind of area for you, you’ll want to make preparations for the move, and you shouldn’t waste time. Put the matter to prayer immediately, and don’t stop praying until you are certain this is what God wants for you. Once you have that certainty, make the move.

If you are fortunate enough to only have to move a short distance, count your blessings and make the move as soon as possible. You must live within a half-hour walking distance. In a gasoline-shortage, living just twenty-minutes away by car might as well be a hundred miles away. You won’t be able to get to mass regularly.

If you are fortunate enough to already live in close-proximity to such a parish, God has blessed you beyond measure. Don’t take it for granted. Thank him for being so merciful to you and your family. Then start attending mass there regularly.

SOME CONSIDERATIONS

  • Any Catholic may join a Traditional Latin Mass parish. These parishes are usually associated with dioceses. Some are part of traditional fraternities or institutes. This makes no difference in membership. Any Catholic may join and no Catholic will be turned away.
  • Any Catholic may join a Traditional English Mass (Ordinariate) parish, even if one is not eligible to join the Ordinariate for former Anglicans and Methodists. Ordinariate membership is ideal, but not required, to join an Ordinariate parish. Like the Latin Mass parishes, any Catholic may join and no Catholic will be turned away.
  • Moving to a new location will require coordination with the traditional Catholic parish one is considering joining. This will be essential to link into the local network. Moving will also require looking into the local job market as well, so as to become gainfully employed as soon as possible. One does not want to become a financial burden to a traditional Catholic parish, but rather a financial contributor to help the process of recolonising and re-evangelising Anglo-America.
  • It is more important to live close to a traditional Catholic parish than it is to live close to an employer. This is because employers can easily change, and often do, in unstable economies or when persecution of traditional Catholics becomes commonplace. It is better to have to drive an hour to work, then to drive an hour to your traditional Catholic parish. Some employers will reimburse you for commuting miles. Parishes do not.
  • Traditional Catholic families must network with each other, primarily for spiritual and emotional support, but also for material support as well. Younger traditional Catholics should look to older traditional Catholics for guidance, and older traditional Catholics should seek to help the younger whenever possible.
  • Homeschooling is popular among traditional Catholic families, and these families should be able to use a traditional parish as a “base” or “hub” to coordinate homeschooling activities. Traditional priests and parish staff should work with Catholic homeschoolers in every way possible, as these children are the future of the parish.
  • Traditional Catholic schools should be more focused on evangelisation of the children than on academics. Of course, academics are important, but they’re not THAT important. Catholic schools should be focused on providing tuition that is affordable to the members of the parish, no matter the sacrifice necessary. If you can’t hire certified teachers, so be it. If you can’t get accreditation, so be it. If you can’t buy fancy computers and have other nice things, so be it. If the parishioners can’t afford to send their children to the parish school, then why does it exist? It’s a waste of space. They would be better off homeschooling, and many of them are. This message is for priests and bishops. Re-focus Catholic education toward evangelisation FIRST, and don’t worry so much about academic excellence. Make those schools affordable to parishioners FIRST, and don’t worry about the rest of the community.
  • The traditional parish MUST become the community centre for traditional Catholics and their families. This is where the life of the community must be centred. Efforts should be made to host regular parish picnics and celebrations, and parishes need to figure out how to accommodate this.
  • The traditional parish should work toward becoming outgoing in evangelisation of the local community, in everything from visible Corpus Christi processions to local involvement in the affairs of the city, including a visible presence of faithful Catholicism in local sports, arts, parks, and recreation. The establishment of faithful Catholic businesses in the local community is a MUST as a long-term goal.
  • Yes, traditional Catholics SHOULD VOTE in elections, but they should not do so according to the idolising of political candidates and political parties as our mainstream Anglo-American population votes. Rather, traditional Catholics should vote with only one thing in mind. “What vote will buy precious time for my LOCAL traditional Catholic community to grow and re-evangelise MY area?” That’s the one and only thing every traditional Catholic should be thinking when he enters the polling booth in national, state and local elections. Votes can buy precious time. That’s what matters. Our hope is in the Church, not the ballot box. The purpose of the ballot box is just to buy precious time for the Church to do her job.
  • As the mainstream Catholic Church continues to downsize, and Anglo-American culture continues to collapse, the long-term goal of traditional Catholic parishes should be oriented toward founding satellite missionary outreaches in neighbouring areas. After the colonisation, comes the re-evangelisation.
  • Traditional Catholics need to start thinking in terms of long-term generational goals. The re-evangelisation of Anglo-America will take a century to accomplish in full, but that’s only if we start with the re-colonisation right now.

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