We are happy to be able to provide a speedy translation of an excellent sermon given by Fr Bruno OSB on the feast of St Joseph to the faithful in the Vendée and we would encourage all to read it. We also look forward to receiving a visit from Fr Bruno on Low Sunday at Earlsfield.
Here is his sermon –
The Gift of Saint Joseph.
We have never doubted the generosity of our good St. Joseph, but on 19th March 2015 we are especially delighted: the holy gift of Joseph is … a bishop! In a few hours, Father Jean-Michel Faure becomes Bishop Faure, consecrated by Bishop Williamson. This Mass is celebrated for the happy chosen one. The Consecration ceremony will begin at 9 am in Brazil, that is 1 pm at home. I should be there right now, but I could not make (heartache!) the trip. Fr Emmanuel-Marie represents the Dominican community, Fr. Pivert from the Priestly Union of Marcel Lefebvre.
The Consecration was planned long ago, but it remained secret almost until the last moment to avoid the unleashing of the media and other enemies of the Church who could try to stop the ceremony,.against Bishop Williamson.
The Consecration will take place at the Benedictine Monastery of Santa Cruz, Brazil. The Superior, Father Thomas Aquinas, is a veteran in the fight against the ‘ralliement’: he had to successively separate himself from Le Barroux in 1988; Campos in 2002 and SSPX in 2012. It is a grace for him and for his community that this ceremony will take place in Santa Cruz. I will give you after Mass the text “Why a Consecration in 2015?
I will also give you a document of Father Faure himself, which dates from eighteen months ago (September 2013), but is still useful: “The Captain of the Titanic will sink us! ” A little note here: the Titanic disaster occurred on the night of 14th to 15th April 1912. The ship struck an iceberg on the night of 14th April 1914 at 11.45 pm, and sank at about 2 am on 15th April. In 2012, one hundred years to the day after the wreck, was Bishop Fellay’s response to the three other bishops, on 14th April, and the disastrous doctrinal statement of 15th April …
A few words about Fr. Faure: He is 73 years old (he turns 74 in August). He is a ‘pied-noir’, who experienced the tragedy of 1960-62 [in Algeria]. The good Lord was thus preparing Fr Faure for the combat of our present time, his experience (painful experience!) that leaders can betray us …
He entered Ecône in 1972 and was ordained in 1977. Immediately Archbishop Lefebvre gave him the task to found the Latin American District of SSPX. He was then Director of the Latin American Seminary (La Reja) and Superior of the District of Mexico. He was very close to Archbishop Lefebvre, who had great confidence in him; so much that in 1986, the Archbishop wanted to consecrate him bishop. He was thinking of three bishops: Fr. Tissier, Fr. Williamson and Father Faure. But Father Faure, in humility, preferred not to accept this charge, and instead proposed Fr de Galarreta … As for the fourth bishop, it was some Swiss people who put pressure on Archbishop Lefebvre to consecrate a Swiss priest. Perhaps the Archbishop did not have much choice, he chose Fr. Fellay. (When the canonization of Archbishop Lefebvre is under investigation, the devil’s advocate will have at least one thing to say that Bishop had yielded to pressure from the Swiss, with the consequences we know today …)
The choice of Father Faure by Bishop Williamson shows that this Consecration of 19th March 2015 is a continuation of the Consecrations of 30th June 1988: it is a new phase of “Operation Survival” in the words of Archbishop Lefebvre in his sermon on 30th June, and this corresponds to a new phase of the crisis in the Church, namely the crisis in the Tradition (the crisis in the crisis). The last bastion of fidelity has been betrayed by its leaders, who managed to bring along the great majority of priests and faithful to their liberal direction, so that today the SSPX is dying. Those who deny or minimize the crisis in Tradition cannot understand this Consecration of 19th March, just as those who denied or downplayed the crisis in the Church could not understand the Consecration of 1988.
I add that I have personally known Fr. Faure for about a year: he is both very strong and very good (two important qualities). He is very attached to Archbishop Lefebvre, his example, his teaching, his spirit. I can say that it is a great joy for the Priestly Union of Marcel Lefebvre that one of its members was chosen by Bishop Williamson. Joy all the greater for the priests and French faithful that Father Faure will settle in France, near Avrillé to start a seminary. The coat of arms of the new bishop has a lily in honour of Catholic France and two hearts in memory of the Vendéen martyrs.
It is a grace that the Consecration takes place on the feast of St. Joseph, St. Joseph is a beautiful model for our new bishop. In the Office today, there is a very short text where St. Joseph is praised as a “faithful man” and as a “guardian”. To these two titles one must add his title of principal glory, which defines it: it is the “husband of the Virgin Mary.” Faithful man, guardian, spouse of the Virgin Mary:
1) True Man: St. Joseph is a model of fidelity (in litanies, we pray “Joseph most faithful”). He was faithful to the mission he received from God to be the head of the Holy Family; faithful to the deposit that God has entrusted to him, his two greatest treasures, that is to say, his Son and his Mother, Our Lord and Our Lady. He remained faithful in the most difficult circumstances, in persecution.
The bishop must also be true: fidelis inveniatur is the motto of Bishop Williamson (“he be found faithful”). We must pray “Joseph most faithful” to obtain the grace of a great fidelity for our new bishop: that he remains faithful, whatever the trials and difficulties in the tragic situation where the Holy Church is today.
2) Guardian: St. Joseph was chosen by God to be the “guardian of his Lord,” in the words I quoted the versicle (Jesus was at the same time both God and adopted son of St. Joseph). To be equally the “guardian of the Most Pure Virgin,” as the litany says. And he is still the “protector of Holy Church,” the guardian of the Church. We must rejoice this day that there shall, in a while, a new Catholic Bishop for Holy Church!
The bishop must also be a guardian: Episcopus is the one who “watches over” who watches over his flock, who protects and keeps his flock, and knows a portion of Holy Church. Saint Joseph is the guardian of all the Church, the bishop is the guardian of a portion of the Church. He must not only look after his flock, but also all that is necessary for the life of his flock, above all Doctrine and the Sacraments. But first of all Doctrine, the deposit of faith: it is to a young bishop, Timothy, that St. Paul recommended to “keep the deposit” (depositum custodi) and “fight the good fight of faith.” If Fr. Faure is now Bishop Faure, it is primarily to keep, without weakness at any time or weakening, the deposit of sacred Truth, fight the good fight of faith, in the wake of St. Pius X, Archbishop Lefebvre, Bishop de Castro Mayer … against all modern errors, especially against this conciliar spirit that destroyed the Church and the ‘conciliatory’ spirit destroying tradition.
3) Spouse of the Virgin Mary. St. Joseph is through that role the great model of Marian devotion. After Our Lord, no-one better knew, loved and served the Blessed Virgin than St. Joseph.
Our new Bishop wants to place his Episcopate under the special protection of the Immaculate Virgin, choosing as his episcopal motto that of Bishop de Castro Mayer: Ipsa conteret.
‘Ipsa conteret caput tuum’: She shall crush thy head. This, in Genesis, is God’s response to Satan after original sin. Satan believed himself the winner after having made our first parents fall, but God tells him of his defeat, and that his defeat inflicted on him by a creature, a woman, the new Eve, the Immaculate Conception. “She will crush thy head”
This is a fighting motto: our new bishop, who will guide and lead us in the fight, places himself under the command of one St Louis Marie de Montfort calls “the General of the Armies of God,” the Virgin victorious over all heresies, opposed to error and compromise.
With thanks to St Joseph for giving us a new bishop on his feast day. Ask him to protect him, to fortify him, to be always faithful, to be a good “guardian” and be very devoted to Our Lady: Ipsa conteret!