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Tag Archives: Priest stories

CATHEDRAL PRIEST: “I MIGHT BE A CLERGYMAN BUT I AM NOT A DOORMAT”

HE THREATENED TO BEAT THE PRIEST ‘TO A PULP’

“A Wrexham priest has said that he forgives the intruder who attacked him in his home.

Fr Simon Treloar, the dean of St Mary’s Catholic Cathedral in Wrexham, spoke of forgiveness after his attacker was sentenced to a year in jail.

HE TURNED UP AT THE PRIEST’S HOME

Jason Haynes, a 32-year-old man had turned up at the priest’s, having just been released from prison that day, and demanded money. Fr Treloar refused and so Hayes threatened to beat the priest ‘to a pulp’ before there was a struggle as he attempted to assault him.

Fr Treloar managed to grab Haynes by the throat and push him out of the door before calling the emergency services.

This week Fr Treloar said: ‘He forced his way into the doorway but I was not having any of it.

‘I might be a clergyman but I am not a doormat. Of course I forgive him.'”

WHEN HE OPENED HIS CATHEDRAL DOOR, A MAN TRIED TO HIT HIM WITH A SMASHED VODKA BOTTLE

“The 53-year-old priest was confronted by another attacker on the cathedral premises last year.

When he opened his cathedral door there was a man holding a smashed vodka bottle who immediately tried to hit the priest with the broken glass.

NARROW ESCAPE

Again the priest had a narrow escape as he grabbed his attacker’s wrist and pushed him away.

Steven Barry Ellis, 45, of Bodlyn, Acrefair, was jailed last September after he admitted attempting to wound Fr Treloar with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm and possessing an offensive weapon.

‘YOU JUST HAVE TO DEAL WITH WHAT YOU ARE CONFRONTED WITH’

Fr Treloar told the ‘Daily Mail’: ‘You just have to deal with what you are confronted with. Yes, there was a slight sense of deja vu but it is important to be calm.

‘My biggest concern was thinking what if this had happened to someone else.’

‘WHAT IF THIS HAPPENED TO SOMEONE ELSE?’

Fr Treloar said: ‘I am happy to keep serving the community in Wrexham as long as my bishop wants me to.

‘SERVING … AS LONG AS MY BISHOP WANTS ME TO’

‘The vast majority of people here are very welcoming,’ the priest said. ‘I can’t stop living just because of a couple of idiots.'”
– This article was published in “The Catholic Herald” issue July 11 2014. For subscriptions please visit http://www.catholicherald.co.uk (external link).

 

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ABOUT BLESSED JEAN-BAPTISTE DE BRUXELLES

18th JULY: BLESSED JEAN-BAPTISTE DE BRUXELLES, PRIEST AND MARTYR

Father Jean-Baptiste de Bruxelles (1734-1794) was a priest of the French see of Limoges, serving as pastor of a parish church.

Having refused to take the anti-papal oath of the “Civil Constitution of the Clergy” imposed by the bloody Jacobin regime of the French Revolution, Father de Bruxelles joined over eight hundred priests and religious refusing the oath who were put aboard a fleet of prison ships docked in Rochefort. On 18th July 1794, the fifty-nine-year-old priest died of sickness and starvation resulting from the inhumane conditions on the prison ships.

“The sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for her young: by your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are they who dwell in your house, for ever singing your praise.” (c.f. Ps. 83:4-5)

 

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ABOUT ST JOHN JONES, COURAGEOUS WELSH PRIEST AND MARTYR

12th JULY: ST JOHN JONES, COURAGEOUS WELSH PRIEST AND MARTYR

“St John Jones, also known as John Buckley, John Griffith or Godfrey Maurice – was a Welsh Franciscan priest and martyr.

He was born in Clynnog Fawr in Caernarfonshire (Gwynedd) into a courageous Catholic family who remained faithful to the Church even at the height of the Protestant Reformation.

When John was a boy he entered a strict Observant Franciscan friary at Greenwich. When it was dissolved in 1559 [by the Protestant forces] he moved to Pontoise, where he professed his vows. He later travelled to Rome and stayed at the Aracoeli friary. While in Rome John joined the Roman province of the Reformati, a yet stricter branch of the Friars Minor.

In 1591 he asked to join the English Mission. Despite the evident risk to his life, his superiors agreed and he received a blessing and commendation from Pope Clement VIII.

John arrived in London towards the end of 1592 and laboured in different parts of the country. His brother Franciscans elected him their minister provincial.

In 1596 a spy told the priest-catcher Richard Topcliffe that John had visited two Catholics and celebrated Mass in their home. Although it was later revealed that the two Catholics were in prison at the time the Mass was alleged to have been celebrated, John was arrested, scourged and tortured.

He was then imprisoned for two years.

On July 3 1598, John was tried on the charge of ‘going over the seas in the first year of Her Majesty’s reign [1558] and there being made a priest by the authority from Rome and then returning to England contrary to statute’. He was convicted of high treason and sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered.

His execution was delayed by an hour because his executioner forgot to bring the rope. He used the spare time to preach to the crowd and answer their questions.

He was executed on what is now the Old Kent Road in south-east London. His dismembered body parts were fixed on top of poles on roads leading to Newington and Lambeth.

He was beatified in 1929 by Pope Pius XI and canonised on October 25 1970 by Pope Paul VI.”
– This article was published in “The Catholic Herald” issue July 4 2014. For subscriptions please visit http://www.catholicherald.co.uk (external link).

 

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PRIEST WHO SURVIVED VIOLENT ASSAULT SAYS HE FORGIVES ATTACKER

“An American priest who survived a violent assault in which a fellow priest was murdered has said that he forgives their attacker.

CRITICAL CONDITION

Fr Joseph Terra was left in a critical condition and his colleague was shot dead after a burglary at his parish on June 11.

LAST RITES

When Fr Terra was asked about the man who attacked him and killed his friend, he simply replied: ‘I have forgiven him.’ Fr Terra was able to administer the Last Rites to 28-year-old Fr Kenneth Walker after the shooting at Mater Misericordiae Mission in Phoenix.

Despite his injuries Fr Terra was also able to call the police.

REQUIEM MASS

After the requiem Mass for Fr Walker, Fr Carl Gismondi, a fellow member of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter, said: ‘There is always forgiveness. It’s important for us to remember the man who committed the act… We should pray for him… The hardest part of Catholicism is to pray for those who persecute us.’

‘THERE IS ALWAYS FORGIVENESS’

Police have arrested Gary Michael Moran on suspicion of breaking into the rectory and attacking the priests after the burglary seemingly went wrong.

The police said Moran had just completed a five-year-prison sentence for breaking and entering in 2005 when he stabbed the home owner with a knife. Following Fr Walker’s death, the Diocese of Phoenix released a statement that said: ‘We are stunned and deeply saddened to learn of the tragic assault perpetrated… against Fr Joseph Terra and Fr Kenneth Walker, two religious order priests who belong to the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter.’

Greg Stanton, the mayor of Phoenix, said: ‘Every American should feel safe in a house of worship.'”
– This article by Madeleine Teahan was published in “The Catholic Herald” issue June 27 2014. For subscriptions please visit http://www.catholicherald.co.uk (external link).

 

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BL. ANTON DURCOVICI – “A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST, EVEN IN THE MOST DIFFICULT SITUATIONS”

“On 17th May [2014], a Beatification Mass took place to give the Church its newest Blessed, the step before Sainthood. Blessed Anton Durcovici was born on 17th May 1888 in Bad Deutsch Altenburg, Austria. In 1895 Blessed Anton’s family moved to the Romanian Kingdom and he completed his studies in Lasi and in Bucharest.

In 1906 Blessed Anton joined the Catholic Seminary, finishing his priestly studies in Rome. Being ordained a priest in 1910, Blessed Anton returned to Romania where he first worked as a schoolteacher in the Bucharest Seminary and then as the parish administrator in Tulcea.

After Romania entered World War I, Blessed Anton was sent to an internment camp, being an Austrian citizen, until freed under the orders of King Ferdinand I. Blessed Anton then became rector of the Bucharest Seminary and held this office until 1948, when he was consecrated as the Bishop of Lasi.

PLACED UNDER SURVEILLANCE

As a Catholic Bishop he became an enemy of the post-World War II Communist Party in Romania, who initially unsuccessfully tried to get him to decrease the authority of the Pope over Romanian Catholics. Blessed Anton was placed under surveillance and on 26 June 1949 was arrested by the secret police.

PRIESTS WERE SUBJECTED TO TERRIBLE TORTURES BECAUSE OF THEIR FAITH

He was held in Jilava and then transferred to Sighet Prison with other priests. Blessed Anton was subjected to terrible tortures because of his Catholic Faith and had to endure severe deprivations, being denied food and water. In the freezing winter weather Blessed Anton was stripped naked and forced to stand in the cold. As a result of this treatment Blessed Anton died.

THE ATTEMPT TO ERASE ALL EVIDENCE OF THE BISHOP’S FATE

He was buried in an unmarked grave and the communist authorities subsequently attempted to erase all evidence of his stay in prison and treatment. Documents were destroyed with any reference to Blessed Anton. A process for his beatification started in 1997. The decree accepting Blessed Anton’s martyrdom was signed by Pope Francis paving the way for this recent Beatification Mass.

STANDING UP FOR TRUTH

The present Bishop of Lasi said of Blessed Anton that he, ‘is a figure of resistance, who gave the example to everyone by standing up for truth, dignity and freedom as well as for devotion to the Christian faith.’ Let each of us also be, like Blessed Anton, an example for those around us of what it means to be a follower of Christ, even in the most difficult situations.”
– From: “Spiritual Thought from Fr Chris”

 

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PRIESTS – ANGELS ON EARTH

PRIESTS – ANGELS ON EARTH

If we understand the divine dignity of priesthood, we shall comprehend more fully the infinite greatness of Mass.

St Ignatius, Martyr, says that the priesthood is the most sublime of all created dignities.

St Ephrem calls it an infinite dignity.

Cassian says that the priest of God is exalted above all earthly sovereignities and above all celestial heights. He is inferior to God alone.

Pope Innocent III says that the priest is placed between God and man; inferior to God, but superior to man.

St Denis calls the priest a divine man and the priesthood a divine dignity.

St Ephrem says that the gift of the sacerdotal dignity surpasses all understanding.

Hence, St John Chrysostom says that he who honours a priest honours Christ, and he who insults a priest insults Christ.

St Ambrose has called the priestly office a divine profession.

St Francis de Sales, after having given orders to a holy ecclesiastic, perceived that in going out he stopped at the door as if to give precedence to another. Being asked by the Saint why he stopped, he replied that God favoured him with the visible presence of his angel guardian, who before he had received the priesthood always remained on his right and preceded him, but now since the moment of ordination walked on his left and refused to go before him. It was in a holy contest with the Angel that he stopped at the door.

According to St Thomas, the dignity of the priesthood surpasses that of the angels.

St Gregory Nazianzen has said that the angels themselves venerate the priesthood.
All the Angels in Heaven cannot absolve from a single sin. The Angel Guardians procure for the souls committed to their care grace to have recourse to a priest, that he may absolve them.

St Francis of Assisi used to say: If I saw an angel and a priest, I would bend my knee first to the priest and then to the angel.

St Augustine says that to pardon a sinner is a greater work than to create Heaven and Earth. To pardon a single sin requires all the omnipotence of God.

St Alphonsus: The entire Church cannot give God as much honour, or obtain so many graces as a single priest by celebrating a single Mass. Thus, by the celebration of a single Mass, in which he offers Jesus Christ in sacrifice, a priest gives greater honour to the Lord than if all men, by dying for God, offered Him the sacrifice of their lives.

St Ignatius: Priests are the glory and the pillars of the Church, the doors and doorkeepers of Heaven.

St Alphonsus: were the Redeemer to descend into a Church and sit in a confessional, and a priest to sit in another confessional, Jesus would say over each penitent: “Ego te absolvo.” The priest would likewise say over each of his penitents: “Ego te absolvo”, and the penitents of each would be equally absolved. Thus, the sacerdotal dignity is the most noble of all the dignities in this world.

St Ambrose says that it transcends all the dignities of kings, of emperors, and of angels. The dignity of the priest far exceeds that of kings as the value of gold surpasses that of lead.

St Cyprian said that all who had the true spirit of God were, when compelled to take the Order of priesthood, seized with fear and trembling.

St Epiphanius writes that he found no one willing to be ordained a priest, so fearful were they of so divine a dignity.

St Gregory Nazianzen says, in his ‘Life of St Cyprian’ that, when the Saint heard that his bishop intended to ordain him a priest, he, through humility, concealed himself. It is related in the life of St Fulgentius that he too fled away and hid himself.

St Ambrose, as he himself attests, resisted for a long time before he consented to be ordained.

St Francis of Assisi never consented to be ordained.

 

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RELIEF AS KIDNAPPED PRIESTS HAVE FINALLY BEEN RELEASED

“YAOUNDE, CAMEROON: Two Italian priests and a Canadian nun kidnapped in northern Cameroon by gunmen allied to terrorist group Boko Haram were released last week.

The release of the trio – priests Giampaolo Marta and Gianantonio Allegri and Sr Gilberte Bissiere – was greeted with relief by Cameroonian and Vatican authorities, who were becoming increasingly concerned about their fate.

Cameroon communications minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary said: ‘I confirm the release of the two priests and the nun abducted a few weeks ago. They are in good health. They are now on a plane heading to Yaounde.’

Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi said news of the release ‘fills us with joy’. We thank the Lord that this dramatic episode has reached a positive outcome,’ Lombardi said.

Pope Francis had followed the affair closely, he said, and had been informed immediately of the releases.

The priests had been working on improving water supplies and fighting the spread of HIV Aids.”
– This article entitled “Relief as Church trio is released” was published in “The Catholic Universe” issue Friday 6th June 2014. For subscriptions please visit http://www.thecatholicuniverse.com (external link).

 

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