Today I begin the posting of a series of articles regarding the work of social reform called upon by the popes, especially Leo XIII, of the Third Order Secular of St. Francis. Whereas the primary purpose of the Third Order Secular is the sanctification of the individual, to stick only to this purpose would not be fulfilling the mandate that the popes of the late 19th and 20th centuries (prior to Vatican II) imposed upon tertiaries. As Pope Leo XIII had once said, “My plan for social reform is the Rule of the Third Order of St. Francis.” The Rule and Constitutions of the Third Order Secular of St. Francis make it clear that tertiaries have a duty to spread the Kingdom of Jesus Christ on this earth.
The first article is entitled “St. Francis’s Ideal of Social Reform”. It is taken from the September 1914 issue of the Franciscan Herald.
In a post that I published regarding an event that took place in Mahopac, New York, I questioned the secrecy surrounding the date and location of that event (those questions no longer appear in the post). In response to my post, someone e-mailed me and reproached me for raising suspicions about the reputations of those (I did not name names) involved with organizing the event without me knowing all the facts. I must admit that this person was correct. I therefore apologize to the people involved with organizing the event and to the readers of the Our Lady of Good Success Mission website for making comments and thereby raising suspicions against reputations without sufficiently investigating the reasons behind the secrecy of the event.
As an act of justice and in recompense, I present below, in red font, parts of the e-mail mentioned above with the permission of the author. Please note that the author is not a member of the community involved with organizing the event, but was present for this specific event. I have deliberately withheld some names and words.
Dear Mr. La Rosa,
Re: Your comments in Bishop Williamson’s sermon post on Ecclesia Militans
I am afraid that you do not understand and the suspicious tones of your comments that seem to hold silent accusations are not helpful. It would have been better first to research and find out why the event was kept so quiet and then critique based on the facts. I attended this event and will give you a few facts.
Fact 1: No one knew (even the Confirmands!) where exactly the Confirmations were going to be held until the day before the event.
Fact 2: It was not even known for more than a week that there were going to be Confirmations.
Fact 3: The situation in W between the Y and Fr. X is abominable. To say there is a vigorous persecution is an understatement. They (Y) played an aggressive role recently in preventing Fr. X from securing a nearby property. That they might have threatened these Confirmations was a very real possibility.
Fact 4: Bishop Williamson. He is not only despised by many in the mainstream Y but is also despised by secularists. That might have led to not only a disruption, but a loss of the facility altogether like Fact 3. To say that Bishop Williamson’s presence in the W area was sensitive is an understatement.
So no, it is not ideal in the least that this event had to be kept quiet. It was kept quiet out of necessity or it may not have come off at all. I do not think this is unlike why the consecration of Bishop Faure was also kept quiet in South America. Bishop Williamson (and Fr. X) have many enemies.
What Fr. X is doing in that community is heroic, and if you knew half of what was going on there, I have no doubt that you would agree.