2015 Conference Review
Theme: Total Consecration to Mary: The Remedy for our Ills.
After introducing the speakers and their talk titles the opening remarks of Brother André turned toward the current event, the Synod in Rome “On the Family,” which was winding up as the conference began. Brother briefly addressed the scandalous abuse of what the liberals were calling the “penitential path” in the name of “mercy,” promoting Holy Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics who felt alienated. The Church’s teaching on three sacraments was under assault, he said: Holy Matrimony, Penance, and Holy Communion. Cited in support of the perennial teaching of the Church were Vatican I, the Syllabus of Errors of Blessed Pius IX, and the condemnation of a false development (i.e, evolution) of doctrine issued by Saint Pius X. He ended on the theme of the conference as a solution to the Church’s present ills, Total Consecration to Mary. CD, DVD, MP3 or MP4
Sister Maria Philomena
“The Consolation of Dying as a Slave of Mary”.
Sister’s talk was divided into three themes: After reciting the Hail Mary, our speaker accented again the second part of the prayer: Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. The first part of her talk was given to the preparation for death that we all should consider even if we are in good health. Now is the time to prepare for death that will come. The best preparation is to live a growing life of grace anticipating a death at any time. “In all thy works remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin.” Sister then offered wonderful insights on the necessity of “meditation” and how easy it is to practice, especially meditation of the Four Last Things. Part of this meditation may involve personal experience, seeing others die and, in her own case, helping others to die well. Sister cited many examples from the lives of the saints, as well as drawing from her own skin cancer diagnosis and how that motivated her to prepare for her own death. She is doing well now. An inspiration to all. CD, DVD, MP3 or MP4
Brother André Marie
’“Total Consecration to Mary: The Remedy for our Ills.”
Remember, Brother began, that perfectly healthy people don’t need a physician, sick people do. After giving his “short list” of the ills within the Church and society, which was quite exhaustive, Brother launched into his theme of the Remedy for all these ills that we are all witnessing and living through, the Total Consecration to Mary.
This presentation was an excellent encapsulation of the spirit of Saint Louis de Montfort’s treatise True Devotion to Mary. Assuming that his audience had made their Marian consecration or, at least, had heard about it, he pointed out that “Holy Slavery to Mary” was not invented by Saint Louis but resurrected by him. It had a tradition going back 1200 hundred years before his own time.
After giving the history of holy slavery to our Queen, Brother delivered a magnificent exposition of what exactly True Devotion and Holy Slavery to Mary should be for us who are consecrated to her, especially in confronting the challenges to our Faith in these trying times. CD, DVD, MP3 or MP4
Sister Marie Thérèse
“Promises to Keep”
Using a few classic Marian books to draw from, Sister addressed the audience directly, not so much as a teacher, but as gentle provoker of conscience: “Do you keep your promises?” she asked. “Specifically, do you keep the promises you made to the Mother of God in your Total Consecration?” This would entail serving your Queen, she said, with emphasis on the word “service.” In return for this service, our Queen promises many exceptional blessings and favors. “Do you know these promises? Are you serving in a way that will obtain these promises for you?” Listen to Sister Marie Thérèse’s talk, and learn how to reap the fantastic benefits of your daily service to your Heavenly Queen. CD, DVD, MP3 or MP4
“The Once and Future Queen”
Beginning with his usual wit and humor, Mr. Potter described his own inadequacy, speaking on so sublime a topic, as the “proverbial war correspondent who covers the fighting from a hotel bar.” He stressed that the goal of devotion to Mary will always fall short of the “totalness” that we promise in our consecration. One thing that was a surprise for listeners, giving them pause, was that Mr. Potter made no bones about the fact that he “loves” this life, with all the good things it offers, including, foremost, his own created existence. From hereon in, Gary spoke all about his Queen from the point of view of one who was not always a Catholic. His overall theme was the exalted Queenship of Mary, the Mother of Christ the King. She has the King’s authority and the King wishes that she be honored and loved as His chosen Queen, His chosen Theotokos (God-Bearer). Mr. Potter spoke passionately about the religious and cultural things that drew him to the Faith and how that all was crowned in Pope XII’s bestowal of the title “Empress of the Americas” on Our Lady of Guadalupe in 1945. He ended with a call for Catholic men to be chivalrous, and for all the faithful to live the dignity of their vocation as children of God. CD, DVD, MP3 or MP4. Detailed notes are available on this talk upon request.
Dr. G.C. Dilsaver
“The Heroic Freedom of Holy Slavery”
Dr. Dilsaver devoted much of his talk to the development of true courage, moral courage, if we are going to be “holy” Slaves, worthy of our calling to labor in Our Lady’s service. Giving many examples of worldly courage, usually motivated by self-love, the speaker simplified the virtue of fortitude to “love of God more than self;” that, he said “is the engine of true heroics.”
The highest fear, meritorious fear, is the fear of not loving God enough. We cannot have the Spirit of God within us perfectly if we fear man or the state. Quoting the Apostle John, he employed the verse “perfect charity casteth out fear, because fear hath pain. And he that feareth, is not perfected in charity” as the ideal to strive for. He spoke about having an “informed Catholic conscience,” about the only “right” that really matters, the “right to do our duty to God.” Particular stress was laid on our vocation to be unperturbed by anything adverserial, even by the liberal machinations going on in the Church. “No one can tell you to be less Catholic” he said. Some call our time, the “Age of the Family,” let us then have a vision, he intoned with vigor, directing our courage to love of God as parents, husbands, and wives. If our eyes are on Mary we shall be free of vexation and arrive some day, in heaven. That is the freedom of holy slavery. CD, DVD, MP3 or MP4
Mr. Charles Coulombe
“Mary Queen of the Nations”
If Mary is our Queen then we are monarchists. Jesus is our King, the King of the Universe, King of every nation even of those who reject Him. Christ is King by title: as Creator, by right of descent, as Heir of David the King, and by right of conquest, conquering sin from the Cross. Mary partakes of this royalty as the perfect daughter of the Father, as daughter of David and Mother of the King of kings, and as Co-Redemptrix. Charles then gave a fascinating tour of the honors bestowed upon the Queen Mother by Catholic nations throughout history. This was the theme of his cultivated and inspiring presentation. Mr. Coulombe took us to Hungary, Poland, Ireland, France, Spain, South America, China, and lastly these United States chronicling with incredible erudition many of the titles by which Our Lady has been honored in various states and highlighting many of the shrines devoted to her throughout the land. From the most famous, the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC, to the most unknown, glorious yet unpretentious, the Shrine of Our Lady Reconquistadora in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Charles ended with a call to heroic fortitude in these times. Slaves of Mary pledge allegiance to Mary Queen, Mother of Catholic Heroes. CD, DVD, MP3 or MP4
Mr. C.J. Doyle
“How the Rosary Rescued a Nation”
The nation was Austria. If one needed a concise power-packed history of Europe in the early to mid twentieth century from the true perspective, the Catholic one, this talk is it. First, before relating the inspiring story of how Our Lady saved Austria from the Communists, Mr. Doyle set the stage with a summary of the political and military intrigues that were unleashed upon most of Europe before, during, and after the two world wars. How the Nazis and the Soviets vied for power, even working together for their own interests (one million Russians died fighting for Hitler!!), was a lesson rarely heard in lectures or read in school books. All this from a Catholic perspective. What C.J. does so masterfully is relate major events with the characters used to effect them. His eulogistic portrayal of Blessed Emperor Karl of the Austro-Hungarian Hapsburg empire was captivating, as was his breakdown of the motives pushing evil men like Stalin and Woodrow Wilson and other principal world leaders to slaughter 120,000,000 men, including 307,000 US soldiers in WWII. The fate of Austria during this time, Mr. Doyle said, was in the hands of its Catholic population, for that nation had been saved for the Church by the Counter-Reformation. Archduke Ferdinand III, Emperor Karl’s nephew, dedicated Austria to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Most intriguing was the work for the liberation of Austria in 1955 from the Soviets; it was led by the Catholic partners in Faith, Father Petrus Pavlicek and the Chancellor Julius Raab, who rallied 500,000 Catholics to pray the Rosary daily in order to save the nation from the Communist occupiers. Listen to this talk and see how that miracle happened. Clue: Raab was called to Moscow on May 13, 1955 (the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima), and he and Father Pavlicek often publicly called upon Our Lady of Fatima for her protection. CD, DVD, MP3 or MP4
Master of Ceremonies, Charles Coulombe, led the Q & A with flair. All of the speakers addressed almost all of the questions. There were eight questions. The speakers were all at their best — literally at their best — each contributing words of wisdom on various topics.
Some of the questions were very good, others a bit odd, but the speakers handled them all with great finesse and respect. The first question, for example, was “Which pope will consecrate Russia, Emeritus Benedict XVI or Francis? Dr. Dilsaver had to deal with that one. He also brilliantly answered a question on mental health and the use of a psychiatrist. Dr. Dilsaver is a psychologist who uses Thomistic/Aristotelian anthropology in his profession. “How do we encourage people to become Catholic when the Church is going through this ‘diabolic disorientation”? was another question. This one and the answers of the full panel were most illuminating and right on line with the crusade of Saint Benedict Center to convert America. Another question, for C.J. Doyle, our expert on Erin, dealt with the apostasy of Ireland in our times (legalization of same-sex “marriage” recently, and by plebiscite, not judicial fiat). Another question had to do with “attitude.” “What is the attitude a Slave of Mary should manifest”? Sister Marie Thérèse quoted Father Jarecki, our dear deceased chaplain: “Our attitude as Catholics ought to be the B-Attitudes,” she said. The final question was the most relevant. It had to do with the Rosary promises and how to live with an apparent rejection of one’s petition to Mary for a favor. All of the speakers provided good counsel here. But Sister Marie Thérèse, once again, was a simple light when she cited the wisdom of the saints on the subject: “Our Lady always gives us ‘something better’ than what we ask for”. Don’t miss out on listening to this elucidating and entertaining discussion. It was a fitting finale to a great conference. CD, DVD, MP3 or MP4