Dear Friends of the Kolbe Center,
Each year for the last six years, we have welcomed families to our leadership retreat so that the fathers and mothers who want to advance the Kolbe mission within their spheres of influence are not separated from their children. In addition to Holy Mass, the Rosary, and various activities and classes for the younger children, my wife directs interested young people in an original play about the life of a saint whose life and mission relate to our mission. Three years ago, our play focused on the life and times of St. Robert Southwell, and showed the parallels between the theological revolution of Protestantism and the cosmological revolution of heliocentrism against the traditional, Biblical geocentric cosmology of the Catholic Church.
When I was in Rome for the LifeSiteNews Roman Forum a few months ago, I met Fr. Andrew Southwell, who is a direct descendant of St. Robert Southwell’s family. After viewing the video of the play about his holy ancestor, he wrote to my wife Maria and to me:
...[I] did not have time to watch the film of St. Robert Southwell until recently. Having watched it I was intending to write to you. I thought the play on my ancestor’s life extremely well done and acted and accurate. In all it was a pleasure to watch and an inspiration. The acting and costumes were extremely good. Thank you for taking the trouble to send it to me and I shall forward it to other people whom I know.
Last year’s play focused on two saints and a third who will be canonized one day, God willing. It begins with St. Hildegard of Bingen, moves to Rome during the time of St. Robert Bellarmine and Galileo, to the beginning of the Thirty Years War and the pivotal Battle of White Mountain, and ends with the foundation of the Benedictines of Mary by their incorrupt foundress Sister Wilhelmina Lancaster. As you watch the play at this link—which I encourage you to do with friends and family—I would invite you to reflect on the significance of the miracle of incorruptibility, especially in relation to the lives and legacies of St. Robert Bellarmine and Sister Wilhelmina.
The Sign of Incorruptibility
The Catholic Church is distinguished from all man-made institutions by the immaculacy of her Scriptures, her defined doctrines, and her Sacraments. In the light of the true history that last year’s play recalls, it is hard not to see the incorruptibility of St. Robert Bellarmine as a testimony to the immutability of the Truth of Divine Revelation which he defended so wisely and ably against the sophistry of Galileo’s extravagant claims for his conjectures. St. Bellarmine showed remarkable prudence by his willingness to acknowledge the way that empirical telescopic observations contradicted the widely-accepted Aristotelian views on the immutability of the heavens while insisting that the burden of proof rested upon anyone who challenged any statement in the Word of God in regard to the Earth’s location, as it had been understood in God’s Church from the beginning.
As documented in the presentation at this LINK and in various other places on our website, the literal and obvious sense of Scripture that St. Robert Bellarmine defended against the speculations of Galileo and his followers has never been refuted. Indeed, no natural scientist has even come close to showing that “reason dictates or necessity requires” that the traditional reading of Scripture in force from the time of King Solomon to St. Robert Bellarmine must be abandoned in favor of some alternative interpretation. When St. Pius X warned that modernism, the worst heresy in the history of the Church, had entered the sheepfold of Christ, he identified “evolution” as “its principal doctrine.” He foresaw that faith in evolution would lead the modernists to deny the immutability of Catholic doctrine and to argue for an “evolution” of the Church’s doctrine, liturgy and laws. In fulfillment of St. Pius X’s prophetic warning, for more than half a century modernists have sought to corrupt what was incorruptible and to change what was unchangeable, including traditions like the wearing of a religious habit that clearly signifies one’s consecration to God and detachment from the world.
The incorruptibility of St. Robert Bellarmine and Sister Wilhelmina bears witness to the incorruptibility of the Truth to which they consecrated their lives. As God has preserved their bodies (and Sister Wilhelmina’s religious habit) from all the forces of corruption that normally prevail in this fallen world, so will He preserve His Word, His Sacred Liturgy, and the defined doctrines of the Catholic Faith from all attempts to deform them.
Kolbe Leadership Retreat 2024
The play that will be performed at this year’s leadership retreat will focus on the traditional Christian doctrine of creation as the foundation for the reunification of Eastern and Latin Christianity, through the lives of two “fools for Christ,” one of whom, Blessed Fr. Leonid Feodorov, was the first Exarch of the Russian Catholic Church, soon after its founding in 1916 on the eve of the Fatima Apparitions and the Bolshevik Revolution.
If you know anyone who believes in our mission and who has family members who would like to give glory to God through the theater, please encourage them to contact me about attending the 2024 leadership retreat. As I announced last week, in addition to having Fr. Lawrence Carney as our chaplain, we will be blessed to have theologian Fr. Thomas Crean, O.P., as one of our principal teachers. Many readers of this newsletter will remember Fr. Crean’s tremendous contribution to our symposium on the Special Creation of Adam and Eve as the Foundation of the Church’s Doctrine on Holy Marriage in 2015, which is also available on the Kolbe website at this link.
Through the prayers of the Mother of God, may the Holy Spirit lead us all into all the Truth!
P.S. Dr. Kevin Mark and I will give a seminar at Mater Dei Parish in Irving, Texas, on Friday and Saturday, March 1-2. After that I will give some presentations near Lake Charles, Louisiana, and in the Houston area before heading north for a presentation in Mississippi and another one in the St. Louis area on Sunday, March 10. If anyone reading this newsletter would like to arrange a venue in Texas (somewhere in or near Houston, Tyler, or Dallas) or in Louisiana (in reasonable proximity to Lake Charles) during the first week of March, please let me know as soon as possible at email@example.com.
P.P.S. I have had some communication with a Croatian priest, Fr. Josip Ulic, who was granted a master's degree in theology for a thesis in defense of the traditional doctrine of creation. He has turned his master's thesis into a book which he would like to have translated from Croatian into English. If you or someone you know would be willing and able to do this translation, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.