Light Of The World

Letter from the District Superior Rev. Robert Brucciani, March 2016

On my return to the U.K. after eight years in India, I couldn’t help but feel like a foreigner in my own country on account of so many changes to everyday life. Among the pleasing changes are the availability of good coffee and ticketless travel on planes, trains and buses. Among the less-than-pleasing changes are the multiplication of surveillance cameras and fines imposed for “offences” committed in complete ignorance and detected by machines or incentivised private contractors.

Worse by far, however, is the amplitude, universality and breathtaking barefacedness of propaganda in the mainstream media (the BBC is the worst) promoting radical secularism, feminism, sexual promiscuity, homosexuality, contraception, abortion, euthanasia, embryo experimentation, evolution as fact, the European Union, mass Muslim immigration, a genocidal foreign policy in the Middle East … and more.

Statements made by journalists, politicians and academics that would have been considered comically deranged a few years ago are now regarded as the common currency of accepted wisdom: “The solution to teenage pregnancy is earlier sex education and a greater availability of contraception.” ... “We ought to remove the gender specification from passports.” ... “No right-thinking person can question the fact of man-induced climate change.” ... “We must stop praying in school assemblies to respect those who don’t believe in God.”

Contemporary music, art, television and films are no less aggressive in the promotion of a world without God, without objective truth and without the natural law.

Unfortunately, it is in this world that parents must raise their children for an eternity of happiness in the Beatific Vision of God. They must teach their children the truth about God, His revelation: heaven and hell, the angels and saints, the economy of salvation, the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ, the Mass as the most beautiful thing this side of heaven, the laws of right and wrong. They must instil in their children a profound love for Our Lord Jesus Christ when he is ignored by their neighbours. They must teach them virtues in a world that considers them vices. They must show them how to be leaders in a world that ridicules the foundation of their leadership. They must show them how to profess Our Lord Jesus Christ even if it means persecution.

This is the primary end of the state of life that parents have chosen. Marriage is for the procreation and education of children. When was the last time we heard that outside traditional Catholic circles? In times past, parents could rely on their local parish priest and their local Catholic school for support in the education of their children. This is now rarely the case. The Catholic hierarchy has effectively given up on their Catholic schools. As far back as the 1980s, Michael Davies gave vent to his astonishment and dismay, claiming that only 6% of Catholic children continued to practice their faith after leaving school (cf. Pro Ecclesia conference on Catholic education at 1hr 11min). What would that figure be today?

Instead of just lamenting and wringing our hands in despair, however, we must roll up our sleeves and sharpen our pencils. In this edition of Ite Missa Est, we hear from those who earn their eternity by educating our children for heaven at St. Michael’s School. Theirs a difficult job and they deserve our prayers, our praise and our money.

St. Michael’s School could well be the only uncompromisingly Catholic school in the country today. It is a happy place. Under the robust headmastership of Fr. Patrick Summers and the devotional care of Sr. Mary-Elizabeth for the Juniors, together with the unseen toil and holiness of the brothers, sisters and staff, a torch is held aloft which draws increasing numbers of families to Burghclere. St. Michael’s School is now the largest parish in the District by a considerable margin—and, by a strange but familiar irony, it is one of the only parishes without a proper church!

May these few articles inspire young parents in their mighty task of making saints of their children.

In Jesu et Maria,

Rev. Robert Brucciani

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