Skip to comments.Catholic: American seer was sent into 'dark exile' after cloister split with modern nuns
Posted on 06/24/2002 8:36:27 AM PDT by Siobhan
It is nothing you will read in the diocesan newspaper. It is nothing you will see on network TV, or in The Boston Globe. It was certainly not an issue under discussion at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Dallas. But here is a fact: the bishops of the United States were granted prescient warnings of the coming Church crisis by the Blessed Mother in apparitions to an Ohio nun named Sister Mildred Mary Ephrem Neuzil, and had the bishops listened to what the Virgin requested, they would have staved off or at least greatly lessened the recent damage.
The Blessed Mother's request to Sister Neuzil was straightforward, as reported here many times, and as sent to all the bishops: make the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington a place of special pilgrimage, dedicated to "purity" (as well as to our youth) and place a statue there representing Our Lady of America.
It did not seem like an outlandish request. It would not have taken much. It was a call to goodness (the Virgin fretted to Sister Neuzil about humility in the priesthood), and it was issued in an apparition that had the strong support of Archbishop Paul F. Leibold of Cincinnati, who promised Sister Neuzil he would work at installing the statue and who had a medal of Our Lady of America struck, along with a large plaque that hung in the chancery.
That's first-stage ecclesiastic approval -- and while there are several older cases whereby chapels were build in association with a vision or miracle, it was the first time an apparition had reached that level in the United States.
But Archbishop Leibold died before completing this mission, and the apparition has since been set aside or ignored by a Church hierarchy that, at least in the U.S., has grown cold toward apparitions. "Tell the Bishops of the United States, my loyal sons, of my desires and how I wish them to be carried out," the Blessed Mother had pleaded as long ago as 1957 to Sister Neuzil -- who then set forth a relentless campaign trying to dedicate a statue of youth and purity right up to her death in 2000.
Sister Neuzil herself became a victim of the rampant psychology, liberalism, and modernism that all but stripped the Catholic Church in America of its supernatural nature. In the end a move by her order toward secularism and away from "old-fashioned" traditions -- including cloister living -- sent her and several other nuns into a tailspin that ended with her death in a lonely house-turned-tiny-cloister in Fostoria, Ohio.
Such is obvious in Sister Neuzil's personal letters, starting in the late 1970s. It was during this time that the order to which Sister Neuzil belonged headed in a direction that put nuns in apartments, replaced habits with modern dress, and began to make life difficult for Sister Neuzil and six others who were living in a cloister within the order.
Suddenly, that cloister, home to the American apparitions, faced extinction.
"For the past 21 years we, the Contemplative Sisters, have attempted to live our monastic, contemplative way of life within the Congregation of the Sisters of the Precious Blood," said a letter signed by the seven cloister nuns, led by Sister M. Florecita. "Through the years it has become progressively more difficult for us to live out our way of life from within the framework of policies and norms intended for the entire Congregation. The difficulties we have encountered along the way have brought us to question whether or not we are trying to do an impossible thing: namely, to live one way of life from within another way of life."
Tensions between the cloister and the "active" community burst forth in the late-1970s to the point where the cloister was forced to leave a monastery they had spent years renovating and move into the lonely, spare quarters in Fostoria, Ohio, where Sister Neuzil lived until her death on January 10, 2000. "There is no way we can recover the monastery, as it has been sold to a lay person," lamented Sister Neuzil in a letter dated March 3, 1982, describing the situation in a previous letter as "the darkness of my exile."
It was all in the atmosphere of changes that swept the entire Church -- and that is now coming into special focus amid Church scandals. The underlying disease, indicated the Blessed Mother, was pride, a pride that in many cases caused priests to resist her grace. This the Virgin had warned about as far back as 1959. Years later, in 1981, Our Lady of America, speaking to the now-isolated Sister Neuzil, warned that a "web of evil" had therefore ensnared the priesthood.
Had the requested dedication taken place, the Blessed Mother, in all likelihood, would have empowered (as she often is empowered by consecration) to prevent many abuse situations that have specifically targeted our youth as well as priestly purity. Instead, the request has been set aside and there is no representation of the Virgin of America in our own national shrine, which does have altars dedicated to apparitions that occurred in far-off places like Croatia and India -- leaving the U.S. as the only major country in the West with no fully recognized apparition of Mary.
We believe this lack of devotion has severely hurt the Church in the U.S. A dedication to the Virgin's purity -- to her immaculate nature -- would have afforded a shield of protection. We also believe that had such a discussion taken place in Dallas, had the bishops finally installed her under the requested title, had they consecrated the nation to her purity, they would have transcended the crisis and sent the Church's enemies into a tailspin.
We are seeing the results of the worst elements within the Catholic community (activist liberals) seizing control of institutions and religious orders, subjecting almost everything to a frenzied revolution of iconoclasm, liturgical minimalism, dissent, goofy socialism, alternative lifestyles, and weirdness in general. Much that goes on in AmChurch has very little to do with authentic and orthodox Catholicism. AmChurch reflects Catholicism about as accurately as the PC, multicultural, liberal extremists in the Democratic Party represent the U.S. Constitution. Indeed, the language of relativism on homosexuality is about the same.
I don't know about all of that. My understanding is that the apparitions have not been declared either true of false. Until they are priests, and bishops cannot lead pilgrimages to Medg. Because that would give the impression that the Church has said the phenomenon there are officially approved and they are not. I think a lay person can lead pilgrimages there but may not give the slightest impression that the Church is sponsoring him in doing so. Something like that. Check this out and see if you agree with how I understand it. It's EWTN's explaination http://www.ewtn.com/expert/expertfaqframe.asp?source=/vexperts/conference.htm
Thanks for the link. Very enlightening.
I've never seen that site before. Looks amazingly like Drudge. I'm bookmarking it for perusing. Thank you.
The apparitions have always upset the hierarchy of the Church ..... 3rd secret of Fatima, anyone?
The big problem, the dead elephant in the living room, is that most Catholics do not get a substantial diet of real preaching and holiness of life from their clergy. Because we do not receive solid challenging teaching in line with the Catechism and the teaching of the Holy Father, many are drawn to alleged seers, messages, and apparitions. Why? I suspect it is because the average Catholic is desperate for evidence that God is alive and hasn't forgotten about them -- evidence they do not experience in their parish as they try to sift through liturgical belly dancers, cinammon buns for the Eucharist, rainbow banners, sashes, and chasubles, and Father "Light-on-his-feet" swishing about the sacristy....
We sure could, and that is why we need to be careful and cautious about alleged apparitions, and redouble our faithfulness to God through the clear means of Grace he has given us. As Fr. Benedict always says, "If you want a miracle, go to Mass. If you want a message, read the Bible"