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The Campaign against SGG Last Year: An Outside Perspective

NOTE: A few weeks ago, I had an e-mail exchange with a couple who had been following the events here at St. Gertrude the Great late last year. It makes a number of excellent points, and they were kind enough to allow me to publish it.

Dear Father,

My husband, Nick and I are traditional Catholics living in Tulsa Oklahoma without benefit of frequent access to a genuine Mass. Over the past few years we have tried to maintain ties to the traditionalist movement through, among other things, accessing articles and sermons posted on the internet, from various sites.

My husband and I have found much edification and inspiration, in your writings, as well as that of Bishops Dolan and Sanborn. Sad to say, it is extremely difficult in this era of the “dumbing-down” of the people to encounter truly educated and articulate writings and speech in secular life, much less in today’s clergy.

Therefore, it has been most distressing to us to see what has been happening to the priests and the parish of St Gertrude’s as a result of the recent onslaught of vicious internet attacks levied by a small group of disgruntled persons. From our perspective as outside observers, it is only obvious what is occurring: insinuations are being trumpeted as fact; statements that should have remained private have been made public and published out of context; the internet is being used as a means of slander and defamation. It also appears to us as if certain individuals are truly suffering from mental issues that only contribute to the paranoia and frenzy with which they seek to destroy SGG clergy and the parish itself.

The Devil is truly having himself a wonderful time at the expense of (i) the SGG clergy (ii) the persons who insist upon continuing a vicious, frenzied, and irrational attack (iii) the dupes (some witting and others not) who are being used to perpetuate the calumnies and (iv) the Church itself… already fragmented and in crisis.

I wish that I could shake some sense into these people; I want to continually rebut and rebuke these internet gossip mongers and yet I know it would be to no effect. Clearly there is no logical dialogue that can be waged with people in the grip of the devil’s delusions.

In any event. my husband and I offer our sincere support and if there is anything we can do to assist the SGG clergy we offer our services (my husband is an attorney and I am a paralegal). We would also like to send you and Bishop Dolan a donation in order to assist you with your dails expenses, such meals etc. What would be the best address for us to send a check?

If we can be of any service to you and Bishop Dolan, please feel free to contact us at ___________________

God bless,

Rose & Nick Manno


Dear Mr. And Mrs. Manno,

We greatly appreciated your kind and thoughtful letter.

With your permission, I would like to post it on my blog (minus any identifying information), because it sums up a number of important points. If you would be uncomfortable with this, I will understand.

A number of people like yourselves — faithful Catholics isolated from ready access to the Mass and the sacraments — have written to assure us of their prayers and and support. A perspective from someone outside the “battlefield” is a good reminder to us that the little apostolate we have undertaken here, despite its problems, has benefited more that just the Catholics of southern Ohio. And that’s a very encouraging thought.

Your comments on the corrosive effects of the internet were particularly perceptive. This episode has certainly brought home to us the realization that we all now live in a different — and truly nasty — world.

We, like you, reluctantly came to the conclusion that the cause for these events was at least in part the work of the devil, because there was no proportion whatsoever between the supposed cause for the dispute (dissatisfaction with our school on the part of a few) and the rabid, consuming rage against clergy, school and church stirred up among seemingly devout people, most of whom had no direct experience or connection with our school.

Things have settled down, thank God, and we are looking forward to a good Lent next week. I was able to return to finishing the book I have been writing on the New Mass — it will appear in early April — and we are making plans for our customary Holy Week observances.

As for those who have left us, I do not know what they will do ultimately, because it seems that Father Ramolla is in the process of being deported. (The employment status he had with us, it appears, was not transferable.)

I will put you on the list to receive our national newsletter. If you care to contribute from time to time to help Bishop Dolan’s apostolate, that would be appreciated.

May God bless you for your prayers and kind words.

In Christ,

Father Cekada


Dear Fr. Cekada,

Thanks for your warm reply.

Congratulations on the completion of your book. My husband and I will be very interested in reading it after it is published.

Yes, please feel free to post our e-mail on Quidlibet.

Given their track record so far, I imagine that the gaggle of internet detractors will accuse you of making up the e-mail. Therefore, please feel free to post my and my husband’s name in connection with the e-mail (just not our address and telephone number).

We stand behind what we wrote 100%. The least that we can do is to show you and Bishop Dolan the support that you so justly deserve by permitting our names to be attached to our comments.

We will be sure to send a donation very shortly.

May God continue to bless the parish of SGG and the work that you and Bishop Dolan do.


Nick and Rose Manno

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