"Water, Water Everywhere" on the Feast of St. John the Baptist
“My brothers, count it all joy when you shall undergo various trials…” (James 1:2) “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:21)
Once again I must crave my readers’ indulgence and ask their forgiveness for having allowed a lapse of a little over a month since the last time I updated my website, just as I was leaving on the May 14-28 segment of my ongoing “megatour.”
This latest segment consisted of a speaking tour of nine cities in six Midwestern states, in which I put another 3,000 miles on my car. It involved not only giving an updated version of my talk on “Counterfeit Catholicism” in Pittsburgh PA, Grand Rapids MI, Chicago and Rockford IL, and Milwaukee, Green Bay, and Eau Claire WI. It also included: a) a highly controversial public debate between Mr. Kenneth Bird and myself on the topic of which “traditionalist” clergy are properly authorized to function during the current crisis, b) my participation in the protest at the University of Notre Dame on the Sunday President Obama was delivering the commencement address and receiving an honorary doctorate in laws from the school, c) many, many hours of intensely fruitful private discussions about “counterfeit Catholicism” over meals with brilliant, three-time presidential candidate Dr. Alan Keyes during the three days we were together in South Bend, d) my also delivering in South Bend an updated rendition of my all-day “Wake Up, America!” seminar (which I hadn’t given for nine years), e) a lengthy and productive meeting in Minnesota with Michael Matt, editor of The Remnant and former colleague (and former student of mine, at Christendom College, back in the late 1980’s) regarding our doctrinal differences, and much, much more – regarding all of which I’m eager to report to you.
My website had not been updated for over a month prior to the last, mid-May posting because planning the trip had consumed nearly all my time. Similarly, it has been a little over a month since that posting because my two-week absence from home created such an enormous backlog of work piling up in my absence that I am still digging out from under the dunes of mail, e-mails, bills, phone messages, and other urgent matters that accumulated while I was away.
In fact, three weeks after my return from that trip, I still have several bags and boxes I haven’t even had a minute to unpack yet – partly because I’ve had four short out-of-town trips I’ve had to take since my return, partly because my May trip generated an unprecedented amount of controversy that I’ve had to address (more about that next week), and partly due to other pressing circumstances under which I’ve been laboring this month, including lengthy preparations for three more week-long lecture tours scheduled for later this summer.
I’ve been writing up a lengthy report about my May trip that I had intended to put the finishing touches upon and upload to the website this week. However, I will need to do that next week instead because of what just happened.
Today after our midday family prayers (including reading from Butler’s Lives of the Saints about St. John the Baptist, whose feast day is today) I went down into my basement, which houses not only Biblical Foundations International’s offices but also much of the St. Jerome Study Center, to do my work, only to be shocked to discover my office standing in 3 inches of water! The carpeting in adjacent rooms was also totally saturated, with items that had been sitting in piles on the carpet, waiting to be sorted and filed away, now completely waterlogged and ruined.
My wife, children, and I have just spent the past several hours carrying armloads of drenched and dripping items up onto our front porch to air and dry out, and I have been vacuuming up the water in the basement with a Bissell wet-vac, stopping every time the several-gallon-holding vacuum gets full in order to dump the dirty water into the sink so as to be able to vacuum up some more. I finally finished a few minutes ago.
Unfortunately many of my most crucial and most frequently used items – including the aforementioned bags and boxes that didn’t get put away from my last trip – have sustained significant (in some cases irreversible) water damage. Though we are striving to meticulously peel apart and individually air-dry the thousands of items in many, many banker’s boxes full of paper files (recent correspondence, notes for talks I currently give, irreplaceable documentation, etc.), much of it, I’m afraid, is beyond salvaging.
The most devastating casualty is my notebook computer, which, still in its carrying case, was found sitting in the 3 inches of standing water. The notebook, which may not be repairable, contains nearly all my files and documents from the last 3-4 years, much of it unfortunately not backed up. Other bags and boxes of computer equipment that, like my notebook, I had taken on my latest trip, were similarly soaked in water.
Needless to say, this has somewhat put a crimp in my already jam-packed schedule for this week! In fact, cleaning and reorganizing my basement offices and rebuilding my notes and files will probably take the rest of the summer. I’m also left looking at thousands of dollars of damage that I won’t be able to recoup. I have no homeowners insurance to cover these losses, and no savings in the bank; on the contrary, this latest trip – like all my trips, every one of which I undertake, not for profit, but out of love of sharing the truth of the Catholic Faith with people all across our spiritually impoverished nation – has increased our debt because its costs, as always, outweigh its profits (from sales of books and tapes).
As I said above, I have three other trips I had planned to make this summer. One of them – giving a crash course in virtually everything I give talks on, in 25 or so talks plus Q & A, to a large extended family in suburban Philadelphia during 6 days of the first week in August – I cannot cancel, as I have already been paid in advance. But I am worried that, with the financial loss sustained by today’s water disaster, I may have to postpone my two other summer speaking trips – a trip to the three largest cities in Alaska (the only state I have never yet spoken in, though I lived there for two years as a boy), and a trip to the last remaining parts of New England that my megatour has not yet hit but is obliged to because I’ve spoken in those locations in years gone by: Vermont, central NH, and Cape Cod MA.
Can you help me make these trips a reality, and help me to continue the important work of Biblical Foundations International in bringing the authentic Catholic Faith to our needy world? If you have not recently made a donation and would like to help out, please go to the home page on my website (www.gerrymatatics.org) and use the orange button marked “Make a Donation” to use PayPal or your Visa or MasterCard to send us a donation. Alternatively you can call me at (570) 969-1724 or fax me at (570) 969-1725 and provide your Visa or MC number, expiration date, and the amount you wish to donate. A third option would be to send a check or money order, payable to either “Biblical Foundations International” or “Gerry Matatics,” to me at PO Box 569, Dunmore PA 18512. If you do the latter, please send me a quick e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know a check is on its way.
A donation of any size, large or small, is gratefully appreciated. But if you can send a donation of at least $50, I’d like to show you my appreciation by sending you a free copy of one of our best-selling items, Fr. Denis Fahey’s brilliant, blockbuster book The Kingship of Christ and Organized Naturalism, the best introduction to his thought and the best antidote to the current confusion among even conservative Catholics as to what’s wrong with our country and world, spiritually and socially, politically and economically, and how to put it right.
If you can send $100 or more, I’d like to send you a copy of another of our very best-selling titles, Fr. Leonard Goffine’s 800-page 19th-century classic, The Church’s Year, a complete commentary on the Propers (i.e., the Introit, Collect, Epistle, Gospel, etc.) for all the Sundays and feast days of the liturgical year, coupled with unparalleled catechesis on every aspect of Catholic Faith and morals.
This is the book that our own family uses for our family worship on Sundays and holydays (and often other weekdays as well, especially during Advent and Lent). It includes a section near the back (on pages 767-772) entitled “Manner of Following Mass at Home” that is indispensable for those of us who have no valid and legal Mass we can get to where we live, if by God’s grace we have come to realize that God requires us to be modern-day recusants (like the uncompromising Catholics during the English “Reformation”) whose fidelity to Catholic Faith and morals obliges us to abstain not only from the lawlessness of the "Left" (e.g., the New Mass, which contradicts the clear teaching of Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the true Magisterium), but as well from the lawlessness of the "Right" (e.g., the Tridentine Masses illegally (and in some cases invalidly) and therefore sacrilegiously celebrated by many “independent traditionalist” priests whose ordinations were not authorized by Holy Mother Church – many of them actually not true Tridentine Masses at all, but rather Masses offered according to the unauthorized 1962 Missal of antipope John XXIII. (Please don't misunderstand me to be saying that all priests who may be saying the Tridentine Mass in our day are so unauthorized. I’ll have much more to say on the many aspects of this issue next week.)
These two items are so popular that, although I took my entire stock of books for sale along with me in my car on the last trip, we sold completely out of these particular two books (among others). However, we have replenished our stock from the publishers and now have many copies of both on our shelves. (If you already have these books and would like to make a $50 or $100 donation to help get us back on our feet, please visit our online store at www.gerrymatatics.org/shop and select an alternate item of comparable value, and I’ll be happy to send it to you instead of the Fr. Fahey or Fr. Goffine volume.)
Finally, if you can send $200 or more, I’ll send you an advance copy of the 5-CD recording of the abovementioned debate, before we make it available to the general public.
If we can get 25 donors to each send us $200, or 50 donors to each send us $100, or 100 donors to each send us $50, or some combination ofall of the above, the resulting $5000 should enable us to move forward with my next speaking trips without missing a beat. (If you can help with an even larger amount, please call me or e-mail me; I’d like to arrange a correspondingly larger thank-you gift for you.)
In the meantime, our family has once again been provided with yet another useful opportunity to practice a trustful surrender to divine providence. The two Scripture verses appearing at the top of this letter are ones we often remind each other of, as well as many similar ones, such as Romans 8:28. We know that everything that happens is part of God’s plan for our lives, to perfect us. But if you feel prompted by the Holy Ghost to be a part of God’s plan for our outreach to others in continuing to share the authentic Catholic Faith in this age of apostasy and "counterfeit Catholicism," please let us hear from you today, and please know how much we appreciate your generous partnership and support. May God richly reward you!
In Christ our loving Savior and Mary our loving Mother,