The Traditional Latin Mass Community of India, Chennai was the blue eyed baby of the Traditional Catholic world on the 4th of November 2017 as it was the 2nd time this year that we had the privilege of a recollection led by Fr. Karl Stehlin the District Superior of Asia for the SSPX and the Father Director of the Militia Immaculatae. The theme he chose was “Heaven, Purgatory and hell” a Catechism from the Blessed Mother herself to the three shepherd children of Fatima. Preparations were underway at the Shrine of our Lady of Light for a day of prayer and recollection...
3rd November down came the rain, Chennai was lashed with incessant rainfall and amidst fear of floods and power cuts the organizing team was contemplating to either reschedule or cancel, panic struck and we turned to Fr. Stehlin for advice, “Let’s not cancel” He said “Our lady will send her faithful”. With that assurance we resumed preparations and sent out messages to everyone that the recollection was on as scheduled.
4th November 8:30 am. The rains seemed relentless, the day of recollection began with the Rosary, there were 4 ladies seated in the Church, Father Stehlin walked in with a broad smile, full of confidence “I will begin my first conference at 9:15 “he said, the fact that there were but 4 people didn’t seem to worry him, he was basking in the splendor of this 500 year old shrine dedicated the Blessed Mother enshrined here as Our Lady of Light.
As the choir started chanting the Litany of our Lady in Latin, slowly the crowd trickled in, soon there were about 100 people before the 1st conference began, and they came despite the rain, her good and faithful; braving the storm to hear her Catechism through one of her ardent sons.
We live in a time and age where Catholics are accustomed to hearing sermons about death in terms of “He’s in a better place” or “She’s cradling in the arms of Jesus”, it was a bolt out of the blue when Father taught them the reality of Purgatory and hell as told by our Blessed Mother to the shepherd children of Fatima. the look on people’s faces said it all, so just before we broke for lunch father cheered them up by saying “… and after lunch I’ll tell you something nice and soothing, we are going to talk about Heaven.“
More than 150 people attended the Tridentine Latin Mass that was offered that afternoon, the church felt heavenly with the incense and Gregorian chants, it was mesmerizing for those who attended for the first time, the Holy Sacrifice of Mass as it ought to be. 120 were invested with the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and 90 came forward to enroll themselves as knights of the Militia Immaculatae.
As one gentleman said “ Thank you for organizing this day of recollection, I now know I have to strive to save my soul, if the saints feared for the loss of their soul; then how much more should I?”
Words would fail to express our love and gratitude to Father Karl Stehlin who took time off his very busy schedule to be with us and preach this much needed conference, he also taught us by example to trust in divine providence and the unfailing protection of our Blessed Mother.
Our heartfelt gratitude to Fr. Peter Thumma the Parish Priest of the Shrine of our Lady of Light and the Judicial Vicar of the Arch Diocese of Madras-Mylapore for his constant support and blessings in all our endeavours.