Good priests are hard to find but easy to identify. They all have targets on their backs. Father Altman of La Crosse, Wisconsin, is just one example. Most recently the Left has called for Father Altman’s removal because he, quite rightly, advised Catholics not to take the immoral and dangerous Wuhan flu shot.
But there are other courageous priests out there taking heat simply for being stalwart shepherds of their flocks. Father Raymond Hager, the beloved and now former pastor of St. Barnabas Parish in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, has been removed from his post for “failing to comply with archdiocesan administrative policies and directives.” While a letter from the Office of the Auxiliary Bishop does not provide details, it appears the whole kerfuffle is over some cosmetic, interior drywall “finish work” that Father Hager procured to accommodate new stained glass windows. As suggested in Mike Lovelace’s commentary posted here, “that dog don’t hunt.”
In Father Hager’s emotional farewell homily, he recounted his efforts to make St. Barnabas a place where everyone and everything is focused on the One before Whom every knee shall bow and every tongue shall give glory. He transformed the inside of St. Barnabas into a resplendent tribute to Our Lord, complete with a high altar, side altars, communion rail, and organ pipes to resonate hymns of praise through the rafters. He introduced the most reverent Traditional Latin Mass; he celebrated the Novus Ordo Mass ad orientem; he led his flock to revere the Real Presence so intensely that nearly all were receiving Holy Communion kneeling and on the tongue when he was, shall we say, catapulted into retirement. “I only did what I did to glorify our Lord, Jesus Christ,” he said. “If this is my sin, if this is my crime, I do not regret it.” He closed by telling his congregation, “I love you” and, through tears, asked them to pray for him.
Please pray for Father Hager and all priests. And please take a moment to sign the Petition to Reinstate Father Hager to St. Barnabas. Note: You will be asked to make a free will donation to help promote the petition. A donation is not necessary to sign the petition, and any amount donated would go to Change.org, not to Father Hager.