Two years later in 1978, Father Feeney died and the same year Brother Hugh was diagnosed with terminal cancer. On July 11, 1979, Brother Hugh was called home to God, after having set in motion in three short years, a foundation and spirit that reflected the charism of Father Feeney with the fledgling community. Brother Thomas Augustine Dalton was then elected the superior to succeed Brother Hugh, and the community began to grow.
Unfortunately, three years after the election of Brother Thomas Augustine as the new superior, some of the older members contested his authority and asked him to step down. Voting members of the community were consulted, as he was willing to acquiesce his position for the peace of the community. But the voting members re-affirmed their choice. Brother Francis Maluf, an original member of St. Benedict Center, then initiated a civil law suit to acquire superiorship. The court action lasted five humiliating years, ending in a negative verdict for Brother Francis, who subsequently left with four followers and established a community in New Hampshire.
A new era began for us. Supported by the graces of the Tridentine Mass and deep spirituality of True Devotion, our community began to flourish and the printing and distribution of From the Housetops publication continued with over 1 million issues printed and distributed to the present day. The initial small parcel of land grew through the generosity of benefactors to a complex of 20+ acres and 11 buildings. IHM School, grades 1 to 12, was enlarged and filled to capacity. Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel increased in attendance, adding two, and sometimes three, Masses on Sunday, and a state-of-the-art print shop, with a four-color press, was built to accommodate the printing apostolate.
In 2000, Mother Teresa Beneway, the superior of St. Ann's House and founding member from the early Center, reunited her community with our ours.
In 2002, Bishop Reilly of Worcester came to the Center and after a ceremony in the Chapel where the community recited and signed a copy of the Creed, he gave his formal blessing and “regularized” the community in the diocese. His successor, Bishop McManus has come to the Chapel several times since then to administer the sacrament of Confirmation in the Traditional Rite to the student of IHM.
A recent purchase of 150 acres of waterfront property to lodge our 28 year old summer camp apostolate, was built by the Brothers and friends to accommodate the programs that touch over 300 souls every year. Up to this point we had been renting every year. This new facility has 15 cabins, a large dining hall and pavilion, lodge and an impressive Chapel made from local timbers. Called Montfort Retreat, it is also used for other spiritual programs and days of recollection.
With the help of God we pray to continue the legacy of our founder Father Leonard Feeney, in the spirit of St. Louis De Montfort.
All for Jesus through Mary.