Saint Benedict Center History

Index

Standing Strong

Over 100 members bound together to continue their work, a doctrinal crusade.  The date of this important development was January 17, 1949. They chose Saint Louis Marie de Montfort’s total consecration to Our Lady from his treatise True Devotion to Mary as their pledge of fidelity. The words of the co-foundress, Catherine Goddard Clarke explained the reason for this common dedication: “We were beginning to realize the character of the battle before us,” wrote Sister Catherine, “not only for the preservation of the sacred dogmas of the Church, but actually for their restoration. It was to prepare ourselves by prayer and discipline, and to secure graces enough to enable us to face such a battle, that we became a Religious Order.”  

The Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary continued as an unofficial Catholic entity in exile. With fearless determination they defended the faith, even bringing their campaign to an open forum by preaching on the Boston Common. Crowds gathered in the park every Sunday afternoon to listen to Father Feeney preach. The enemies of the Church of every description who are the most strident advocates of “free speech” attempted to disrupt the talks with blasphemous taunts and insults – even spitting on him and his followers. The same indignities were also heaped on the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe the Brothers carried in procession to the Common. Having persevered in their courageous witness to the faith in Boston for over seven years, they turned their attention to other works of apostolic life.