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Newsletter of Mater Dei Seminary
August 2004

Other articles in this newsletter:
   Moral Theology:
         Preaching the Efficacy of Perfect Contrition

Dear friends and benefactors,

A great miles Christi (soldier of Christ) has gone to his reward. This past month of July, the late Fr. Oswald Baker of Downingham Market, England, who was well known for his courageous adherence to the true Mass and staunch defense of the traditional Catholic Faith passed away at the age of eighty-nine.

The story of Fr. Baker’s priesthood began in his younger days when as an altar boy his Bishop asked him if he had ever considered the vocation to the priesthood. From there the young Oswald Baker would acquire a scholarship to the renowned seminary of St. Sulpice in France. At one time during his journey to the priesthood, he considered the possibility of a religious vocation to the Dominicans; however, it was not meant to be.

On June 29th, 1942, Fr. Oswald Baker was ordained to the holy priesthood in England. After some years of priestly work near London, he was assigned to Downingham Market in 1949. This area of England was predominantly Protestant and Calvinist.

As we read in the Epistle of St. Peter to be sober and watchful and “fortes in fide,” Fr. Baker started with very little property and temporal means, but did remarkable work to build the Catholic Faith in the area. After the devastation of Vatican II, he suffered much for the Faith from the modernists who, in the name of false ecumenism, are receptive and acknowledging of all religions EXCEPT traditional Catholics. Nevertheless, he remained the pillar of strength to the remnant Catholics in England who struggled to perservere in the Faith of their fathers.

As we said above, Fr. Baker had staunchly adhered to the true Mass. This adherence he expressed in his Sunday bulletin: Strictly and exclusively the completely unchanged Catholic Latin Mass.

A few years after my episcopal consecration, I traveled some four hours northeast of London in order to have the privilege to meet this humble and pious priest.

Although he was by far my senior in age and in priestly experience, I will never forget the tremendous respect he paid to my person as a bishop. I felt very humbled by his respect, kindness, and charity. He certainly was a man of deep faith.

Though this was the one and only occasion for us to meet in person, we continued to correspond over the years and his letters were remarkably expressive of his joy to be able to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. His devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and to the patron saint of the Holy Eucharist, St. Pascal Baylon, were a hallmark of his spiritual life.

Truly, Fr. Baker could say at the end of his life the words of St. Paul: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the Faith” (2 Timothy 4:6).

Please remember this faithful priest in your prayers!

With our prayers and blessing,
Most Rev. Mark A. Pivarunas, CMRI

Other articles in this newsletter:
   Moral Theology: Preaching the Efficacy of Perfect Contrition

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