Diocesan Statement On OLA Center

by Jimmy Akin

in Uncategorized


In response to a number of inquiries which have been received, the Diocese of Toledo wishes to provide the following clarifications:

  • References have been made in promotional materials to The Our Lady of America center in Fostoria (Seneca Co.), Ohio. However, it should be noted that the Diocese of Toledo has never been asked to give, nor has it given, any approbation or recognition to the center or its activities.
  • References have also been made in promotional materials to “The Contemplative Sisters” of Our Lady of the Nativity Convent in Fostoria.  It should be pointed out that there is no canonically recognized religious community connected with the center.  There is one individual, Patricia Ann Fuller, who identifies herself as Sister Joseph Therese.  She is not a member of a canonical institute of consecrated life, having been dismissed from the Society of the Precious Blood community in 1982 after she and two other sisters, now deceased, left the order to live their own contemplative way of life.
  • Patricia Ann Fuller maintains that she has continued to live as a Religious, and that it is her intention eventually to found a new community of women devoted to the promotion of “Our Lady of America.” At this point, no canonical steps have been requested or taken in this regard. Patricia Ann Fuller has met with Bishop Blair of Toledo and has assured him of her desire to act in full harmony with the Church.
  • In a letter to the Bishops of the United States dated May 31, 2007, Archbishop Raymond Burke offered his positive assessment of the history and content of devotion to Our Lady of America. The following words of Archbishop Burke have the full endorsement of Bishop Blair of Toledo: “Some have raised with me the canonical question regarding the status of Our Lady of the Nativity Convent in Seneca County, Ohio, which has been the residence of any remaining member of the suppressed contemplative branch of the Congregation of Sisters of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus. In response, I observe that the canonical question has no bearing on the devotion or its approbation.”

September 10, 2008


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simeon December 10, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Jimmy: before we take something the diocese of Toledo has to say about any subject, especially one involving high spiritual matters such as messages from the Queen of Heaven, one should at least question their ability to tell the Truth about anything:
In both these links, one has to question just how people who cover up such immorality with their own lies, obstructing justice and/or pretending they do not know what is going can have any moral authority to question the spirituality of Sister Joseph Therese.

Bill912 December 10, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Who questioned her “spirituality”, whatever that means?
But I am shocked–shocked!–that Bishop Blair declined to commit a mortal sin, and incur automatic excommunication, by not breaking the seal of confession!

simeon December 10, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Well, Bill, since you don’t “get it,” I’ll ‘splain it for ya. The status of Sister Joseph has been questioned by these same bishops that you think should be protected no matter what “sin” they commit. And while it is too in-depth for you to comprehend why that status is questioned (on trumped on claims), you might want to read all the stories about Blair and how the diocese has been operating as opposed to just a headline.
From the article quoting two Catholic witnesses: “Mrs. Foster said the bishop ‘played dumb’ about the allegations [you know, Bill, the one about the priest taking advantage of the woman, having sex with her and breaking his vow, after her husband’s funeral that he presided over], and Mr. Schaller said Bishop Blair responded with ‘a funny choice of words’ that seemed to sidestep the real issues.”
You know what that means, don’t ya, Bill? Like playing “dumb” when the diocese first hid 148 documents pertaining to the murder of a nun that they originally claimed they “didn’t have” only to have them suddenly show up because of a “search warrant.” I do not know about you, Bill, but for me, as a Catholic, I really don’t believe God wants us (or our Church) to hide information regarding a suspect in the murder of a nun, do you? If you do, then I am the one who is “shocked.”

Bill912 December 10, 2010 at 3:58 pm

I take it that you are not going to answer my question.
As for your diatribe against me: You stay classy!

simeon December 10, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Bill: obviously, you have a reading comprehension problem. I did answer your question. These bishops are by name, Blair, Ricken, et al. But you see you would have to do some investigating to determine the facts. Something that seems hard for you to do. Have you answered my question that you think it is okay for any member of our Church, whether it be a bishop or laity, to hide information regarding a suspect and numerous scandals regarding them when they are accused of murdering a nun? What’s the matter, Bill, you see that as a “diatribe” against you?

The Masked Chicken December 11, 2010 at 7:02 am

Dear Simeon,
What you are doing goes by several names in informal logic: poisoning the well, the genetic fallacy, or the fallacy of composition.
In any case, the topic, here, is about the OLOA question, only. The other issues may go to the question of character in a broad sense, but do not really speak to the facts of this particular case. Just because a bishop may do something wrong in one area (if he did – I have no knowledge and it is not my diocese in which to get involved in the matter, anyway), does not mean that every thing he does is wrong. You would have to submit facts specifically relating to the matter at hand (OLOA) to show that the bishop is doing something wrong. if you have such facts, please post them. Insulting Bill912 and bringing in irrelevant issues is not really making a comment about the topic of the post.
The Chicken

simeon December 11, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Chicken are you talking about me or yourself?
The topic here is not about OLOA but, since you can’t read well, the Our Lady of America CENTER.
Submit facts: the bishop’s statement strips Sister Joseph of her title, and then claims she was “dismissed” from her order when, in fact, she left with other nuns and created a new order with the visionary of OLOA in order to keep themselves in a cloistered lifestyle and not be forced to be modernized as their old order was insisting on.
Any quick check of the facts shows that Sister Joseph was never “dismissed.” See this link starting with December 12, 1977 for the info.
Now stating that Sister Joseph is NOT leading a “consecrated” life because she is not “a member of a canonical institute” and that she was “dismissed” from her community certainly constitutes an attack on her spiritual character as Bill and you cannot seem to fathom.
Both of you also cannot seem to fathom that by covering up files of relevant information on a suspect in a murder case, who is later found guilty, shows an incredible lack of moral and spiritual courage on the part of the Toledo bishop and his staff. See the first link I provided (you did read it, or did you just bother to comment without getting your facts together?)
Also, by trying to force a priest who admitted to deviant sexual behavior on a parish that wished to retain its popular priest (who asked Rome to intervene) also shows a lack of spiritual love for the bishop’s flock.
Did you get that in the second link I provided, or you avoided that, too?
So in the “broad sense of character,” how can one trust the spiritual discernment of Bishop Blair to pronounce judgment on Sister Joseph?
When someone is an accomplice to a cover-up, especially a Catholic bishop who should be more moral and ethical than most, unlike you Chicken, I feel then that any actions of such a bishop become suspect, especially in something important as informing believers whether someone, like Sister Joseph, is in good standing.
Instead, with the document that Jimmy linked to, one finds that the bishop of Toledo leaves Sister Joseph’s spiritual life as one of an open question. She “identifies” herself as Sister Joseph, according to the document, denigrating the years she has spent cloistered and assisting the visionary of OLOA when she was alive.
Well, guess what, Chicken, the visionary of OLOA, Sister Millie died in Sister Joseph’s arms. I do not think there was any question in the visionary’s mind regarding Sister Joseph’s canonical question.
Therefore, if you claim to believe in OLOA’s messages, then one must also believe there is no question to Sister Joseph’s status as a consecrated nun.
But I’m sure for you this is only my “genetic fallacy,” or “fallacy of composition.”
On the other hand, sorry to inform you, but I believe it is you that has a fallacy. A very blind fallacy. Now please don’t take this as a “personal attack” just because I told Bill off when he mocked my post, but I think you have a horrific fallacy in that just because it is not in your “diocese,” anything immoral, illegal, or even evil acts by a member of the Church hierarchy does not sound an alarm, give cause for concern, or call you to action (unless, of course, it is to kill the messenger with charges of “poisoning the well”).
I guess bishops involved in cover-ups and lies don’t poison your well, correct?
I mean, after all, if the two links regarding Blair fostering a deviant priest on an unwilling congregation and hiding relevant information on a convicted murderer doesn’t concern you, what will?
Is that why you use the signature of “chicken”?

The Masked Chicken December 13, 2010 at 12:51 pm

The topic here is not about OLOA but, since you can’t read well, the Our Lady of America CENTER.
Actually, it was about both topics, the OLOA, at least tangentially, (see bullet point 4) and the Center. In any case, when I said, OLOA, it could have been understood from context that I was referring to the issue of Jimmy’s post, since the bishops of Toledo were issuing a clarification on the Center, not the apparition. It was not, however, about the bishops ability and competence to adjudicate a matter in their diocese, which is a matter for the Vatican, should you wish to contact the Papal Nuncio and present your evidence for their dereliction in this specific matter, rather than simply bash them in this combox. I will, in fact, leave it up to Jimmy to judge if you are out of bounds in your comments. Have you read, Da Rulz? You seem to be hobby-horsing your dislike of the Toledo bishops and bringing in issues irrelevant to the discussion. You do know about ad hominem, I assume?
This has nothing to do with reading comprehension. It has to do with sticking to the topic and civil discourse. My points stand. You have been engaging in changing the subject and my point is that you are engaging in the informal fallacies I mentioned, whether you see it or not.
As for the signature, I assume you are new to this blog, whereas I am not and this issue has been explained in the past. One answer (there are several reasons), I am much more charitable using my handle than I would be using my own name.
I understand that you feel you have a grievance with the bishops, but could you leave the character assassinations of either the bishops or myself or the other commentors out of it, otherwise, I will ask Jimmy to ban you from the comments. Commenting about the status of the Patricia Ann Fuller (Sister Joseph Therese) is fine. Presenting evidence is fine relating to the Center or even OLOA is fine. Bringing up other topics not related to the issue of the post is not fine. That is my primary complaint, not that you feel the bishops have acted unjustly in this particular instance. Bringing in how they dealt with other religious (priests, etc.) is not germane to the topic at hand. Could we please stick to the topic? I have no comments on the particular topic as I am not informed about it. I am commenting on your rhetoric. That is my only purpose for making a comment in this combox on this post.
If I have offended you, that was not my intent. It was simply to ask that all comments stick to the topic at hand and not wander off into other territories. It seemed to me when I read you posts, above, that you were going off topic and bringing in other issues related to the bishops in an attempt to poison for other readers their ability to decide this matter. That is detraction, which is a sin, and could be remedied by simply sticking to the topic. The deviant priest and the murdered nun are two examples of topics you have brought up which are not related to the topic at hand and can have no other purpose than to detract from the bishops. This is not a court of law. You do not get to impeach the characters of others in such a broad fashion as, we the readers, do not have the right to do anything about it and they have the presumed right to a good name. As I say, if you wish to present a case on the other issues, present them to the competent authority and stop trying to make us the jury. We are not the competent authority.
The Chicken

simeon December 15, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Oh,”master chicken,” I did not understand the omnipotent power you had. Please, please don’t have me “banned” by Jimmy. Where will I go; what will I do? I feel like Mr. Swaggert: I have “sinned” before the almighty chicken, judge, jury and executioner of the “ban.” Who can dispute your “infinite” wisdom? Let me bow down to your chickenness.
Of course, chicken, I expect you will ask for these comments to be deleted, because, you know what, you are right. You are not a “competent authority” in anything. Except, of course, when you decide you are the judge of my “sin.” Oh, chicken, the almighty who is able to throw the first stone.
Sorry, didn’t mean to “distract” you, since, by golly, this ain’t about your “diocese” (after all, that would mean we are the “Universal Church,” as opposed to just a local thing). Well, thankfully, you admitted that your are “not informed,” unless, of course, it’s about my “sin.”
But before I end, I must, in all humbleness thank you for being so “charitable using [your] own handle than [you] would using [your] own name.” I’ve heard a lot of pompous junk in my days, but seriously, chicken, your pride is out of bounds!
What a “master” of disguise you are, chicken little.
Yes, chicken I “assume” you will ask Jimmy for this to be deleted since you are too chicken to let anyone see my response to your prideful rhetoric and judgment of the “sins” of others.
Tell us, chicken, O sinless one, why do you, too, refer to Sister Joseph by her civilian name? Is there something hidden in your chickenness?

Jimmy Akin December 15, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Simeon: The Chicken hasn’t asked me to do anything. And he doesn’t need to. If you can’t behave civilly you will be disinvited to participate in the blog. This is your Rule #1 warning (see Da Rulz).

Bill912 December 15, 2010 at 5:54 pm

TMC, you have conducted yourself with dignity, charity, and class on this thread, despite what was likely a great temptation to return like for like. I applaud you.

simeon December 15, 2010 at 7:43 pm

Jimmy: I disinvite you,and your chickens. I didn’t realize that speaking the Truth would be so hard for you that you have to wrap yourself in “da rulz.” Here is Rule No. 1 in my book: you can pat yourselves on the back all you want about dignity and class while ignoring the evil of those within the hierarchy that are not in your “diocese.”
But it will not stand before Judgment Day when you cry, “I did not know; no one told me.”
It doesn’t matter what you do now, for I will not bother to return and, instead, wipe my feet of your dust.

The Sarge December 16, 2010 at 5:07 am

Evidently, simeon thinks he really can catch flies with vinegar, and, if he can’t, it’s the flies’ fault for being stupid, recalcitrant, and evil, and, besides, the flies are going to hell, and he knows it, Jesus’ words at the beginning of Matthew, chapter 7, notwithstanding, and, when Judgment Day rolls around, he’ll still be gloating at the flies.

The Masked Chicken December 16, 2010 at 9:10 am

Dear Simeon,
You may be right about my self-righteous policing of this combox. There is probably ample evidence over the time that I have been posting, here, to support that claim.
If I had realized you had a website and e-mail contact, I might have written you, privately, to discuss my concerns, as Jesus says to do in Matt 18: 15 -17.
I doubt there is anything I could say to help in this situation, so I pray for God’s blessing upon you and wish you his peace. No one has disinvited you from posting here. If a topic seems interesting to you in the future, feel free to post. I will try to stay out of your way.
The Chicken

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