by the companion of His life,
the guardian of His memory
Contrary to the never ending gobbledygook, fantasies and compromises of the liberal promoters of "evolution theology" who are all too successful in spinning the world today – God is God, the same yesterday, today and forever. Truth, like God, is also the same yesterday, today and forever. In like manner, the True, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church is the same yesterday, today and to the end of time – for the One Church of Jesus Christ was founded and appointed by Him as the guardian and defender of Truth – and the Soul of the Church is the Holy Ghost, Who changes not. For over nineteen hundred years, through every storm and persecution, the "Rock" of Catholic orthodoxy was obvious to the world. For nineteen centuries countless true popes, holy councils, great saints and learned Doctors of the Church defended, guarded and proclaimed the Truth throughout the whole world. For the sake of Eternal Truth they lived, fought, suffered and died. Only one war truly mattered, the war fought to raise and preserve the banner of Truth – the war fought for God's glory and the salvation of souls.
But during the twentieth century, while men were obsessed with economic chaos and the wars of nations, another war – the "great, great war" Our Lady predicted – was raging more violently than ever. The war that the Holy Fathers, particularly Pope Leo XIII, had been fighting and warning the world against was at its peak. But then, 55 years ago, a bizarre aberration occurred, the voice of the general of the armies of God in the Church Militant called for a truce. The voice of him whom everyone considered to be Peter, changed – and what could never be changed, was changed. Slowly at first to be sure, but change it did. The promulgation of heresy under the title of "ecumenism" was proclaimed from the very Chair of Peter itself. The slight addition to the Canon of the Mass, that was previously forbidden and condemned, was made. Then, the horrendous errors of Vatican Council II flooded the earth with new definitions of everything Catholic, and the "Syllabus of Errors was reconciled with the modern world." Then came the greatest tragedy of all, "the abomination of desolation in the holy places" predicted by Our Lord and Daniel the Prophet – the complete destruction of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Under the guise of renewal and with the command of "obedience to the holy father", the Novus Ordo became the law of the land. Even though clerics had been warned for hundreds of years – and the exact words used in its "consecration" had been condemned by the Catechism of the Council of Trent, which was approved by Pope Saint Pius V and many other holy popes – the new mass was embraced. Those who dissented were bribed and threatened, coerced or retired, forcibly committed into mental institutions or suddenly died in the all too frequent "accident". Sadly, before most Catholics even realized that a battle had started, the great war for the Church was over without a shot being fired.
While there were some few prelates, priests and laity who complained or resisted to a point, there was one man in the known world that would have none of it. While prelates who would later grumble and call themselves traditionalist were at the Vatican signing the Council's heretical decrees; one man would not so much as remain in the church he grew up in, lest He be present for the reading of the mutilated scriptures. While priests were debating whether to obey the Church of All Ages or the church of the Council, the 260 Popes prior to Vatican II or its impostors; one man already knew that Council to be heretical and "pope" Paul VI to be no pope at all. Like another Athanasius, one man stood against the world and said, "No, the Church does not change Her Sacraments, Her Doctrines, Her infallible Truth." Only one man was heard across the globe who truly believed in Papal Infallibility to the extent of sacrificing all for the love of this solemnly defined Dogma of Truth. Only one man was heard saying what was so simply the truth... No true pope can contradict another true pope on matters of Faith or Morals.
It is incredible how clear and obvious it is now, 55 years later: but then, darkness and violence, chaos and uncertainty enshrouded the world. In addition of course, there were a litany of excuses for going along: it is only a little compromise... we must obey the holy father... what will happen to my pension?... they have all the churches... everyone else is going along – they can't all be wrong... they will ostracize dissenters... they will destroy opposition. It does sound eerily similar to the reasons of 2,000 years ago. But then, as in the crucifixion of His Church, how many men were standing beneath the Cross of the Crucified? One, and only one. For all of the "Johnny Come Latelys" of the last five decades; one man was first, one man was alone, one man's voice was clearly heard when no other voice was clear, complete or even raised. That man was the Most Reverend Bishop + Francis Konrad Maria Schuckardt, ihm. He it was who never compromised with the new church of Vatican II, submitted to its errors, altered His faith, or preached heresy. He was (and in prophecy still is) the only one to fully expose the serpent of Vatican II; the back door to the Vatican of many supposedly "traditionalist" groups; and the chaos and deception of the other traditionalists who have no master but their own will and worldly wisdom. His alone was the voice that remained uncorrupted by heresy throughout His life even unto His dying breath.
For whatever else you may have heard or think of Him, He was Our Lady's one chosen instrument to battle against the forces of Hell and their human instruments during the latter half of the twentieth century. While the world and the "Church" were in revolution, convulsion and confusion Bishop + Francis Konrad Maria, ihm remained firm and faithful to the Faith of all ages. Here then is the reason that His detractors don't dare attack Him on matters of Faith; if they did, they would be condemning themselves. He never took so much as a breath of the heresies that enshroud the world and make the church of Vatican II stink to high Heaven. No, absolute fidelity to Catholic orthodoxy was who He was. So, the forces of Hell and their all-too-willing instruments resorted to sins of calumny, detraction, slander, gossip, character assassination, every kind of defamation to cloud the message and destroy the messenger. Which of course would immediately bring caution to mind – for if you disparage the instrument you insult not only Her who chose Him, but also the Wisdom of the Holy Ghost Who works in and through Her. "With what judgment you judge, you shall be judged." Matthew 7: 3 "Thou that despisest, shalt not thyself also be despised?" Isaias 33: 1
So, a question... Why is it that the crosses and contradictions in the lives of the saints, mystics and instruments of God are a reality only for times past? Is God somehow obliged to use a new dummied-down method of instruction and sanctification – lest we be forced to exercise faith? When God gave to the world messengers, whether before Christ or after Him, were they not almost without exception a grave contradiction in their time, the stumbling block to men with weak or little faith? Then, just as in our own times, did not/does not God, through His most Holy Mother, give to the world exactly what it needs, precisely when it needs it? How often through the centuries and even to this day do men repeat the same tragic sins of the pharisees? They become comfortable in and with the world. They begin to esteem creation over its Creator. Life takes on a life of its own and comfort, security, control and conquest rule the day, and once again the maxim is stifled or forgotten... "All who want to live piously in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution." 2 Timothy 3: 12 And so, the message is ignored and the messenger is held in contempt.
Prophetically it was written, "These are they whom we had some time in derision and for a parable of reproach." Wisdom 5: 3 During their lives and after, when it comes to saints and the chosen instruments of Our Lady, there have been many who have written much that isn't fit for a dumpster. Review what was originally said of the seers at Lourdes, La Salette, Fatima, Pellevoisin... One would have hoped that rash judgment, detraction and bullying were not occupations that Catholics would ever indulge in. But men, comfortable with the status quo or afraid of change, blind with ambition or consumed with envy, foaming with anger or intent on revenge – sadly, men are capable of the darkest deeds with only the weakest of excuses. Would that the lives of the Saints were always before our eyes. Would that men meditated upon the sufferings of Rose Ferron and Anna Catherine Emmerich; or on the sham trials of Saint Joan of Arc and Saint Thomas More; or the persecutions launched against Saint John of the Cross, Saint Bernadette, or pick a Saint – any Saint. Maybe then they would pause and say, "Let us wait to pass judgment, for there is mystery here." But no, for century after century men rush to judgment so as to inevitably condemn themselves, "We fools esteemed their life madness and their end without honor; behold how they are numbered among the children of God, and their lot is among the Saints." Wisdom 5: 4-5
A second question... What qualifies someone to judge? Is it simply the right of every man to guess at the truthfulness of the gossip of the day and then broadcast those assumptions to a gullible, sinful world – a world looking for justification to remain in darkness and continue in sin? On the contrary, according to Catholic Saints and theologians, like Saint Thomas Aquinas, to be a just judge there are three prerequisites: to judge, one must be appointed; to judge, one must be unbiased; to judge, one must have all the facts. Would that those who have said and written so much about Bishop + Francis Konrad Maria, ihm had even one of these essential requirements. Hopefully, this article will serve at least as a balance, lest more join in the chorus shouting before Pontius Pilate.
Would you like to hear the other side of the story? Do you really have any idea who the man was, or what He tried to, and did, accomplish? Have you been told of the most courageous man of the twentieth century, whom we had the privilege to know, to love and to serve? Do you know the Founder, the Father, the Friend – the Fool for Christ? Can you distinguish the mystery, the miracle and the martyr? In the following lines you will come to understand why He is either loved or hated – no place for middle ground here. Just like Jesus Christ said, "He who is not with Me is against Me." Matthew 12: 30 So too with this man – he who does not love Him, only too quickly and clearly proves he either does not know Him, does not understand Him, or that he hates Him.
Into a world that had received its last warning at Fatima, a gift was given. From the One Holy Church of Jesus Christ, a blessing was prepared. Out of an age consumed with itself, a sacrifice was offered. On July 10, 1937 a pillar of faith and fidelity was born the likes of which America had never seen. Franz Konrad Schuckardt was gifted with a Catholic ancestry that traced back to Charlemagne. Far more importantly though, He was blessed with a depth of faith, conviction and understanding that was as pure and profound as the blessed Apostles. While yet a child He organized all of the children in the neighborhood for May processions to honor Our Lady. He even went so far as to baptize the Protestant children with a garden hose, lest they be deprived of entering Heaven. Needless to say the non-Catholic parents weren't amused by His zeal for souls. But from the beginning, with Our Lady of the Snows as His dear Mother, Whose shrine always graced the back yard, Francis was marked for great things – and set as a sign of contradiction.
It is sad how few understand the folly of the Cross. Greater still the tragedy that so few embrace it. As a boy the Most Reverend Bishop + Francis Konrad Maria, ihm learned the purpose, the joy, the value of suffering. All one had to do was glance upon His radiant soul, glittering through His bright eyes and it was enough to know that this man was not merely acquainted with grief, but a true lover of the Cross. Who but those who have experienced prolonged, excruciating pain understand the wisdom, the grace, the great privilege of suffering? When the shadow of the Cross drapes over a soul a decision must be made – to swim in the tepid waters of self-pity, to blame and complain; or, to break free from selfishness, to embrace the gift and lovingly offer oneself in sacrifice. The beauty of sacrificial suffering is no longer appreciated for the divine gift, the rare and refulgent blessing it is. Our sorry world glories only in those who accomplish that which can be quantified, admired, sold – or sadly, envied.
Pity our sorry world which has lost the gift of wisdom – the wisdom of the cross. But, never for a moment did Bishop + Francis Konrad Maria, ihm. From the beginning He embraced the cross, for from the beginning He had consecrated Himself to Our Lady – Our Lady of the Snows. She was to ask much; He would give Her everything – always. From before the first recorded miracle when He was 12 (of the priest's blessing leaving his hand as a radiant cross of light, passing through the window and crossing the quarantined room to rest upon what was then thought to be His dying body), to the last miraculous Communion just 12 hours before His death, Bishop + Francis Konrad Maria, ihm was for the Immaculate Queen of Heaven a victim soul, stamped from head to foot with the sign of the cross.
His mind was brilliant, simple and humble. Brilliant, in that He thoroughly understood the ways of God and the Teachings of the Church, so much so that He was able to make them understood and appreciated by all. Simple, in that all things tended towards God and the glory of His Immaculate Mother Mary. These are not just some pious sentiments wrapped in flowery words, THIS IS THE MAN. Humility and meekness were stamped upon Him as if they were the two sides of His coin. What He suffered from us and others still fills us with shame, regret, remorse and astonishment. But that He endured it all humbly and without complaint fills us with hope of forgiveness. Sorrow and horror still invades the mind and breaks the heart whenever we recall reading His gentle complaint after having gone for days without food, "Have you given up trying to feed Me?" Yes, we were distracted – just focusing on keeping Him alive – but distraction and omission it was... and it must have hurt Him... It still hurts His poor friends that remember, and we are truly sorry beloved Father for being so, so very stupid.
His heart was holy, immense and generous. Holy, so that those who came in contact with Him were drawn to a love of God, His most Holy Mother Mary, the Church, the Sacraments – the pursuit of virtue. Immense, in that God was truly His all in all, and Mary was truly His Mother – the love of His life. Is not the best proof of generosity forgiveness? Forgiveness was the way of His heart. If He were angry it wasn't because He was offended, it was because God was offended. If He showed anger it was to teach us the importance of God's Law and things divine, not to vent bitterness. He never held a grudge, even for those who betrayed Him, persecuted Him, lied about Him. It was a joy to be close to a heart so warm and giving – that heart is truly missed.
His spirit was on a higher plane than one dare examine. What can be said is that He knew as only saints know the value of suffering, the love of the Cross of Christ. One can only imagine what that spirit must have been in the eyes of God, and is now forever. Who can know the anguish of being wholly deserted at best (but more often than not betrayed) by most of those one held so dear; by the bishops and priests who called themselves friends; by religious and laity of numerous Orders and Third Orders who had worked for the same Beloved Queen; by friends and family that had not then the faith to see the vision that is so clear today? Who could bear nerves that are, from head to foot, frayed to a point of sensitivity that the touch of a feather feels as if one were being flayed alive? Join that with the excruciating pain of migraines that last for an interminable length of time. And again, that are endured while one's body is racked with countless other pains that would make strong men weep, throw up, scream, or commit suicide. Yes, His spirit was the sweet embrace of the Cross – but at what a cost! Only those who are well versed in mystical theology have any worthy idea what a victim soul suffers. Would that everyone who thinks they know Bishop + Francis Konrad Maria, ihm had read "She Wears A Crown of Thorns" by Father Boyer on the life of Rose Ferron. Maybe then they would pause in silence before the Mighty Hand of God.
The Most Reverend Bishop + Francis Konrad Maria, of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was wont to say that miracles, visions and revelations were not a work of God if they weren't accompanied by humility and Catholic orthodoxy. Without humility there is no virtue. Without fidelity to the Teachings of the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church miracles are rather a proof of the power of the devil. He certainly wasn't one to talk much of Himself or of the miracles and graces bestowed upon Him or given through Him. That was God's work and for Our Lady's honor. He was simply here on earth to know, love and serve the Queen of Heaven for a time all too short, and then go to be united with Her forever. But now, after so long a silence and with the trepidation that a foreseen typhoon would bring, it is time to reveal some of the secrets bestowed by the Immaculate Queen of Heaven on Her little Francis.
There are so many stupendous miracles to relate that choosing only a few and writing of them briefly becomes a challenge. As this article is already far longer than intended, please excuse the brevity below. Maybe someday a book can be written, but not today.
As mentioned above, Bishop + Francis Konrad Maria, ihm was brought back from the point of certain death from various illnesses not only when He was 12 – but four times (that are recorded), twice before becoming a bishop and twice after.
While behind the wheel in 1965, Brother Michael Marie, CMRI had a seizure and drove Him through (yes, through) a 6' x 4' x 4' transformer. Though the tire tracks showed that the car should have been destroyed and both of them reduced to memories; neither they, the transformer, nor the car were injured. Only the officer who witnessed it was in shock, and Brother Michael Marie, CMRI was never supposed to drive again.
In 1976, all of the pilgrims were in for a pleasant surprise. After climbing on their knees up the hill of Tepeyac to visit Our Lady of Guadalupe through water, mud and other things that it were best not to mention; men, women and Religious were stunned to find their slacks, dresses or habits clean, dry and pressed as if they had just been purchased.
He saw things that could not be seen and so saved Denis Chicoine's life in Israel in 1979 (this gift was needless to say, at times startling and/or unsettling to those with Him, but to Him it was nothing exceptional).
In 1982, in the middle of a hurricane that had howled for the greater part of a day He made the Sign of the Cross – it instantly veered to the north and there came a great calm. That miracle the meteorologist could not explain, but it made us all wonder and feel rather like the Apostles on the Sea of Galilee.
The next year burning hail (that would be ice that is on fire) rained down in punishment on the city of Wellington, NZ, the exact moment a petty, contemptible article was published belittling the mission and Our Lady's missionaries. The "scientists" on this occasion said that the hail must have "fallen so fast that it spontaneously combusted." (Hmmm, is that the "new" science?)
It regularly happened that He exorcized demons and the possessed that no one else could. Frequently, these exorcisms were enough to make even hardened skeptics exclaim that there was no doubt as to His holiness and the power of His Orders.
His "friends" and enemies tried on numerous occasions to drug, kidnap and even kill Him, but each time Our Lady protected Him. It is sickening to enumerate the details and, as it would be wrong to expose identities, much will go unsaid that could be said. One thing only... He would never let on as to His sorrow or disappointment in those sad souls, or lose hope for their conversion.
This is but a sampling and a poor one at that. There are two other miracles though, that it seems important not to omit. One can be a source of comfort to all, the other is a source of consternation to many.
His last months – comfort of the Cross, the sorrow and joy. The last couple of years of His life were rough ones for Bishop + Francis Konrad Maria, ihm and all those who knew and loved Him. The man and the priest that had always condemned smoking was battling throat cancer. It would be no surprise if the cause wasn't the 12 – 18 paraffin vigil candles that constantly burned in His room before Our Lord, Our Lady and the Saints. You may already know that it was Our Lady's miracle, as the surgeon loudly proclaimed throughout the whole office, much more than any human remedy that restored the use of His right arm as well as His speech in the spring of 2006. In Her mercy and with the blessing of Divine Providence, time was given Him to consecrate a successor and set things in order for the last Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel that would find Him on earth. It was on Her Feastday, in the year 2006, that the Most Reverend Bishop + Francis Konrad Maria of the Immaculate Heart of Mary started His long goodbye. He had always worn Her scapular, He had always shown a tender love for Her under this title. So it was, that on July 16 He closed His eyes. At first we didn't think much of it. He had fallen asleep for over 24 hours just a couple weeks before. Especially for Him this was a very long time. But, He woke up and everything seemed as normal as normal was. But this time, He didn't wake up.
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass had been regularly offered twice daily in His room for quite some time before this took place. He had said a couple of weeks before, with what would seem to be a prophetic foreknowledge, "You will have to help Me with My thanksgivings." It all seemed so normal to witness miracles on a daily basis that only in retrospect does the magnitude of the grace shine in its proper brightness. From July 16 until the morning He died, our beloved Father in Christ would be lying in bed as if He were sound asleep. It was as if He could hear nothing, move nothing; nothing could nor did "wake" Him. His eyes were closed, His body all but lifeless, but pain still radiated from His face. There were only two times during the day when He could be responsive – when it was time to receive Holy Communion and during the Holy Rosary. Not that He could open His eyes; but every time for sixteen weeks, when told it was time to receive Holy Communion, He did open His mouth. The miracle was not so much that only then could He hear and respond; the miracle was His awe inspiring countenance. It is as bright and vivid before our eyes today as if it were today. His whole countenance would change when the Most Blessed Sacrament was placed upon His tongue. It was overwhelming at times, and daily brought tears to the eyes of those present for the sheer beauty of something so transcendent. Then, when the Holy Sacrifice was over, the thanksgiving prayers would be prayed in common with two hearts but only one voice.
The Holy Rosary was the other time when comfort from above was surely given to Him and comfort in His presence was given to others. During this devotion so dear to His heart at least two of us would be in His room, normally sitting on either side of Him. We would squeeze His lifeless hand and say, "It's time for the Rosary." He would squeeze back and not let go until the prayers were over, completely over. This was a tiny cross and a daily joy. The cross was the lack of blood and sensation in our hand – His hands were strong and He would not let up. The joy was that His grip remained no matter how long the prayers lasted. Soon, fifteen decades were the exception. We would make up new mysteries in honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Guadalupe, La Salette, Fatima, and on and on. Finally, after the litany and hymn and all was done, His hand would go limp again. Then, nothing – no amount of prodding or encouraging – could bring back the least sign of consciousness or response.
His death was calm, peaceful and beautiful. So calm that it was hard to believe He had died: no struggle at all. All was peaceful as the two of us watched over Him: none of that battle which terrifies so many nurses (no bloody mess as the doctors had foretold). It was beautiful to see Him finally in Our Lady's arms. He had received Holy Communion only 12 hours before. Four hours after that He had opened his eyes for the first time in over three and a half months with a comforting look of gratitude. It was only for about ten seconds, but seconds never to be forgotten. Eight hours later His soul was before His Maker. There He could return the ring of His episcopal consecration to the Eternal High Priest and say what few bishops could, "I return Thy Immaculate Bride to Thee without spot or wrinkle." Truth be told, He never did compromise His Holy Catholic Faith. He was faithful, full of Holy Faith unto death, even the slow martyrdom of His many crosses.
These fond memories can be appreciated by all. But, the graces enumerated were in general, only for a few. There was a gift, an incredible grace offered for all, that would be a stumbling block for more than just the many. That, and the rest of the history, will have to wait for another time.
Bishop Schuckardt's Email Address:
Original Biographical Article (2006)