The second man who I realize more and more each day had a big impact on me was Fr. Bryan Buckley. Oh, and by the way, I have three brothers who are also, I can say, have the Catholic faith and try to practice it to the best of their abilities. And I have to say also, with all their faults, they are men as well. Men beget men.
Back to Fr. Buckley, back in the 1970s, about 1975, my oldest brother died in a car accident. But before he died, he was in intensive care for about three days. My father telephoned one of the Novus Ordo priests as soon as they heard the accident. And the Novus Ordo priest said, "but we don't do anointing anymore," or something to that effect. And just two or three weeks before this car accident of my oldest brother, divine providence had kindly arranged for my dad and his older brother, also William, to meet Fr. Buckley. My father called Fr. Buckley, I think at 2 o'clock in the morning, and he said, “I will come straight away and anoint your son and do whatever else needs to be done.” Well, Fr. Buckley buried my brother a number of days later. That was one of the last times the Latin Mass was offered in the diocese of Toowoomba, in Australia. The only reason that he was there to offer the diocesan Mass was that divine providence had also arranged for the bishop to have just died also. So, there was this interim period where the priest who was in charge of the diocese, or whoever it was who made the decisions, gave permission for Fr. Buckley to offer the Latin Mass.
Fr. Buckley suffered a lot because after that, or already, he said I have to go off of my convictions. And, he started offering the Latin Mass only. Maybe that had happened even before my family and I met him, I'm not sure. I was very young at the time, about nine years of age. But this priest would just continue to say Mass in a private house, or a hall eventually. And about 1982, maybe it was 1981, he became very ill. My father thought that he might have had a nervous breakdown. So, I was fortunate enough to go to his Masses from the age of about 9 to about 17, I believe. And then, the first Society priests arrived in Australia providentially.
And my father met one of these first priests of the Archbishop, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and said, “I don’t know too much about him, but if he can send us a priest that like, that’s where we’re going.” My father didn't care what people thought. He knew what was right and he just did it.
So Fr. Buckley, had a breakdown, I am not sure, had been just put aside by the diocese 5,6,7 years before that. Considered an outcast. But no doubt, he meditated on this great truth that the servant is not greater than the master. If Our Lord Jesus Christ is treated as an outcast, despised. So be it.
Well, he died (June 10) at a fairly young age, I think he was about 55, his mother was still living, Mrs. Katherine Buckley. Fr. Buckley has died, his mother is living, and apparently one of the most terrible sufferings for parents is to have to bury one of their own children. It’s a terrible suffering. Maybe some of you have already had to experience that great suffering.
It is interesting, when Mrs. Buckley was dying a number of years later, we went to visit her in the hospital – my parents and myself. And I can’t remember anyone else being spoken of so highly by my father. He said after the visit, just as we walked out, he said, "I think I just met a Saint." The fact is saints beget saints.
Back to Fr. Buckley. He dies, his mother is still living. In Australia, and I think it is the practice in most countries around the world, that the diocesan priests will get buried with other diocesan priests. … If you go to some of these old cemeteries, you’ll find all of the priests buried together and you’ll find all the nuns buried together. So, Mrs. Buckley was just there, speaking with the authorities in the diocese and she asked them about this, about her son getting buried there with the other priests. And the bully diocesan authorities, at first, were going to refuse her. These bulling cowards were going to try to crush this old lady, to make her suffer. I don’t know if they eventually gave in, but I remember my father telling the story. My father just hated cowards, just hated them. No, that’s too strong he just despised them.
So dear faithful, if a priest wants to be a good priest, he has to meditate on St. John the Baptist, I believe. "And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword: in the shadow of his hand he hath protected me.” We should not fear anyone, we should fear to commit sin.