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The MHFM: Joseph Natale's Novus Ordo
Obsession, Rejection, Defiance, and Obstinacy

Joseph Anthony Natale, the founder of the Oblates of St. Jude and later the Most Holy Family Monastery (MhFM), was born July 1, 1927 in Pennsylvania and died November 11, 1995 in New Jersey. His father was Anthony Joseph Natale (1898-1960) and mother Rose Faccenda (1897-1979). He had a sister named Rose (1925-2000) and a brother John (1937). His parents were first generation American. Their parents were born in Italy and moved to America.

In researching various newspaper articles written on Joseph Natale we learn that at the age of 4-years-old he developed tuberculosis of the spine and hips which eventually left him “crippled”, unable to walk without the assistance of crutches.

We also learn from these articles that for as long as Joseph could remember he’d always wanted to be a priest. Surely no one would disagree that such a passionate desire was a lovely and honorable obsession to entertain and hold on to. Yet, as he grew older, he sadly discovered that chasing that dream was not realistic. The laws of the Church are such that “cripples” (the severely handicapped) are forbidden entry into the priesthood; for the responsibilities and duties of a priest require that the "man of God" be physically fit ... which Joseph would never be.

Joseph dealt with that rejection by focusing his attention on learning a trade in the manufacturing of ceramics and for 12 years ran a modestly successful business. Yet, through those years he never lost sight of his ultimate goal, his obsession, of one day being accepted into a religious community that might just offer him the possibility of becoming a priest.

In 1960, Joseph abandoned his ceramics business, and started his religious training with the Benedictine monks of St Vincent’s Archabbey in Latrobe, PA; while at the same time searching elsewhere for a religious order that would welcome all handicap persons.

Joseph claimed that he’d contacted 140 monasteries yet could not find one willing to accept all handicapped persons.

He was angered by their rejection of the disabled (handicapped). And so in defiance, Joseph decided to take his crutches and stand up against the injustice of the Church and to start a “new” religious order (a Novus Ordo) of his own.

For whatever the reason, Joseph “put the cart before the horse”, so-to-speak, and abruptly left St. Vincent’s, and in time, created a secular New Jersey state not-for-profit corporation, purchased 8.5 acres of land, and started work building the “walls” of his envisioned religious community.

But in so doing, Joseph failed to follow the strict rules and procedures established by the Church regarding the creation of "new" religious orders. He'd failed, first and foremost, to have his “Novus Ordo” sanctioned by the Camden Diocese in New Jersey.

In short Joseph got started without first receiving the required canonical provision to do so.

Eventually, Joseph did petition the Camden Diocese to sanction his “Novus Ordo” and grant him the right to lead over it as its “Superior”.

But, that request was denied / rejected.

In 1974, Charles J. Germaine, the Diocese spokesman, responded that there were other existing religious communities that accepted the handicap and as such there was no viable reason for anyone to start a “new” religious order. Just because Joseph claimed he couldn’t find one did not mean they didn’t exist. He also mentioned that Joseph’s “Novus Ordo” was not financially sound / stable to merit consideration.

But the Diocese's ruling didn’t stop Joseph.

In an obstinate act of defiance, Joseph escalated the matter to Rome asking the Vatican to intercede and sanction his “Novus Ordo”.

Needless to say, that request was rejected as well.

Joseph was livid over the Church’s decision. He refused to accept the fact that he had been officially denied the “canonical provision” he knew he needed to legitimately establish his “new” religious community.

Joseph chose to willfully defy the Church's explicit orders for him to "stop" his project. And in defying and refusing to obey that ruling Joseph tragically became a religious renegade; breaking unity with the Holy See and placing himself firmly outside of the Church.

As a result of that obstinate disobedience, those today who state that they are a part of Joseph’s “Novus Ordo” (the MhFM) cannot claim, with any legitimacy, that its founder or themselves have been duly "commissioned" and/or "sent" out, by those in authority, to preach and teach.

The truth of the matter is that they (the Dimond Brothers and their acolytes) were not "sent" but simply "went" out on their own ... in a very protestant-like fashion.

"And how shall they preach unless they be sent?" - Romans 10:15 -

What does it mean "to be sent"?

It means / implies that someone in authority over a person has conferred the privilege and authority upon that person. It also goes without saying that the one who confers the authority must be superior in authority to the one being commissioned, since no one can confer that which he does not possess himself.

In the case of the MhFM … no one can doubt that its founder, Joseph Natale, possessed a passionate desire to create a legitimate Catholic religious community and to “lead” over it. He spent the last 28 years of his life in trying to catch that illusive dream.

Yet, the laws of the Church are clear that “desire” cannot suffice nor ever legitimately justify a “personal” decision made by a laymen or a group of laymen to start a religious order and appoint a non-commissioned man as a “Superior” over that community; since layman are of inferior authority and therefore cannot legitimately confer superior authority upon anyone.

It is the fundamental questions of Authority, of Authenticity, of Ordination, of Confirmation and Canonical Provision that remains deceitfully avoided and unanswered by the MhFM (the Dimond Brothers) that should sound an “alarm of extreme caution” to anyone contemplating entering into their schismatic cyber lair.

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." - Colossians 2:8

In searching through the MhFM’s website, it is amazing that there are only a “few” short paragraphs referencing Joseph Natale. One of which is:

The Founder of our Benedictine community:
Brother Joseph Natale O.S.B.

"Brother Joseph Natale was trained at St. Vincent’s benedictine Arch-abbey in Latrobe, PA. St. Vincent’s Arch-abbey was the largest Benedictine monastery in the United States. In the 1960’s, Bro. Joseph left with the permission of the then Archabbot Dennis Strittmatter to start his own Benedictine community. Shortly after leaving St. Vincent’s, Bro. Joseph started his Benedictine community in southern New Jersey...".

Internationally, the Order of St. Benedict is governed by the Benedictine Confederation (Rome), a body, established in 1883 by Pope Leo XIII's brief “Summum semper”, whose head is known as the Abbot Primate. Individuals whose communities are members of the order generally add the initials "O.S.B." after their names. The MhFM is not and never was recognized as one of those legitimate communities.

Joseph Natale, in an interview by Chris Connell of The Daily Journal (Vineland, NJ) - Wednesday July 9, 1975, is on record as indicating:

“He actually spent a year 1960-61 at St. Vincent’s Benedictine Abbey in Latrobe, PA, in a postulancy, or candidate’s program, that did not involve formal instruction or religious vows.

From that interview we can derive that Joseph never completed the 6-8 years of formation required, by the Order of St. Benedict, to become a professed monk. Thus the use of the acronym “O.S.B.” after his name (Brother Joseph Natale O.S.B.) has no legitimacy whatsoever.

Furthermore, in 2009, Fr. Brian Boosel, O.S.B., Archivist at Saint Vincent Archabbey wrote:

"... Mr. Joseph Natale (a.k.a. 'Br. Joseph Natale, O.S.B.') ... was a novice (candidate for the monastic life, but not a vowed religious) at Saint Vincent Archabbey in 1960. He left the community of his own will. He was neither sent out nor was he given any form of permission by Archabbot Denis Strittmatter, O.S.B., to found any community of Benedictine Monks. We have no records of Mr. Natale other than his brief stay as a brother candidate in our novitiate. We have no records in the Archives of the American-Cassinese Congregation concerning the 'Most Holy Family Monastery', its founding or 'Br. Joseph Natale, O.S.B.'"

We learn from the same newspaper article that in 1968 Joseph petitioned the Camden Diocese for official recognition of his “Oblates of St. Jude” religious community. As Joseph had never asked permission from the diocese to establish such a community, the diocese, in March 1969, rejected his petition stating that the “Oblates of St Jude” was “not a religious community officially sanctioned or constituted.”

In February 1969 Joseph sent a letter to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect for The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) at the Vatican, petitioning once again to gain Church recognition for his Oblates.

His request was denied / refused.

Both the Camden Diocese and the CDF went on record stating that they considered Joseph’s Oblates of St. Jude to be an ultra-conservative order and a sham.

Joseph continued anyway, determined to enlarge his now officially illicit religious community. And by his willful disobedience he became what St. Benedict referred to as a Sarabaite, in Chapter 1 of The Holy Rule of St Benedict.

“But a third and most vile class of monks is that of Sarabaites, who have been tried by no rule under the hand of a master, as gold is tried in the fire (Proverbs 27:21); but, soft as lead, and still keeping faith with the world by their works, they are known to belie[betray] God by their tonsure. Living in two's and three's, or even singly, without a shepherd, enclosed, not in the Lord's sheepfold, but in their own, the gratification of their desires is law unto them; because what they choose to do they call holy, but what they dislike they hold to be unlawful.”

Whether the Oblates of St. Jude or the Most Holy Family Monastery (MhFM); the facts clearly indicate that Joseph Natale was Catholic enough to recognize and understand the importance of having his religious community officially sanctioned by the Church in order for it to receive the cloak of legitimacy he so passionately sought after.

Those same facts equally indicate that the Church officially rejected Joseph’s petition to establish and lead a "new" Catholic religious community.

For lack of a better word, Joseph Natale “freelanced” his religious community into existence … doing so in a very protestant-like manner.

Joseph broke from Church tradition and created his own “Novus Ordo”; derived from and based on the principles of Obsession, Rejection, Defiance, and Obstinacy.

In short, the MhFM is an Enchanting Lustful Lie.

Denzinger: Sources of Catholic Dogma

967 Canon 7: “If anyone says that ... those who have been neither rightly ordained nor sent by ecclesiastical and canonical authority, but come from a different source, are lawful ministers of the word …: let him be anathema [cf. n. 960].”

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