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Benedictine Brother Starts Religious Unit For Handicapped Men - By Robert A. Reilly

The Philadelphia Inquirer - Thursday February 20, 1969
Article on Joseph Natale

Note: The following 1969 newspaper article written by Robert Reilly of "The Philadelphia Inquirer" is presented to provide additional proof that Joseph Natale (1927-1995), the founder of the MhFM, firmly believed he’d created a legitimate “Oblate” (a Catholic religious affiliate); not a Benedictine religious "Order"; as the Dimond Brothers erroneously claim on their website.

Oblates are individuals, either laypersons or clergy, normally living in general society, who, while not professed monks, have individually affiliated themselves with a monastic community of their choice. They make a formal, private promise (annually renewable or for life, depending on the monastery with which they are affiliated) to follow the Rule of the Order in their private life as closely as their individual circumstances and prior commitments permit. Such oblates do not constitute a separate religious order.

Pine Hill – Brother Joseph Natale is starting a new Christian community in Pine Hill, Camden County, which he says is the first of its kind in the nation and perhaps the world.

“The Oblates of Saint Jude“ is a community Brother Joseph says will be devoted to training handicapped men to serve as brothers in the Catholic Religious Affiliate and at the same time help train crippled laymen from all races, colors, and creeds.

The program is this: A crippled man 18 and over who wishes to devote his life to Christianity may join, on a trial basis, the Oblates of Saint Jude.

12-Year Training:

Providing the man is fit to serve, he then completes his training, which may last 12 years. Once a man becomes a full-fledged community member, he in turn devotes his life to training other men.

The second part of the community program is vocationally oriented. Handicapped men are taught industrial workshop skills by the brothers and skilled lay instructors.

Brother Joseph has been planning his community for 12 years.

As a young man brother Joseph always wanted to join a religious community. He applied to 40 communities and was turned down because he was crippled. Finally he gained acceptance to the St. Vincent Archabbey Community in Latrobe, Pa., and became a Benedictine brother.

From the time he completed his long years of training, Brother Joseph has been looking for a place to start his community.

Hopes for Donations:

In Pine Hill he believes he has found a spot where he will obtain the necessary moral and financial support. Applications are already coming in and ground has been broken behind the community’s house for the new workshop.

Brother Joseph said he is hoping to obtain donations so the workshop can be completed shortly.

At the moment, however, there are just two other living fulltime in the community, Brothers Paul Wedekind and Lewis Ruede.

“We hope to have 10 more with us by summer,” Brother Joseph said. “We have room for at least 20.”

Persons wishing to become members of the community or send donations may do so by writing Brother Joseph O.S.J., 374 Cross Keys Rd., Berlin, New Jersey.

In any case, whether his dream was to establish a religious “Oblate” or an “Order”, we know from viewing other newspaper articles that Joseph Natale’s formal request to the Camden Diocese and to the Church in Rome for recognition of his intended religious community was officially refused.

Thus, the “Oblates of Saint Jude” and/or the ”Most Holy Family Monastery (MhFM)” are not and were never recognized as legitimate Catholic religious communities. And to state otherwise is nothing more than an Enchanting Lustful Lie.

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