I pulled a volume from my personal library called: The Desolate City, and glanced at a few pages. Her book inspired me years ago that the Roman Catholic faith I had adopted was suffering.  We need a strong voice like Anne Roche Muggeridge in the Church today.

Mrs. Muggeridge died on the Feast of the Holy Cross in 2010. She had been ill for many years, but her light of faith shone brightly and provided a beacon of truth in a time of confusion after Vatican II.

The Desolate City was originally published in 1986 by Harper Collins. Despite it being over thirty years later, there is a passage that could apply to the crisis in our Church today: “Human societies become corrupt from the top down; the Catholic Church is no exception. Moreover, the clear and coherent hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church is extremely responsive to direction, or lack of it, from above. In the present crisis, amid the widespread collapse of the upper level of the hierarchy and defection of the second level, a large part of the laity has remained faithful, brave and combative.”

I titled this piece “Wish You Were Here” because we need voices like Mrs. Muggeridge to stand up and be heard as we push through the recent scandals that are facing the Church.

The best part of the above quote is the comment about the laity. I agree; some of the laity is growing stronger and becoming braver. A new movement has arisen since the Bishops of Canada consecrated our country at Notre Dame Basilica in Ottawa in September, 2017. Led by Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, there was a prayer to Our Lady of the Cape, who is represented by the National Shrine to Mary, the Mother of Our Lord, at Cap de la Madeleine, near Trois Rivieres, Quebec.

A group has now  been formed by Dennis and Angelina Girard at Blessed Sacrament Church in Ottawa, and they are promoting consecration to the Confraternity of the Rosary, as well as Our Lady of the Cape. The Girards are converts to the faith, and on fire for the Lord and His Mother Mary.

Anne Roche Muggeridge was a dynamic Catholic woman who used her gifts as a writer to champion the Pro-Life movement as well as being an advocate of the traditional Latin Mass. Her brother, Edward Roche, the former editor of Challenge magazine has stated: “A writer has to be very careful about reading her stuff, because it sticks to your fingers. Then when you write, you pick up her tone.”(LifeSite News:Sept.17, 2010)

Her obituary also comments that “she tirelessly defended the Catholic faith in the public square and helped to bring many people into the Church, the most famous conversion by her influence being her father-in-law, Malcolm Muggeridge.”

Some parishes are actively promoting adoration chapels, which help the participants to discover a stronger personal relationship with the Lord. It is time for a new revolution in our Church; a powerful recognition on the part of all practising Catholics that the Tabernacle before us holds the weapon for real change in the person of Jesus Christ.

If those lapsed Catholics around us only believed that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist, the pews would begin filling up again. The world may be in chaos, but God is still in charge.

Wish you here, Anne Roche Muggeridge, but your spirit continues to live in the hearts of your admirers who are grateful for your example.


Joan Levy Earle is an author and artist living in Cornwall, Ontario. She is the former Associate Editor of the Canadian Messenger of the Sacred Heart magazine.

  • Leo Deveau
    Posted at 08:36h, 06 October Reply

    Sorry Joan, your use of the word “weapon” in reference to the Prince of Peace is unfortunate. ‪Your piece seeks to reinvigorate a spirit for change and inspiration in light of the serious clerical abuses in the Catholic hierarchy. Yet Implicit in the tone of your piece is a sense of restoring more of the past than preparing for the future – such as the Latin mass, etc.. This might sooth those from pre-Vatican II times, but it will not do much good for the very multi-ethnic and diverse world we live in today, especially when most no longer even understand latin!

    Further those latin times had entrenched the male dominated clericalism that many in fact are trying to shelve if the Church is ever to move forward.

    Though sitting in a Chapel or before an altar is important at times, I would advise many to take a mindful walk in the woods, or at the shoreline, and pay attention to the ground we walk on, the air we breath, and the infinite and vast universe that reaches out above our heads. This is the planet (and the cosmos) in which we live and it holds the spiritual mystery for all that lives and breathes, and where God is most present. Hold that thought when we smugly think the Church is the sole vessel of salvation. It isn’t and never was. Peace!

  • Peter Bisson, SJ
    Posted at 10:53h, 06 October Reply

    Thank you Joan!

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