Fr. Fernand Albert, 86, of New Brunswick, Canada died on March 13th, 2013 (the same day as the election of Pope Francis). In his thirst for justice, he understood well the Work of MICHAEL. When he was a pastor, he always welcomed with open arms the full-time Pilgrims of St. Michael who would come into his parish to visit families in their “door to door” missionary work. His brother Raymond Albert writes to us:
Fr. Wesley Wade, Diocesan Administrator for the Diocese of Bathurst, N.B., presided over the funeral Mass of Fr. Albert. The following are excerpts from his homily.
“Listening to the various priorities in the pastoral life of our new Universal Pastor (His Holiness Pope Francis), I was happy to learn of his fondness for the poor and voiceless of his diocese. Those familiar with Fr. Fernand know how close he was to the poor and the marginalized of our society. In the sixties and seventies he went so far as to build homes, making use of his talents as carpenter and even architect, to help those living in deplorable housing conditions.
“I remember as a young priest, when I visited his parish in Lorne, how impressed I had been when he showed me all the beams that he had placed in the attic of the church in order to solidify it. I assure you that I had not understood his expert explanations on the matter… He did all this with an enthusiasm that communicated his great love and affection for the flock, which had been entrusted to him...
“I always perceived Fr. Fernand as a man of deep convictions, both at the theological and pastoral levels as well as in those elements touching on the economic life of the people. He was a dedicated and devoted man, in love with Christ and with His Church. He also loved his fellow man and his diocese.
“In this church today we bless the Lord for the life, witness and great devotion displayed by Fr. Fernand to this parish community entrusted to his care. In the name of this diocese, I thank his family for the encouragement and the support that they always showed him, enabling him to answer the Lord’s call to serve His people through his priesthood.
“Today in a spirit of faith and hope, we entrust our brother to God’s goodness and mercy… Fr. Fernand deeply believed in the Lord’s forgiveness and mercy. Through his priestly ministry he was the instrument and sign of this Sacrament, the Sacrament of Forgiveness, as well as all the other Sacraments, which he presided over. It is therefore with joy, gratitude and hope that we draw from the mercy of the Lord, manifested by the opening of His heart on the cross. At the same time, with our brother Fernand, we ask the Lord for the grace of forgiveness and reconciliation. Our hope in this forgiveness and the promise of eternal life have their foundations in the Pascal Mystery, which is the death and resurrection of Christ.
“We ask the Risen Christ to welcome His servant, His Pastor and our friend Fernand into His Kingdom. Yes, Lord, welcome our friend, and fill him with Your Peace and Eternal Joy. And from your place close to the heart of God Fernand, continue to watch over us. Take care of your family, our Church and our Diocese. Fernand, you were a courageous and devoted servant, we entrust you to God. Good-bye, we will one day meet again! Amen.”
Fr. Fernand was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Albert, of Caraquet, N.B., long-time Pilgrims of St. Michael. This Acadian family had understood the great truth of Social Credit, which would ensure the daily bread to all.
MICHAEL has always come to the defense of the poor but most particularly during the years 1955-1965. MICHAEL denounced the cruel harassment of poor families by tax collectors in New Brunswick. These poor people had no money and were regularly threatened with the loss of their homes due to unpaid taxes. They lived in miserable conditions and were barely able to feed their large families. Already stripped of everything, these families were intimidated monthly by the visit of a sheriff to collect the property tax.
Long lists of houses for sale were published in the Acadian newspaper. Our founder, Louis Even, would denounce these injustices on his radio and television programs. Photos of these poor families being threatened with eviction from their homes were published in MICHAEL.
By MICHAEL denouncing these injustices and unmasking the swindle of the banking structure, which brings about these unnecessary taxes, the civil authorities became less aggressive and ceased sending sheriffs to the homes. Louis Even called attention to a clause in the law on taxation, which allowed for very poor families to be exempted from property taxes.
Fr. Fernand Albert was Pastor in the parish of Lorne for 30 years. When he first arrived in this parish in 1965, he noticed that the houses were very poor and needed repairs. In the spring of 1966 he gave carpentry classes and was instrumental in forming an organization to build homes. In ten years, 75 new homes were built, giving families a more decent place to live. Fr. Fernand Albert had well understood these words of Pope Pius XI published in 1931: “It may be said with all truth that nowadays the conditions of social and economic life are such that vast multitudes of men can only with great difficulty pay attention to that one thing necessary, namely their eternal salvation.”
The Directors, the Full-Time and the many apostles of the Pilgrims of St. Michael from all over Canada unite their prayers with those of all the Albert family from Caraquet, New Brunswick, for the repose of the soul of their dear brother, the Reverend Father Fernand. We offer our most sincere condolences to all the family members. Sunday, March 24th at the monthly meeting of the Pilgrims of Michael, the Holy Mass was celebrated in the church of St. Michael in Rougemont, Quebec for the repose of the soul of our very devoted and distinguished Pastor of souls, Fr. Fernand Albert, whom we knew and loved.
The Directors of MICHAEL