In Memory of Dolores Rose Morris, 4/9/22 – 2/6/99
The following is a letter that I sent to family and friends the day my mother was buried.
Following this letter is the final letter that she wrote to one of her correspondents.
+ JMJ +
February 9, 1999
Feast of Saint Cyril of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church
Dear Friends of the Morris family,
On April 9, 1922, a child was born in Philadelphia to Mary Assumpta Messinger (Nee Moran) and Joseph Aloysius Messinger, Jr. The child was named Dolores Rose; Dolores, in honor of the Seven Dolores of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and Rose, in honor of Our Lady, the Mystical Rose, and Saint Rose of Lima. Dolores received her childhood Catholic rearing at the hands of her mother, Mary, and of course, the dedicated Sisters of Saint Joachim’s Catholic Elementary school and Hallahan Catholic High School for girls. Dolores received at Hallahan the equivalent of a College education, especially in the field of Catholic Apologetics. Dolores graduated with 900 girls in the class of 1939.
Dolores met a quiet, shy protestant young man, named Robert G. Morris (Bob). They began dating in 1939, with the planned objective of his conversion to the Catholic Faith. Dolores taught Bob the basics of the Catholic Faith, preparing him for his formal catechetical instruction. Saturday night dates began at the Earl, at the movies, or at a Big Band Dance, but they would always end with Midnight Mass at Saint John’s Catholic Church, downtown. Bob’s preparatory instruction in the Faith was so well administered, that Father Bruno Kucment, Rector of Saint John Cantius Parish, said that he was the best instructed aspirant to the Faith that he had met. Father Kucment taught him his formal catechetical instruction for six months. Young Bob was received as a new Catholic on June 14, 1940. Bob and Dolores received a dispensation to marry during Advent because World War II was in progress, and Bob was included in the Draft. They were married on December 14, 1940. He was the best convert to Catholicism I had ever met, but, of course, I had not yet met him or Dolores at that time.
A son was born to Bob and Dolores on July 29, 1943. He was given the name Robert Gregory. He received a diligent Catholic instruction at the hands of his mother, father and the Sisters of Saint Joseph. In 1950, the Morris family moved from Philadelphia to a small town of 600 in South Jersey, where Bob and Dolores made every effort that their son would receive the benefits of Catholic schooling. Saint Augustine’s Catholic School was twelve and one half miles away. They drove Rob into school in the morning, returned home, then went back to bring him home at the end of the school day. They drove 50 miles per day for that purpose, because they believed it so important.
Dolores became involved for seven years in the catechetical instruction of Catholic public school children in the Tuckahoe and Woodbine area. She then taught for ten years at the Catholic schools in Margate and Pamona, but with the gradual introduction of destructive protestant liberalism into the curriculum in the late 1960s, she had to decide to leave teaching. Most of you know Dolores because of her untiring work to defend the Faith and the Church, and her relentless crusade against the heresies of Ecumenism and Modernism. She burned the midnight oil and far beyond on a daily basis. Many called and wrote, asking many questions. Many received answers, questions, comfort, encouragement, and, yes, sermons. Dolores was not afraid to express herself in defense of the Faith. She would not compromise as she knew the Church would not. She expressed the Truth, based upon years of research. She had read, and studied many, many of the 3500 Catholic books in our personal library. She said her private prayers, Holy Hour devotions, Rosary, novenas and Mass Prayers daily. She read the Bible for at least fifteen minutes each evening. She had begun her fifteenth reading on January 5, 1999. (She kept a written record, night by night of each reading.)
Last December Dolores was informed that she had an aneurism in her stomach, and would have to undergo a critical operation. Her health was excellent. She had a strong constitution. She tackled what became her final Christmas distribution of Catholic materials to her friends and relatives, and prepared for the operation. The operation at Jefferson Hospital went well, they said, but within a week an infection developed at the graft site. A valiant 13 hour operation attempting to save her life was performed at Jeanne’s Hospital for Women. On the first Saturday of the month, our Lady’s special day, February 6, at 4:00 A.M., Dolores Rose’s life ended peacefully. Almighty God, with the assistance of the medical profession, ended her labors on this earth. We accept His Will and miss her dearly. We will miss her spiritual direction and Catholic guidance, and her insistence to follow the straight and narrow path. We held a private Catholic burial today at 4:20 P.M. Attending were Margaret, her sister, Agnes, her aunt, Rob, her son, and the funeral director. Rob read the prayers from the Saint Andrew’s Missal. May her soul, and the souls of all of the faithful departed, rest in peace (Requiescat in Pace) Amen.
Yours in Christ, Our Lord,
Robert Gregory Morris (Rob)
This is the final letter written by Dolores Rose Morris:
Holy Ghost Enlighten us!
Holy Mary, help!
Fri., Jan. 8, 1999
St. Apollinaris, Bp
Dear Harriet and Joe,
Thank you for your note of Jan 4. There are a few comments I should like to make. It is essential that we ponder and pray very earnestly on a given religious subject before we voice an opinion, or we may fall into error.
Moira is quite right to be horrified at the few who will be saved in each generation. But it is not the fault of God or His Church that so many will be perverse-as we see all around us today! The saints are surely not in error on this subject, or the Church would never have canonized them.
As to Anne Catherine Emmerick and Mary of Agreda, how right you are that they contradict each other, and even, in some cases, the Church! We see here the reason they were never canonized. Pious women, yes, but not true, reliable seers! Benedict XIV refused to canonize Mary of Agreda precisely “because of the book”- too much of Mary Agreda, and not enough of God, as he said.
We may never even whisper that on any account the Church of Christ is a failure! Only the devil can insinuate such a thought and we must make reparation even for such thoughts! A mystery, yes, but Our Dear Gentle Saviour Himself has told us that “many are called, but few are chosen.” (St. Matt.20:16) He has also said, “How narrow is the gate and strait is the way that leadeth to life and few there are that find it. (St. Matt. 7:14) Now we know that Christ Our Lord cannot be mistaken as to the few who will be saved.
For many years I have urged friends to prayerfully read the Sacred Scriptures daily. The True Church grants us an Indulgence for reading the Bible for 15 minutes or more daily (not now and then, you see) for the remission of sins. This is most fruitful reading which enables us to know the mine of the Church more fully. How sad if we neglect this gift, especially in these days when we no longer have access to sacramental confession and absolution.
St. Leonard (who gave us the Divine Praises) provided many examples from the Scriptures, and Christ has said that they are inerrant, being the Voice of God. Christ told the Sadducees, “You err, not knowing the Scriptures.” We surely do not wish Our Lord to say that to us on the last day! We read many worthless things; why do we not read God’s very Word in His Book?
The saints simply follow Scripture on this subject. Our first Pope, St. Peter says, “…what shall be the end of them that believe not the gospel of God? And if the just man will scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” (1 St. Peter 4:18) This because of our concupiscence, of course! St. Paul also tells us that:”…with fear and trembling, work out your salvation.” (Phil. 2:12) Heaven is that pearl of great price which God does NOT owe to us, and we do very little to deserve it, do we not!?
The younger generation are growing up with the false “I’m ok, you’re ok” mentality and with the Vatican II false concept of universal salvation. The tug of this world is strong, but we are commanded by Christ to resist it with all of our strength.
Keep up your prayers; the operation was backed up until this month (aneurism).
God bless you all!
Father Herbert, Father Neil, Father Reginald, MSS Guild 1957-60
Dolores Rose Morris/Rob Blackwood Campus 2008
October 4, 2008 MSS Reunion, Blackwood Campus