The Gospel of Peace


By Fr John J. Hugo

Fr. John Hugo (1911 1985) was a priest of the Diocese of Pittsburg who spent much of his life giving retreats based upon those that he had participated in while still a young priest in the 1930s. Those retreats were given by Fr. Onesimus Lacouture S. J. and Fr. Hugo was one of over 6000 priests to whom the retreat was given over a course of several years. The Retreat, as it was affectionately called by its devoteés was an electrifying and life-changing experience for many of them. It was nothing more nor less than the Spiritual Excercises of Saint Ignatius. But these retreats given by Fr. Lacouture were, as the saying goes the real deal. They were given as St. Ignatius intended, for the proper length of time and according to the true Ignatian spirit. They got to the real roots of Christian living. They were, in short, radical. Fr. Hugo became a disciple of Fr. Lacouture in the sense that he experienced the fruits and saw the necessity of the retreat for Catholic Americans. He determined to continue that work as part of his priestly vocation. Fr. Hugo became the spiritual advisor of Dorothy Day (and the Catholic Worker Movement) who took the retreat more than twenty times during her life. This book, The Gospel of Peace, is one fruit of that work, and it was very controversial at the time of its publication in 1943. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is always controversial because it is out of step with the world. LORETO PUBLICATIONS FORWORD The twentieth century has been called by many the bloodiest of centuries, the American Century, and most recently by Jewish writer Yuri Slezkine, The Jewish Century. All three nicknames have many cogent arguments to support their use, but no matter what history calls it, there is no doubt that it has been a time of great moral, spiritual, and political ferment. Just two of its many wars have already earned the name of World War. To the Catholic there is always only one war, and it will be waged constantly from that terrible day in the Garden of Eden until that awesome day of the Second Coming of Our Blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ our King. The war is always and everwhere between the Kingdom of Christ and that of the Prince of this World. It is Catholic priests who are so often found in the front lines of this perpetual battle, and even such an anti-catholic nation as the USA has produced in this bloody century some couragous and holy priests who have in one way or another fought the good fight against evil and for the salvation of souls. It is important for us as Catholic Americans to remember these men and to honor their sacrifices. Priests like Fr. Charles Coughlin, Bishop Fulton Sheen, Fr. Leonard Feeney, and the two to whom Loreto dedicates this publication, Fr. Onesimus Lacouture (the inspiration of it) and Fr. John Hugo (the author of it), should be models of inspiration for us, as they were for countless souls during their lifetimes. The Holy Spirit blows where He will, and He inspires those faithful who wish to live a Christ-like life, toward many different means of service to Christ the King. For Father Lacouture and Fr. Hugo and other American and Canadian priests, their method of service was The Retreat. The preceding words are in italics because that is how those disciples of Fr. Onesimus most affected by his spiritual direction affectionately termed it. They also called it simply The Doctrine, in much the same way that the disciples of Father Feeney always spoke of extra ecclesiam nulla salus, as The Dogma or referred to the first fourteen verses of St. John s Gospel as The Center Prayer (the Last Gospel of the Mass which all of Father s disciples could recite from memory in Latin and English).

Paperback, 176 pages

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