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By Kevin Wells, Crisis Magazine, Nov. 26, 2021
Kevin Wells is a former Major League Baseball writer, Catholic speaker, and author of Priest and Beggar: The Heroic Life of Venerable Aloysius Schwartz (Ignatius Press). His best-selling book The Priests We Need to Save the Church was published by Sophia Institute Press in 2019.
A short time ago, in the Maryland countryside, a priest the humble folk say bears a resemblance to Maximilian Kolbe turned on the ignition of his old silver pick-up and eased out of the parking lot of his St. Michael’s parish. He shifted into second gear and passed by a group of swollen-eyed parishioners standing by the Pennsylvania-fieldstone Marian grotto he had built for them a few weeks prior. The priest grinned behind his long, white beard, turned right, and drove past his neighbor’s strutting peacocks whose shrieks often interrupted his pre-dawn nocturns.
Fr. Martin Flum drove west until—poof—his high-mileage truck and faded MARY-land bumper sticker disappeared at a bend in the road.
He has vanished.
He will never be seen again. Those left standing in the parking lot—the same lot he repaved for them just a few days earlier, could finally cry. To most that day, it seemed a guillotine had split their soul—one half would hold memories, the other was left to mourn. The parishioners’ pinhole of consolation, though, was knowledge of Fr. Flum’s destination: their spiritual father, they knew, would soon begin to annihilate every level of comfort to spend the remainder of his life as a consecrated hermit, offering his life as a slave to Mary and her Fatima plea. …
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