Raymond de Souza, who is Brazilian by birth, and now resides in Perth (WA), recently completed a successful overseas lecture tour on Catholic apologetics.
A language consultant by profession, he now works as St Gabriel Communications' full-time researcher and apologist at the Cathedral Parish Centre in Perth. He chairs the Cathedral Branch of the Knights of the Southern Cross and is the Perth Co-ordinator for Human Life International. He also co-hosts with his wife a Catholic talk back radio show, "The Layman's Hour".
In the past 20 years he has given hundreds of talks and seminars on Catholic apologetics and assisted in religious education in parishes, schools and lay organisations in the United States, Canada, South Africa, Brazil, New Zealand and Australia.
During his recent visit to the US, Mr de Souza took part in a conference in Houston from 30 August to 1 September titled "Fullness of Truth", organised by Catholic Evangelisation Ministries.
The 1,200 conference participants were addressed by such experts on the Faith as Kimberley Hahn, Janet Smith, Jeff Cavins (EWTN), Fr Joseph Fessio (Ignatius Press), Jason Evert (Catholic Answers), Tim Staples (St Joseph's Communications) and Grace McKinnon (Catholic Exchange). Raymond de Souza was the only non-American speaker.
In his address on the "Angelic Warfare in the Sanctuary", Mr de Souza addressed the crisis currently assailing the Church, especially in the United States. He recalled that Pope Leo XIII had had a vision of a terrible crisis in the Church, in which he saw devils in great numbers assailing the Barque of Peter. To fight back that invasion, the Pope composed the Prayer to St Michael the Archangel and instructed that it be recited by both priest and congregation, kneeling, after Mass.
Following Vatican II, this practice was discontinued, although there had been no Council decree, pontifical document or instruction from any Vatican congregation requiring this.
In fact, in such situations, what is not explicitly forbidden is implicitly allowed. Thus there is no need for permission from any ecclesiastical authority for any priest to restore the Leonine prayers after Mass.
Mr de Souza told his audience that he and his wife had already appealed to the Holy Father asking that the Leonine prayers be restored throughout the Catholic world. Receipt of the letter has already been formally acknowledged by the Apostolic Nuncio in Canberra.
From Houston Mr de Souza travelled to Louisiana where he spoke on the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, the Rosary and the Biblical foundations of the Papacy.
Massachusetts and Connecticut were the next stops: there the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate gave him their full support in organising talks in various parishes throughout the week-end.
Indianapolis and Minneapolis were the last stops in the US tour. In the latter, he addressed some 400 Catholic high school students at an 11 September memorial lecture.
Mr de Souza's second tour of the United States is scheduled for February 2003. He has been invited to address Catholic parishes, associations and retreats in Louisiana, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Minnesota and Arizona, including a 3-day visit to EWTN television to record a series of talks for worldwide broadcasting.
On his way to the US, a tentative introductory tour of Europe comprising London, Cracow and Malta, is being planned.
Meanwhile, during October 2002 he spent two weeks giving lectures and seminars across Queensland, including an appearance at the "Call to Holiness" conference in Brisbane on 19 October. Another speaker at this conference was the recently appointed Bishop Brian Finnigan, who took as his theme, "The Splendour of Truth."
Catholic parishes and associations interested in sponsoring talks on Catholic apologetics anywhere in Australia and New Zealand can contact St Gabriel Communications at SaintGabriel@bigpond.com
Raymond de Souza's talks have been recorded on cassette tapes and can be ordered from the St Gabriel Communications website at www.saintgabriel.iinet.net.au/main.htm