The Saint Peter Dossier, Part III: Trek Over the Traditional Landscape. Fr. Poisson Tells Of His Exit from the FSSP, His Encounter with the SSPX, and His Settlement in Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Boston, Kentucky.
Part III of RadTrad Thomist's exclusive interview with Fr. Joseph Poisson, former Priest of the FSSP.
Fr. Joseph Poisson: The Fraternity priest in Scranton one year brought the bishop to the Mass on the Epiphany. Then there was a nice supper afterwards, and they said nice things and he said nice things. It is just talk and they sang music to him. It was just stupid. He does not give us the Sacraments, we get the Sacraments from Bishop Timlin. He is just there to look happy and to see the pretty girls in dresses. They are dressed modestly. Everything to make the bishop happy. He never gave us anything. He never gave us the Sacraments. The retired Bishop Timlin gave the Sacrament of Confirmation. Because our bishop would not get into the old rite. Our Lady was really giving me a sign that I was to get out. Another thing that was pulling me towards the SSPX occurred when I went to Nigeria for 9 months. Before I left for Nigeria in 2010, a woman knocked on the rectory in Saint Catherines, Ontario, and I thought she wanted catechism, a couple of classes. But she said, “You know Father, I feel I have to give this to you.” It was a 1st class relic of St. Pius X. I asked her, “Where did you get this?” It did not have the papers, but they were remodeling the wall in a house down the street, they were demolishing the wall and it was found in the wall! They just found this. So I said, “OK”. Because it does not have the papers, I always wear it on me. I was saying to myself, “Should I join SSPX?”
So, to jump ahead, before I joined Fr. [Joseph] Pfeiffer last November, I dd have a meeting with the prior of the SSPX church in Toronto. My former altar boy liked the SSPX and joined them and became a brother. He was one year in France and then he was going to the St. Joseph Oratory in Montreal, so he passed by my home [by this time, Fr. Poisson was already out of the FSSP for 4 years]. So he set up an appointment for me with the SSPX prior and since I had no car and no money I could not meet him in Toronto. So the prior said, “I will meet you in Ottawa, so I borrowed my aunt’s car to drive there. Everything that day was a red flag. We were supposed to meet at Tim Horton’s restaurant and there were not even two seats in the restaurant, the McDonalds had blasting music, so I just said, “Let’s talk in my car.” Fr. Dominique Boulet, he has been around many years. He said to me, “We are almost there. We almost have the Personal Prelature.” I thought, “You want to sign THAT? And he was so enthusiastic about having marriages and confessions with the pope’s permission.
RadTrad Thomist: Well what is your attitude towards all that? You have gone from the inside, doing it “normally” and then you are speaking to someone who wants exactly that.
P. I said to myself, “They are following in the footsteps of the Fraternity.” And I could see that from coming from the inside. I did not say any of this to him then, but I was in a daze afterwards. I was so overwhelmed by that meeting that I could not even say my rosary coming home. I could not even get out a “Hail Mary.” I was so exhausted, going over and over in my mind what he had said.
R. So you thought there would be some answer?
P. Nothing worked. I said to myself, “That is not for me. I guess it is back to prayer.” Shortly after that, a few weeks, it was the Feast of the Miraculous Medal, I started to think, “Wouldn’t it be nice to just drive coast to coast and just preach Fatima and say Mass? Maybe that is what Our Lady wants me to do. And then the phone rang. Normally I just wanted to be quiet, I would let mom answer it, but since she was in bed, I answered it. It was some lady in Niagara Falls, she knew me, she knew that I preached the truth, she had mass intentions for me, she said to me, “Why don’t you speak to Fr. [Joseph] Pfeiffer?” Now when I was in the Fraternity, I had heard the name “Fr. Pfeiffer” but I was so focused on my work that I did not even think much about the name. I had a friend of the SSPX “Resistance” in Toronto, so she got me Fr. Pfeiffer’s number. I called him immediately, about 7pm at night, and he was at some airport and he answered right away, “Hello, this is Fr. Pfeiffer!” Very friendly. “Why don’t you come down to Kentucky.” But, I felt like I had to call him back, I needed to help my mother out and my brother who was running the dairy farm. It was already November and with the snow in Canada, I needed to help them both out with the farm. So I called him back, told him the situation, and then said that, “I will call you back after Easter.” So I wanted to go, and then after Easter, I drove down to Buffalo airport and then to Kentucky. But I did not know much about Fr. Pfeiffer at the time. I did not have internet at my mother’s house. When I met him at the airport with Fr. Hewko I thought he was a brother, because he was wearing a white cassock, so I asked him, “Are you a brother?”
R. Either that or the pope?
P. So they brought me to a restaurant. That was the first question I asked Fr. Pfeiffer, “Why are you wearing a white cassock?” “Okay, Okay, that is the Asian summer, etc.” That was my first exposure to him.
R. So I have this relic of St. Pius X and all I was hearing from them was “Resistance,” not “Pius X”. During the first week, I was walking back to the chapel and I picked up a pamphlet which spoke of “SSPX MC” Society of Saint Pius X Marian Corps. So I saw, SSPX, they were still sons of Archbishop Lefebvre. I was directed there through Our Lady. I did not care what everyone else would care about. There were chickens walking around where the seminary was, but I did not care about that. First, I was years a priest, second, I was in Nigeria, so there are chickens and poverty. So the fact that I did not have a fancy room, that was nothing to me. Plus I was a traveling priest for all these years when I was a Fraternity priest, it was all in my blood. This is nothing to me.
R. What kind of spirit did you find there when you pulled in?
P. First of all, Fr. Pfeiffer is amazing. He has a heart of gold. I know how to see through people. Nobody is perfect in this world. There is only Our Lady and Our Lord. Only they were perfect. But I know that “Charity covers a multitude of sins.” You know, his reward in heaven is great. He is doing things that will blow your mind out. If he is $5,000 in the hole, the next week he gets out of it. Someone gives a donations and he is back in the black. He needs plane tickets to go to the faithful, he gets the money. He does not look back.
R. How long have you been with him now?
P. Since May .