Fraternite Notre Dame | Our Founder

An Apostle in our times...

Most Reverend Bishop Jean Marie

An outstanding figure

Most Reverend Bishop Jean Marie, outstanding figure, a humble prelate, a man of heart, a friend to the poor, is ready to sacrifice all things when the lot of his brethren is at stake, and especially when the question is: the salvation of their souls.
This is in a nutshell what could depict the singular personality -worthy to bring your attention- of this Bishop with a simple and fatherly heart, this one soul, ever valiant, united to God through a special bond...
In this our de-christianized, materialistic and corrupt world, God wanted to give rise to an Apostle in our times, an Apostle of the end times, the Most Reverend Bishop Jean Marie, and He wanted to do so through His Most Holy Mother.

The Holy Communion: Mother House, Chicago, Illinois

Childhood and Spiritual Communications

Over 40 years ago, this good Mother requested a young religious Friar to found a Congregation that would be consecrated to Her in a special way, in order to keep the true faith and serve the poor, and so that many be the souls to be saved in this way.

The Most Blessed Virgin Mary asked her humble servant to erect a Shrine where She would grant numerous graces: "There, in your place, in my Shrine, I shall attract everything to myself. I shall convert sinners; I shall rekindle ice-cold and lifeless souls. I shall revive the little fervor there is in lukewarm souls" (Message from August 15, 1970)

The young Religious, favored with extraordinary charismas, had had an uncommon childhood that already showed a soul privileged by Heaven. When he was just 5 or 6, little Roger used to play priest and say Mass, instead of playing cowboys and Indians.
He would get up quite early and ride his bike to attend the Holy Sacrifice before going to school. He would even get there before the priest, who used to find him, sitting on the church steps. On Sundays, he would go from church to church, still riding his bike, to attend as many masses as possible in the entire area. He loved to serve and visit the poor, the elderly and the sick. He would find a thousand and one ways to come to their help.
One day, with a young mate, they found an enormous shell forgotten since World War II: they unearthed it, wheel-barrowed it, cleaned and shined it, to sell it to an antique shop, so as to be able to help the poor with the amount so obtained.

Now, the shell bumped out of the wheelbarrow! They do not even realize the danger they are running, they pick up the huge and dangerous object and go on their way. The childish anecdote already revealed little Roger's great zeal towards all his brethren.

His zeal gradually turned into a devouring fire, which finally made him worthy to be elected by Heaven as Founder of a new Religious Congregation.

At a time when the great religious Orders all seem to be going through their Good Friday and coming to their end in an alarming fashion, the Mother of the Church is watching, and she makes relief forces in the mystical Body of Christ become a reality.

Thus, since his prime years, the Lord's Call was clear. His priestly vocation is quite obvious, even though his family does not understand him. He joins a Friary, and later the Seminary, and through this young Religious, selfless, prayerful, always on the run to give a hand, many mystical graces will be worked in the secret of God.
The Lord, however, does not light a lamp to hide it under the bushel, and numerous persons were privileged witnesses (in those beginnings and also later on) to graces he is favored with. Among others, the gift of bilocation, the stigmata of Christ, the mystical ring, a gift of prophecy and reading into souls, the multiplication of hosts, the multiplication of food, miraculous cures, spectacular exorcisms, and again, a wealth of other graces...

Apparitions of Our Lady

Our Lady was preparing her Servant Knight through private, frequent conversations. And on June 10, 1977 took place the First Apparition in her Blessed Forest, where she addressed her people, through the intermediary of her Confidant. Through her presence, she was marking the spot where her Shrine was to be built.
Henceforth, and for eternity, she would be venerated under this new title of Our Lady of Frechou.

"I am Mary, Mother of Mercy and Mother of the Church. I desire that my children come here in a pilgrimage. I shall come on the 1st* and 14th of each month… and I shall listen to the requests of my people.
My Divine Son has chosen this spot of land for me, that I may have my Mercy bust out here. May this blessed forest, which from now on is consecrated to me, be a place of prayer, penance and mercy. While tears were running down Our Lady's face, Father Jean Marie innerly asked her the reason for her tears. She replied to him: I cry over the Church, over France and over the World."

Message from Our Lady to Father Jean Marie, June 10, 1977
*During one of her Apparitions, Our Lady announced that she would come only on the 14th.

Since that date, Our Lady has been faithful to the appointments. During the Mass of the Apparition, on the 14th of each month at noon, she appears to the Most Reverend Bishop and delivers messages to him, which she draws from her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart and from her Divine Son's.
She transmits his requests to us, grants his graces, consoles, soothes, and obtains graces of conversion and sanctification. Dear words, coming from the mouth of a Blessed Mother, the Mother of Humankind.

"...I promise to come here to visit my people and relieve its suffering until the end of the world..."

Our Lady on November 14, 1979.

She tells us that our age lives in abomination, that never like in these our times, there has been as many souls cast into hell, and that, as a loving Mother, She comes to save her family while there is still time (April 14, 1981). She asks us to lead a life of prayer, penance and mercy.

Requests from Our Lady and Miraculous manifestations

Here, we are pleased to report some of the requests from Our Lady: the Most Blessed Virgin Mary asks us to keep the true Faith; to have infinite respect for her Divine Son, really present in the Most Holy Eucharist; to attend, as often as possible and with great respect and fervor, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; to pray the Holy Rosary; to serve the poor and all those who suffer in their heart or in their body.
She asked for the erection of a shrine, and a chapel where she would be invoked as Liberator of the Souls in Purgatory; she asked also the Scapular of the two Holy United Hearts, the Medal of Mercy (see the magnificent promises made on June 14, 1978 and June 10, 1981), the Holy Oil for the sick and sinners; the Medal of Saint Joseph.

She exalts the Catholic priesthood and the grandeur of religious life, the beauty there is in faithfulness to the three Vows of Religion and to the spirit of the Founders of Congregations. She deplores the laissez-aller and negligence that prevails in religious houses and among the clergy, because of pride, a taste for prestige and money, love for pleasures, and opening up to the ideas of the world. On several occasions, she requested the conversion of bishops and the consecrated.
Her Shrine at the Forest of Our Lady, initiated in extreme destitution, will soon become known. Decried and even defamed like many authentic places of apparitions, its timelessness proves in itself that its origin is in God. Numerous pilgrimages have been organized spontaneously since the beginning, attracting persons from every race, people and language, and many miracles were granted to the faithful in reward for their faith.

Among them, let us mention here:

- A lady, from Paris, afflicted with Reynaud's disease, whose veins were blocked in seven different places, and her finger and toe's extremities had already started to contract gangrene...

click on the picture for more...

The Works of the Religious Priests, Friars and Nuns,
Servants of Our Lady

Through all these exceptional graces, the Work of the Priests, Friars and Nuns, Servants of Our Lady, a Religious Congregation founded by the Most Reverend Bishop Jean Marie, grows and extends, despite scarce financial means and material support.
This quasi-miraculous expansion can be explained however by the energy and determination of its Superior, who gives his life to it, drop after drop.

His example motivates all the religious of Fraternite Notre Dame. He is an image of the Good Shepherd that knows his fold and guides it towards green pastures. He is the one who revives their fervor each day, in the life of sacrifice they have joyfully embraced.
But what price does the Pastor pay in responding to Heaven's pleas? So many nightly watches, so many exhausting trips, and so many steps taken for the opening of new, remote missions are needed!

He takes to heart to check each detail for the smooth running and harmony of the entire Congregation.

He is that needed keystone in the Religious Order; a normal course for it is right and proper that all things should go through his fatherly hands, for the vow of Holy Obedience to be implemented.

Our Lady requested the foundation of the Servants of Our Lady to meet the needs of our times: spiritual as well as material needs.
The Most Reverend Bishop always feels urged to succor those in misery, assist the sick and dying, educate the youth.
This translates into Hospitals, dispensaries, orphanages, and soup kitchens for the poor, visits to prisoners, lepers, etc. These are the work sites for these new workers of the Gospel.

Thanks to the zeal of its Founder

Fraternite Notre Dame started numerous humanitarian missions around the world.

First of all, in Paris and New York City, USA in 1990 (free restaurants for the needy in neglected areas); Martinique [F.W.I.] also in 1990 (erection of a chapel, help to those most in need); Cameroon in 1992 (a dispensary in the bush country); Haiti in 1993 (an orphanage, a school and a dispensary); Mongolia in 1995 (the Hospital of Charity, a soup kitchen, an orphanage, public baths); Niger in 1996 (orphanage, school and health center) Chicago, Illinois in 1998 with a church, a soup kitchen, assistance to the most destitute... San Francisco, CA in 2005 (Soup Kitchen, help to those in need).
Other missions will be opened as opportunities and support become available to the Most Reverend Bishop. He also knows how to send his religious to various spots where the world suffers: like in Romania (1990), former Yugoslavia (1991), Rwanda in 1994, Croatia, Albania (1999), El Salvador (2000), etc.

This great mystic knows how to place himself at the level of everyone. Gifted with a superior intelligence and a great practical spirit, he has all qualities required by his position:
Rapidity in decision making; incredible power for work; exceptional courage; all this blended with a natural distinction which charms all those who might think he is touched by the honors of the earth. For Heaven's triumph is the one thing that drives him, and submission to God's will is his constant food. Many prominent figures however have known how to acknowledge this man of prayer and compassion. In him they saluted a genius in humanitarian action:
Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, Mayor of the City of New York; Mr. Richard Daley, Mayor of the City of Chicago; various representatives of the government of the United States and other countries; US Congressman Danny Davis. He is a friend to many Ambassadors and Diplomats who requested him to start Missions in their own countries.

The Most Reverend Bishop Jean Marie leads this immense enterprise of charity

Such as St Vincent de Paul; he deploys a wealth of services to benefit those most in need. But his person pays the toll of this crushing task. Overwhelming work keeps him as if crucified to his duty.
His days are made of perpetual dedication, visits to the Missions, time spent in giving some good pieces of advice, consoling the sick, blessing, encouraging.
He always wishes "to do more", never wants to waste any time, but he goes straight to the aim. When he hears of a sick person, quickly he rushes to pay him or her a visit in person, or he commissions his religious there to bring care and comfort.
He had some young children fly from Mongolia or Niger to the USA, for them to get medical attention under better circumstances; he saved the life of many a person through his advice and warnings. How many people, because they followed his advice to the letter, helped themselves out of desperate situations.

How many persons can testify that he knows their conscience and reads in their heart as he would in an open book. Often, in fact, he gives you the answer before you even ask the question. Such charisma, if we may put it this way, is not given to him free of charge, and his life of permanent sacrifice and abnegation corresponds to the graces he receives. But he is faithful to Our Lady, faithful always.

In the United States

Fraternite Notre Dame deployed with a peculiar facility in the United States of America. In 1990, the Most Reverend Bishop Jean Marie sent his first daughters to New York City to open a soup kitchen.
Furbished only with a handful of dollars but armed with their courage and their faith, the Sisters found a small storefront for rent in East Harlem, NYC and started to feed hundreds of homeless persons there. With a special foresight, the Most Reverend Bishop would guide them from afar in their ways of dealing with every new day.
It was as if he were "there, on the spot", for he would arrange the problems that arose, down to the details. Everything was new for these young Nuns: learning the language; getting used to the American spirit; running on a quest for food to feed the poor; looking for vehicles and supplies of all kinds, etc.
Without any support from the Most Reverend Bishop Jean Marie, the nuns would never have defeated so many obstacles!

Shrine of the Ecce Homo, Notre Dame's Monastery

The success of such a mission was also brought about by the generosity of the American people. Again, Our Lady blessed the arrival of her Servants upon this land...

"I bless the United States of America for having accepted my Most Holy Mother, through my Sons and Daughters from Frechou. I shall spread abundant graces on each of the States where my Most Holy Mother is represented by my Sons and Daughters, for it must be manifested to the world how much I love my Mother, and how much I wish that through Her, people come to My Sacred and Merciful Heart."

Our Lord to Most Rev. Bishop Jean Marie, March 14, 1992.

She worked lots of changes in hearts, restored courage to those in despair. The very presence of the little Sisters and Brothers, the Priests from the Congregation of the Most Reverend Bishop Jean Marie would put some balm on their bruised hearts, for they knew they were there "for them", wholly dedicated to their needs.

In 1998, the Most Reverend Bishop started another adventure, such as we read of in the lives of the saints. He cast the anchor in Chicago to open a soup kitchen. Beginnings there were very poor, but Providence intervened at all times: food donated in extremis when everything was lacking (this happened several times), donations of supplies and equipment at the very moment when it was mostly needed, etc. Heaven was watching, hour after hour.
The Most Reverend Bishop, however, because his vision goes far and wide when the glory of Mary Immaculate is at stake, was looking for a larger space.
During one of his investigations in the Austin area, he came across an abandoned church, and he complained to the Sister, who had not mentioned this matter to him at an earlier time.

"Sister, what are you doing with the House of the Lord"!

The Mother House

Even though he was completely deprived of any money, Providence allowed the Bishop to acquire the church, through the medium of generous benefactors.

In record time, he had it renovated by all the religious and volunteer friends. He himself participated in the task. The Ceremony of Consecration, scheduled for the end of October, only left 3 months for the sanctuary's refection.
The Mistress of Novices and another nun painted magnificent frescoes. The Priests, Brothers and Sisters worked day and night in three shifts, relaying one another to finish the important work. This makes you think of St Teresa of Avila, fixing herself her churches by night in order to have Mass celebrated at dawn and take possession of the place.
The beautiful church offered the opportunity to design a fair shrine to Our Lady of Frechou. The statue represents the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, during one of the visions with which the Most Reverend Bishop was gratified: she is holding the Child Jesus on her lap, a symbol for the two Holy United Hearts.

The Ceremony of Consecration of the Church and Crowning of the Statue occurred on October 21, 2000, in the midst of an impressive throng of faithful that had come from Europe as well as New York and Chicago.
The statue in Chicago is miraculous: it granted numerous privileges, obtained cures and worked conversions... Many come to lay their requests at her feet, and they are heard.
The Most Blessed Virgin Mary promised that this little church in Chicagoland would be a land of miracles, and She proves it constantly. Let us just mention here some manifestations that occurred in Chicago and which give proof to both the character of holiness of the Most Reverend Bishop Jean Marie and the blessings granted by Our Lady of Frechou:
- A lady affected with breast cancer was cured after she came to the church of Our Lady of Frechou in Chicago and after receiving Most Reverend Bishop Jean Marie's blessing. Indeed, shortly after, she had a special x-ray taken, and there was no trace of cancer left whatsoever. The tumor had completely disappeared.
- The same thing happened to a young lady, very worried because of her pregnancy, which was not evolving properly. The doctors advised her to have an abortion, because a serious tumor had been detected close to her child's heart. After she received the Most Reverend Bishop's blessing on December 8, 2001, the future mother had x-ray taken. It revealed that the tumor had nearly disappeared. The child was born without any problems and is now very healthy.
- A small boy was run over by a golf car weighing over a ton, without being physically hurt, thanks to the protection of the miraculous Medal of Mercy.
- A 15-year-old young man was cured from stomach cancer after applying some blessed oil.

It would be too long to report all the graces of healing obtained through this oil, both in the United States and in all the countries where Fraternite Notre Dame has missions.
On November 14, 1991, Our Lady requested Most Reverend Bishop Jean Marie to bless some oil: "The oil I requested you to bless must be used for all those who suffer in their body or in their heart". The blessed oil is available in all the Shrines or houses of Fraternite Notre Dame.

- On July 14, 2003, Sister Marie Chantal of the Holy Family of Nazareth, a Tertiary Religious with Fraternite Notre Dame, was given the grace to see the Most Blessed Virgin Mary instead of her statue.
This was the day before her death, and while she was no longer able to walk nor move, she rose from her wheelchair and crossed the church to come near the large miraculous statue; then, she bowed deeply before her, to later fall back into a sort of lethargy, after having entrusted to her son, a priest, that she had seen the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, and that She was very beautiful.
The next day, she returned to the Father, after a very edifying death, completely lost in God and Our Lady, surrounded with her 4 religious children.

Mass on the 14th of each month

Holy Mass in the Holy Forest

On the 14th of each month, in union with the Holy Forest of the Apparitions, a solemn Mass is celebrated at 5 a.m. (which corresponds with 12-noon in France). Numerous faithful attend the Mass, when one can feel something special that just cannot be defined, the passage of Mary Immaculate amongst us.

Most Reverend Bishop Jean Marie often celebrates the Mass of the 14th in Chicago. Then one can be sure that Our Lady is really there, appearing to him and speaking of each one of us in a familiar way. What a special grace to attend this early Mass! And how could we not be deeply moved by the sermons of Father Jean Marie!
An outstanding preacher, you can listen to him for hours on end without ever getting bored. His words come from the heart, they are strongly persuasive, to change you and cause you to return to God.
He knows how to touch the most hardened hearts, and represents to us our short passage on this earth, and our one aim, which must be to go to Heaven. There are always in his mouth some words of love for the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, or the devotion to her Rosary.

He is a mystic that speaks to you; a spiritual Father addressing his children; he is a simple Priest, reminding people of eternal truths.
To this rapid portrait sketched about Most Reverend Bishop Jean Marie, something would be missing if we did not mention his burning love for the Holy Eucharist. You need to see him at least once, celebrating Holy Mass, to be convinced that he experiences the Eucharistic Presence.
In him there is a kind of special majesty and easiness. His recollection proves that he is no longer quite present on the earth; and however, he pays attention to the smallest detail in the ceremony.

Holy Mass in the traditional rite of St Pius V sends us into meditation. The vestments are impeccable, magnificent; and actually the Bishop takes very great care in all religious vestments, which are usually handmade by the Nuns themselves. Attending a Mass celebrated by the Bishop was enough to convert many a person that had not seen such ceremonies before, and they discovered or re-discovered the grandeur of the Catholic liturgy.

Presently, the Chicago location has become Fraternite Notre Dame's Mother House. Novices and young professed Nuns are trained there. Mother Marie Faustine, Mistress of Novices, watches with a quite special care over each one of her daughters, along with Mother Marie Marthe, the Mother Superior.

Nothing is more beautiful than giving one's live for God in purity, obedience, silence, prayer, attendance to religious services and the magnificent ceremonies!

At Fraternite Notre Dame's, religious souls are given an opportunity to respond wholly to their vocation. A life given at the service of the poor, in communal joy: those who tasted of it would not trade it for anything else in the world!
Most Reverend Bishop Jean Marie's work is in full bloom. What is more beautiful than these strong moments of contemplative prayer, when all the nuns get together in the Sanctuary, to love the Lord in their hearts.
Then, they stand up again, ready to face a thousand daily fights: the cooking to accommodate over 300 people; pick ups of food, sometimes by the ton; taking care of poor children and orphans; running to perform different tasks and praying all together: the life of a missionary is filled with charms and will never lead you to dullness!

Additionally, the Most Reverend Bishop Jean Marie is a guide beyond compare for his Sons and Daughters. You can be sure of his guidance, which nowadays is a rare thing. His concerns are that all his religious Priests, Friars and Nuns sanctify themselves, become humble and faithful in order to rekindle the life of Holy Church. He communicates his own concern for the salvation of souls and relief of suffering bodies.
He is a jewel the good God has sent us in this time of the end times.

The Virgin Mary speaks about the United States of America

As a conclusion, let us quote the message Our Lady gave to Most Reverend Bishop Jean Marie on August 14, 2001, that is, one month before the tragedy of September 11:

Shrine of the Ecce Homo: the Bell Tower

"I am Mary of Nazareth, Mother of the Savior, the Virgin immaculate in her Conception. Today I want to tell America: your mission is to give the example to the other nations, even if they do not want to look at you. Will you be faithful…? Your faithfulness must be exemplary… always be a guarantor of liberties, do not let yourself be influenced. Glorify your God, and God will keep you with tenderness; He shall keep you despite your enemies, and you shall defeat your enemies if your faithfulness to the God of Love is unreserved. O America, I watch over you, I extend my immaculate mantle over you, for in you my Divine Son has planted his Cross, a sacred standard, the standard of victory.
My little children, you have to pray a great deal the Holy Rosary, with your rosary beads in your hands, you have to place all your trust in my motherly and Immaculate Heart. I watch over you with love. May the peace of the Savior of men be with you. I bless you with all my heart".

By Sister Marie Virginie + snd
& Sister Marie Christine + snd