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Biographical Information

Fr. Henry La Praz

At a family gathering, in August 1992, in Enney.

January 1st 1959 Birth in Geneva of Henry Andre Gerard Bernard, 6th child of Mr. and Madame Gerard La Praz.
January 4th 1959 Baptism at Sainte-Marie-du-Peuple in Geneva.
1961 Toxicosis (a very serious syndrome, if treated too late, results in death) at the age of two years. The child appears out of danger; but during the night the mother awakens through a premonition and the parents return to the hospital. The child had started to completely dehydrate.
March 15th 1969 Confirmation in Marseilles.
August 1st 1971 National Feast, accidental loss of right eye and a long and delicate operation.
September 23rd 1975 Removal of five infected ganglions (an enlargement of nerve cells) and of the spleen for examination: Hodgkin's disease.
October 23rd 1975 The beginning of radiology treatment.
End of November 22nd and last session of the first series of rays.
December 20th 1975 Intestinal blockage and emergency operation.
Up to the end of Feb. '76 As many radiology sessions as in the first series.
June 20th 1977  Mass at the tomb of St. Pius X in Rome, the start of his vocation.
October 4th 1980  Admission to the Seminary of Ecône. Two hours of meditation daily.
February 2nd 1981 The taking of the soutane and tonsure.
December 8th 1981 First commitment in the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X despite the terrible temptation of leaving the Seminary.
January 29th 1982 Emergency operation at Albano for intestinal blockage and the discovery of a tumour in the colon. Transfer by plane to Geneva.
February 18th 1982  Removal of the part of the colon containing the tumour. When the wound was sewn up again, it became urgent to reopen because of the state of the intestines!
February 26th 1982 New operation lasting 6 hours. The doctors decide to leave the stomach open; no stitches would hold.
Up to Holy Thursday Nearly every day an operation to remove decayed flesh.
Holy Thursday-Good Friday 1982 Apparent death. Four hours of resuscitation. Vision of his burial and the Sitio of Our Lord. "Archbishop Lefebvre entering, I completely woke up, lucid but marked in my soul" he wrote in January1993.
September 1983  Return to the Seminary after nine months of hospital.
March 14th 1984 Minor Orders of porter and lector.
March 23rd 1985 Minor Order of exorcist and acolyte.
Summer 1985 30 Day Retreat at Bitche, France.
May 7th & 17th 1986 Reception of the sub-diaconate and of the diaconate.
June 27th 1986 Priestly ordination at Ecône.
June 29th 1986 First solemn Mass at the Oratory of St. Joseph, Geneva.
1986 Appointment to the Priory of Sierre.
April 19th 1988 M. Gerard La Praz's death, followed by his funeral on April 23rd.
June 1988 Foundation of the newspaper "Controverses" and the work of "Tradiffusion" with Eric Bertinat and Father Michel Koller under the patronage of Bishop Fellay.
1989 Appointment as chaplain to the Carmel of Chexbres.
November 22nd 1989 Letter to a nun in which he summarises the previous years "more than 500 days in hospital, 107 general anaesthetics, 76 sur­gical operations, radio therapy from 1975 to 1976; surgery from 1982 - 1986 and chemotherapy this year".
Corpus Christi 1991 Having undergone the removal of a kidney three weeks previously; Father La Praz took part in the Corpus Christi procession at Enney!
December 1991 Suspecting a stealthy return of his illness, Father La Praz went to Geneva for tests ...He was made to understand that he was a hypochondriac and he accepted to consider that he was kidding himself.
January 1992 Appointment to Enney so that he would be near Tradiffusion whose administrator he was.
March 22nd 1992 Father La Praz is driven to the Samari­tans' Hospital in Vevey because of the pain in his lungs. A draining tube was inserted to eliminate the liquid which was accumulating.
April 4th 1992 While 20 sub-deacons are being ordained in Ecône, the health of Father La Praz suddenly deteriorates following a severe reaction to an injection intended to "plug" his lungs.
April 11th 1992 The lungs fill up all the time with fluid. A scan is made. The draining tube is in his lungs now for the last three weeks.
April 12th 1992 Bishop de Galaretta, Father Schmidberger accompanied by the district Superior go to the C.H.U.V. The bishop gives Extreme Unction to Father La Praz.
April 13th 1992 To find out the cause of the illness, opera­tion of three hours before finding a fistula in his lymphatic system.
May 24th 1992 Results of the tests: the cancer has resumed. "You should have started chemo­therapy six months earlier" says the doctor!
September 29th 1992 Last Mass said in the Chapel of Enney.
September 30th 1992 Adaptation of the chemotherapy to his condition, a muscular paralysis was starting. Begining of his convalescence at Villeneuve.
December 3rd 1992 Emergency drive to CHUV: bacterial meningitis and bronchio pneumonia.
December 8th 1992 On his hospital bed in Villeneuve, admission "for life" in the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X, on the order of the Superior. He felt himself in a precarious position regarding the statutes which he could not follow, given the state of his health! It is the Superior General who receives his commitment.
January 19th 1993 While yet in the emergencies at the C.H.U. V. following respiratory problems, Father La Praz writes a full page on the graces received from God during his life. Even though he was unable to hold a pencil, even though he had never wanted to write this, he felt himself compelled to do it and to transmit the closed envelope to his Superior ... with the sole condition of not opening it until after his recall to God!
February 25th 1993 Transfer to Loex Hospital in Geneva.
March 19th 1993 Assists at the sung Mass in St. Joseph's Oratory, Geneva. It is the first time since Christmas!
April 11th 1993 Easter, Mass is said in his hospital room, it is the last at which he assists.
April 22nd 1993 Discussion with his Superior. Talks about his burial and asks him to obtain the permission of the Seminary's Rector to be buried at Ecône!
May 15th 1993 Last operation, last humiliations. He was to have been operated on in the Cantonial Hospital. There was a question why he was there! Dr. Pierre Conne, medical director of the Loex Hospital had him transferred elsewhere. Following an operation of four hours, Father La Praz loses the use of his voice.
May 17th 1993 Results of tests: Very advanced cancer!
May 20th 1993 The Ascension of Our Lord to Heaven. At 25 min. past midnight Father La Praz is called to God.
May 21 st / 22nd 1993 His mortal remains are exposed in St. Joseph's Oratory in Geneva.
May 23rd / 24th 1993 They are exposed in the vault of the Seminary.
May 25th 1993 Funeral at Ecône officiated by the Superior General and burial in the vault of the Seminary next to Archbishop Lefebvre.


Chapter 12

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