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Discernment of Private Revelation

Claims of Private Revelation: True or False?
An evaluation of the claims of Lorraine Louvat of LIFESONG

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In my humble and pious opinion as a faithful Roman Catholic theologian, claims of gifts of healing and miracles, as well as claims of private revelation, made by Lorraine Louvat ( are false. Several of her other claims are doubtful. A list of reasons and examples follows.

1. Claimed Private Revelation

Although Lorraine Louvat does not claim to have received frequent visions or messages from heaven, she does claim to have receive a private revelation at age four. She also claims that God revealed to her through Saint Pio (Padre Pio) her future work in Maine. She further claims that her so-called LIFESONG community was "specifically chosen by Jesus Himself" as the first U.S. Shrine of the Miraculous Infant Jesus of Prague. She also claims that "Jesus also gave me a special 3 minute Daily Offering Prayer." Therefore, she does claim to have received some private revelation.

2. Was she born with gifts of healing and miracles?

Lorraine Louvat claims that when she was four years old, she went into the woods, fell asleep, and then God spoke to her:
"He told me I was born with the gift of healing and miracle ... He said that everything under my feet, the earth, beneath the earth and below, everything having to do with healing would come into me now, to be given to his people at another time."

"God made it known to Lorraine that she was born with the gift when she was four years old."

"The gifts of Healing, Miracles and others were given to me at birth to be used at the time of God's Choosing."
There are a number of problems with this claim. First, the private revelations approved by the Church have always been given by God to adults or to children old enough to understand (beyond the age of reason, which is about 7 years old). A four year old is too young to understand and be responsible for such a 'message' as she claims to have received. Now very young children often cannot distinguish between fantasy and reality, between events that happen, and those that they imagine or dream. So it is possible that Lorraine invented this event in her imagination as a child. She even states that this occurred after she went into the woods and fell asleep. So she herself admits that it was a dream. This dream is, in large part, the basis for her claim to have a gift of miraculous healing.

Second, these gifts that she claims to possess would have to be from the Holy Spirit. For only God performs miraculous healings and other miracles. Miracles are by definition supernatural, that is, beyond the ability of human persons (and even, strictly speaking, beyond the ability of angels). Now she does say, somewhat contradictorily, that these miracles are done by Jesus, and that Jesus is the only healer. But nevertheless, she continues to assert that she herself was given gifts of healings and of miracles and other gifts at birth. And no one can possibly possess a gift of miraculous healings, or a gift of being able to obtain from God any type of miracles (healings or others), except in a state of sanctifying grace and through a special gift of the Holy Spirit dwelling within that person.

[1 Corinthians]
{12:8} Certainly, to one, through the Spirit, is given words of wisdom; but to another, according to the same Spirit, words of knowledge;
{12:9} to another, in the same Spirit, faith; to another, in the one Spirit, the gift of healing;
{12:10} to another, miraculous works; to another, prophecy; to another, the discernment of spirits; to another, different kinds of languages; to another, the interpretation of words.
{12:11} But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one according to his will.
{12:12} For just as the body is one, and yet has many parts, so all the parts of the body, though they are many, are only one body. So also is Christ.
{12:13} And indeed, in one Spirit, we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether servant or free. And we have all drank in the one Spirit.

Notice that only those who have been baptized, and so have received the Holy Spirit, can have such gifts as the gift of healing and the gift of miraculous [or virtuous or powerful] works. But infants are generally not baptized until some number of days after birth, and Lorraine does not claim to have received these gifts at baptism (which would still be an unprecedented and doubtful claim), but rather at birth, before she ever received sanctifying grace, and while she was still in a state of original sin. It is not possible under Catholic teaching for gifts of the Holy Spirit of any kind, especially not such rare gifts generally given only to Saints, to be given to someone who does not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit given at baptism. These gifts that Lorraine Louvat claims to have from birth are gifts of the Holy Spirit, but she could not have had the Holy Spirit prior to her baptism. Therefore, this claim of hers contradicts Catholic teaching on grace and baptism, as well as the teaching of Sacred Scripture on miraculous gifts.

Third, in approximately two thousand years of Church history, with thousands of Saints and Blesseds having been canonized or beatified by the Church, none of these have ever claimed to have received, from birth and prior to baptism, the gift of miraculous healings, or any gift of miracles, or other gifts of the Holy Spirit. None has ever claimed to have been given such gifts even at baptism. Rather, the Saints obtained their many and various gifts by living a life in imitation of Christ, by many years of prayer, self-denial, and works of mercy. Yet this woman claims to have been given gifts equal to that of many of the Saints, at birth, before she spent any time at all following Christ, before she ever said a single prayer, or fasted, or performed a single work of mercy, while still in a state of original sin. Her claim is therefore contradicted by the 2,000 year history of the Saints of the Church.

The only exceptions to this would be someone born in a state of sanctifying grace: first and foremost Jesus Christ, whose human nature had sanctifying grace and every possible gift at His virgin conception, which was also His Incarnation, and secondly, the Virgin Mary, who had sanctifying grace from the first moment of her Immaculate Conception, along with every gift befitting of her perfection. Now some of the faithful, including myself, believe that St. John the Baptist received a type of mystical baptism in the womb, at the time of the Visitation. Also, in the private revelations to Sr. Mildred Marie Neuzil, by our Lady of America, it is stated that St. Joseph was similarly blessed with a sanctification (similar to baptism) in the womb.

Fourth, those Saints who did have miraculous gifts as adults, attained to those gifts by reaching a high degree of sanctity, by practicing the Catholic Christian Faith for many years to an heroic degree. And their sanctity was always accompanied by a great depth of understanding about the truths of the Catholic Faith. For no one can attain to a high degree of holiness while remaining ignorant. Yet Lorraine Louvat has shown only a superficial and often erroneous understanding of Catholic teaching (see examples below).

For all these reasons, it is clear that her claim to have received the gift of healings and of miracles "and others" from birth is a false claim. It is a claim that is contradicted by the examples of the lives of all the Saints, and by Catholic teaching on baptism, and by the teaching of the Bible about the gifts of the Spirit. Therefore, by making this claim, Lorraine Louvat also shows a poor understanding of Catholic teaching.

3. Alleged Healings

On the main page of her LIFESONG website, she claims the following:
"In this Ministry, the gift of GOD's HEALING manifests itself in 3 ways:

* People are healed when I sing and play the guitar.
* People are healed when I pray over them: "laying on of hands".
* People are healed when I pray for their intentions from a distance.

It is called DIVINE HEALING."
Again, here is an unprecedented claim, not found among any of the thousands of Saints and Blesseds in the history of the Church, that people are healed merely by listening to her sing and play guitar. She does not even have to pray to God for Jesus to heal them. Although she says that all the healings are from Jesus, there is a self-exaltation to her claim that people are healed merely by listening to her sing and play guitar.

As for the claim that people are healed at a distance, if she is really presenting these healings as coming from God, then why does she say the words "from a distance"? It is because she views these alleged healings as coming from herself that she mentions she can heal even "from a distance." This is also a claim to exclusivity. Is it not the case that any faithful Christian might obtain the answers to their prayers from God, including perhaps the healing of a loved one, whether near or far? But she presents this ability as if it were unique to her, or to her and very few other persons. Notice that she does not tell people who are sick to pray to God for their own healing, and she does not say that anyone else should join her in praying for those who are ill. She represents this healing as coming exclusively from herself, for she is the one who is singing and playing guitar, and who is 'laying on hands.' The exclusivity of her claims are contradicted by the teaching of Jesus that all those who ask will receive, that all those who pray to the Father in Jesus' name will be heard, and that any two or three who pray will have Jesus among them.

{7:7} Ask, and it shall be given to you. Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened to you.
{7:8} For everyone who asks, receives; and whoever seeks, finds; and to anyone who knocks, it will be opened.

{18:19} Again I say to you, that if two of those among you have agreed on earth, about anything whatsoever that they have requested, it shall be done for them by my Father, who is in heaven.
{18:20} For wherever two or three are gathered in my name, there am I, in their midst."

{14:13} And whatever you shall ask the Father in my name, that I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
{14:14} If you shall ask anything of me in my name, that I will do.

Lorraine Louvat claims to have obtained following healings from God:
"God has chosen to heal tumors, cancer, MS, deafness, cataracts, aids, arthritis, severe back and knee problems, as well as other physical, financial and spiritual challenges through this ministry."
There is no evidence of which I am aware that anyone has ever been miraculously cured of deafness, MS [Multiple Sclerosis], AIDS, cataracts, or cancer by her singing and playing guitar, or by her 'healing festivals' and healing services. Her website contains no testimonials from anyone claiming a miraculous cure. Instead, there is a page on which she asks anyone who may have been healed to contact her and provide a testimonial. But there are no such testimonials on the site. And the same page, with the same request for testimonials, has been online since at least 2001. See:*/

Furthermore, it is absurd to claim that a solution to a financial problem is a miraculous healing. None of the Saints who were able to obtain miracles of healing ever claimed to provide miraculous financial healing. If someone is without a job, and they pray, God's providence and grace may well guide them to a good job. But this is the ordinary way that all the faithful deal with various problems. The faithful need not have recourse to an individual who claims to have been given the gift of healing and of miracles "and others" from birth in order to obtain employment by the providence of God. This point again speaks to one of the main problems with her claims: exclusivity. Jesus taught that any and all of the faithful can ask for whatever they need from God and receive it. Any member of the faithful, or any group of the faithful, can obtain whatever they need, by grace, by providence, and even at times by miracles, from God through prayer.

But Lorraine Louvat presents herself as different from all the other faithful. No other sinner in the history of the Church has ever claimed to be given gifts of healing and of miracles from birth. She does not say that any of the faithful might pray and receive a miraculous healing. She presents herself as a unique and special source of healing, as if she has been given the gift to have her prayers for healings answered by God, and the rest of the faithful have not. This claim to exclusivity contradicts the teaching of Sacred Scripture (Mt 7:7-8; 18:19-20; Jn 14:13-14). And again, her claims show a poor understanding of Catholic teaching.

Then there is this claimed healing, described by an attendee at one of her services:
"A teenage boy smiled from cheek to cheek as his humble wish to grow became reality through God's will and Lorraine praying over his legs, ankles and feet. On my grandmothers' graves I swear he became visibly taller than his mom at that moment."
Lorraine Louvat deliberately chose to pray over a teenager, asking God to make him taller. Now she claims that she does not heal, but that Jesus heals through her. But the Gospels describe many different miraculous healings by Jesus, and none of these healings indulged an inordinate selfish desire. A teenager who desires to be taller is not the victim of an illness or injury in need of help from God. And as a teenager, he would likely continue to grow, year by year, as is naturally the case. So he was in no need of any miraculous help from God. Neither does God give miraculous 'healings' to persons who are not ill and not injured, but who vainly wish they were taller. And did he actually grow taller? We are only told that he was 'visibly taller,' in other words, it seemed as if he were taller. He may have merely stood more upright, perhaps convinced by the power of suggestion that he was now taller.

Here are some of her claims about her healing miracles:
We give all the Praise and Glory to the GREAT MERCY of JESUS who is giving us non-stop instant visible miracles day after day and week after week here at LIFESONG during our "private" and "public" Healing Services.

Many people are healed over the phone and through e-mail as well but our experience is that Heavenly Father chooses to make this GIFT MOST POWERFUL when I have the opportunity to TOUCH the person.
(e-mail of Feb. 7, 2009, 'Day of Recollection…')
Notice the exaggeration in the language she uses: "non-stop instant visible miracles." This type of exaggeration is found throughout all of the materials on her website and other materials. Notice that she claims that God chooses to make this gift to her more powerful when she can touch the person, as if God were making healings and miracles depend upon her. Now anyone who truly had such miraculous gifts would necessarily also be holy, humble, honest, and have a good understanding of the Catholic Faith. But her words throughout her website and e-mailed newsletters continually focus on herself, her alleged gifts, her ministry and community, and her alleged association with St. Pio. She only occasionally mentions Jesus or the Catholic Faith, and then only in the context of talking about herself and her work. True gifts of healing and miracles are not accompanied by this kind of inordinate fascination with oneself and exaggerated self-promotion.

4. Alleged association with Saint Pio (Padre Pio)

Lorraine Louvat claims that she and her community have had a "40-year association" with Padre Pio. However, she claims that she met Padre Pio only once, in 1963. Did Lorraine Louvat meet Padre Pio, and did he hear her confession? In his ministry, Padre Pio literally saw hundreds of thousands of persons from all over the world, and he heard tens of thousands of confessions (one estimate is that he heard about 50 confessions nearly every day for many years). So this claim by her is possibly true.

But we are not given any specifics that could be used to verify her account of that alleged meeting. Her website states that she went to Italy from France with "the Bishop and her Spiritual Director Priest" to meet with Padre Pio. She does not give the name of the Bishop, nor the name of the priest, nor the name of the diocese. She states that at the time she was an American Novice in a religious order, but she does not name the order. She states that she received permission for the trip from "the Reverend Mother Superior General," but she does not give the mother superior's name. She gives the year of the meeting (1963), but not the month or days; she gives the nations, but not specific cities or provinces.

It certainly is possible that she met with Padre Pio, as many other persons have done. But in relating her meeting with Padre Pio, she makes a number of claims that are very unlikely. She claims that Saint Pio foresaw and related to her the location and work of her LIFESONG community. She makes a particular point of saying that he described the land where LifeSong is now located, by describing the appearance of the landscape. She might have met him, but there is no way to verify this claim that he prophesied about the landscape of LifeSong. In my opinion, it is doubtful that Padre Pio made such a prophecy, given Louvat's false claim to have received the gifts of healings and miracles at birth, prior to baptism and her other doubtful or exaggerated claims (see below). This type of claim is used by Louvat to make the location of LifeSong seem special, since the location was allegedly foreseen.

Lorraine Louvat claims that Padre Pio asked her to touch his stigmata, and that she got some of his blood on her hands, which she then wiped onto a handkerchief. She claims that she later washed the same handkerchief, so again, there is no evidence of her claims. There have been a number of Saints who had the stigmata in the history of the Church. However, it is not the general practice of such holy persons to have people touch the wounds so as to get blood on their hands. Again, this is a doubtful claim.

Louvat claims that Padre Pio: "knew that she was born with the gift of healing and miracles and the purpose for this gift which would manifest itself in its fullness at a time later in life." This claim is very unlikely, for as explained above, no one can be born with such gifts, for birth is prior to baptism, and this type of extraordinary gift is only given to those who have both received sanctifying grace given at baptism, and have been living a life of extraordinary holiness. So Saint Pio would not have fallen into the error of thinking that miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit can be given at birth, prior to baptism, to someone who is still in a state of original sin and has not yet followed Christ at all. Therefore, all her other claims about this meeting with Padre Pio are also in doubt.

Lorraine also claims that she has the same gift of languages as Padre Pio.
"He spoke in Italian.. I heard him in English and the Bishop and Priest who did not understand Italian or English heard him in French. Saint Padre Pio said that I would also receive this gift as well. It happened in the year 2000 when I was in Europe for the Canonization of Saint Faustina."
(This is quoted from a file attached to an e-mail that Lorraine sends out to promote her group, "BACKGROUND and HISTORY of LIFESONG in BRIEF" which is after the article called "Saint Padre Pio's 40 year Connection with the LIFESONG HEALING MINISTRY" from a publication 'THE CHURCH WORLD' August 2002)
And again, we have only her claim without any support for the claim. When combined with her other excessive claims, it is unlikely to be true. She claims to have been given the gifts of healings and of miracles and other gifts from her birth, and yet this next alleged gift was not given until the year 2000. She does not say if this is an ability that she continues to have, or if it was a one time event. If she claims this ability with languages as a continuous gift, then the claim could be verified, but she provides no support for this claim at all.
Those who do become part of us are "hand-picked" by Heavenly Father according to my dear friend Saint Padre Pio.
(e-mail newsletter in January 2009, 'Dear New Friends of Lifesong…')
Here again is an example of the exaggerated and baseless claims being made by Lorraine Louvat, using the name of Saint Pio. There is no basis for the claim that someone who chooses to join Lorraine in her community is necessarily 'hand-picked' by God, nor is there any evidence that Saint Pio said such a thing. It is obviously possible for someone to think that they are called by God to join a religious order, and then to discover that such is not the will of God; this is why seminaries and religious orders have a process of discernment over a period of years before the seminarian is ordained, or before the postulant to a religious order takes permanent vows. But Louvat claims that anyone who joins her group must have been hand-picked by God; there is no process of discernment of the will of God, and the name of Saint Pio is used to promote this imprudent and exaggerated claim.

Now even assuming that she did meet with Padre Pio, and even setting aside the extravagant claims about that meeting, one such meeting does not establish the "40-year association" that she touts on her website and in her e-mail newsletters. She uses the name of Padre Pio to attract followers to herself and her group, even though she only claims to have met him once, and he never had any involvement in her LifeSong community. Padre Pio died in September of 1968, and Louvat states that she established her LifeSong community in the late 1990's. She writes, apparently in 2002, that she established LifeSong 'five years ago' (See and She established LifeSong more than 30 years after meeting Padre Pio one time, and almost 30 years after his death. Yet his name appears in nearly all of her communications and descriptions of her own work. She uses the name of a Saint, whom she allegedly met only once, as if he has approved of all her work, and as if he were personally involved with it all along. In my opinion, this is a reprehensible misuse of the name and reputation of a holy Saint, Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, for the purposes of self-promotion and self-exaltation. Such sinful behavior is incompatible with the gifts of healing and of miracles that she claims to have.

5. The so-called 'Saint Padre Pio Prayer Pond'

This additional misuse of the name of Saint Pio, attached to a set of foolish claims about a pond, further supports the opinion that Louvat has made a set of false and exaggerated claims, which demonstrate a poor and shallow understanding of the true Catholic Faith. This set of claims about an ordinary natural pond on a parcel of land in Maine is typical of the type of material used by Louvat to promote herself and her group.
"The Saint Padre Pio Prayer Pond is located on our land and is filled with GRACES BEYOND BELIEF."

"You will have to come to LIFESONG to see the Saint Padre Pio Prayer Pond and EXPERIENCE the fruits of this HOLY WATER. I try to swim in this spring fed tiny pond every day of the summer along with other members of the Community and Ministry. I ask visitors to respect my request that they DO NOT swim in it unless they are given permission. This is of course for safety reasons as it is very deep in the center."

"We at LIFESONG are very careful NOT to call this water MIRACULOUS. It is TRULY HOLY as is all the water on our land for was Blessed by God through the hands of a Priest. However, the many stories that are being told to us about its EFFECTS in peoples lives are what I call "I love you gifts" from God."
(From the 'Questions and Answers about LifeSong' article attached to e-mail newsletter)
There is a pond on the land owned and used by the LifeSong group. Did a priest actually bless the water of that pond? Perhaps, but we are not told the name of that priest. And even if a priest did bless the pond, this does not make the water in the pond into holy water. The further claim that "all the water on our land" is holy water makes the claim even more absurd. It is exaggeration for the purposes of self-promotion.

Also, even true holy water is not "filled with graces beyond belief." Grace is an effect in the soul caused directly by God. Grace does not exist by itself; it is a quality in a human person (or in an angelic person) caused by God. A human soul (or an angel) can be filled with graces, but holy water, and any inanimate objects, cannot be filled with graces. Only created persons who have free will and intellect can receive graces.
"Grace (gratia, Charis), in general, is a supernatural gift of God to intellectual creatures (men, angels) for their eternal salvation, whether the latter be furthered and attained through salutary acts or a state of holiness."
Here again, Lorraine shows a poor understanding of Catholic teaching when she makes the false claim that a pond is "filled with GRACES BEYOND BELIEF." Also, there is no reason to name the pond after Saint Pio, nor to call it a 'prayer pond'. The Catholic Faith includes many devotions and sacramentals, but 'prayer pond' is not one of them. There is no such thing; it is merely a natural pond. This type of claim is used to make the location of LifeSong seem special. A similar approach is used throughout all her promotional materials. Everything in any way associated with her or her ministry is described with exaggerated phrasings. This shows a lack of honesty and a lack of humility.

Canon Law instructs blessings to be given by priests to either persons, or to certain objects used in devotion and worship:
Can. 1170 Blessings, which are to be imparted first of all to Catholics, can also be given to catechumens and even to non-Catholics unless there is a prohibition of the Church to the contrary.
Can. 1171 Sacred objects, which are designated for divine worship by dedication or blessing, are to be treated reverently and are not to be employed for profane or inappropriate use even if they are owned by private persons.
Things that are intended for profane use (i.e. ordinary use, not use in worship and devotion) are not generally to be blessed. A pond is not an object used in worship and devotion, and swimming in a pond is not a type of devotion, it is a profane activity (i.e. ordinary, not sacred).

As for the claim that the pond (and the rest of the water on the property) is holy water because it was blessed by a priest: true holy water, used as a sacramental in the Catholic Faith, is not merely any water blessed by a priest. A special prayer is said and blessed salt is added to the water. If a priest did give some type of blessing to the pond or to the property in general, this does not imply that the water in the pond is now holy water. It is extremely unlikely that any priest would attempt to turn an entire pond of water into actual holy water. It is possible that a priest might, imprudently in this case, give some type of general blessing to a property. But this would not make the pond or other water on that property into holy water.

Also, if a Catholic believed that a pond was filled with holy water, it would be irreverent to swim in the pond and to encourage others to swim in the pond. Now Lorraine Louvat does state that she believes this water to be holy water, and so she is doing something irreverent by swimming in it, as are the other members of her community who believe and do the same. This pond is, in truth, not filled with holy water and not filled with graces beyond belief, but if someone thinks that it is, and yet they swim in it, they offend God.

6. Statement from her Bishop

Lorraine Louvat lives in Maine, where her group LIFESONG is also located. I wrote to Bishop Richard J. Malone, local ordinary of the Portland, Maine diocese (which is the one diocese for the entire state of Maine). I receive a letter signed by him and dated January 31, 2009. He stated the following:
"I have me with Lorraine and am aware of her healing ministry. I have not formed an opinion on the authenticity of her claims to be a healer and have taken the approach of waiting to see what is revealed with time.

"While it is true to say that I have allowed her to do her healing ministry and to move in the direction of forming a religious community, there has been no official approval of her ministry nor of her community. It might be more accurate to say that I am aware of her ministry and her intentions, but that no approvals have been given."
The Bishop's approach is gracious and prudent. However, in my opinion, Lorraine Louvat is misrepresenting the situation concerning her Bishop, her ministry, and her community. The Bishop states that he has allowed her "to move in the direction of forming a religious community." But she repeatedly makes assertions which go far beyond that modest statement.
"Our SAINTS JOSEPH and TERESA LIFESONG HEALING COMMUNITY has recently been founded as well. It is for lay men and women both single and married not excluding Priests and Religious. We live the Gospel according to the Love of Jesus.

"The gifts of Healing, Miracles and others were given to me at birth to be used at the time of God's Choosing. The unfolding of His Perfect Plan for this Ministry of LOVE was silently revealed through my Pastor's and Bishop's voice. My Pastor asked me to give the gift monthly in our Church and my Bishop allowed me to go forward with both the Ministry of Healing and the founding of the Community….

"My Bishop has allowed me to go forward with this Ministry of Healing and with the founding of a Religious Lay Community (not excluding Priests and Religious) named SAINTS JOSEPH and TERESA LIFESONG HEALING COMMUNITY."
In an e-mail which she sends out with articles attached as files, Louvat makes the following assertions.
"QUESTIONS and ANSWERS about a Ministry whose foundress knew Saint Padre Pio in 1963…."

My name is Lorraine J. Louvat and I am a "prayer hermit". God chose to give me the gifts of HEALING and of MIRACLES at birth. 13 years ago through the voice of my Pastor God had me move out into a VERY PUBLIC LIFE. Always under obedience to my Bishop here in the Diocese of Portland, Maine I was allowed to go forward with the HEALING MINISTRY as well as the founding of a RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY... (Official name... SAINTS JOSEPH and TERESA LIFESONG HEALING COMMUNITY) I am now asked to go all over the U.S. and the world. Upon becoming a Community member each person receives the name "of Jesus" behind his/her name. Therefore, my name is Lorraine of Jesus.
(file sent with e-mail: 'Questions and Answers about LIFESONG.doc')
Louvat claims that her community "has recently been founded," and she calls herself a "foundress". But her Bishop only says that she is allowed to move in the direction of forming a religious community. Her Bishop states that there is no official approval for this community. But she states that: "Upon becoming a Community member each person receives the name "of Jesus" behind his/her name. Therefore, my name is Lorraine of Jesus." So she speaks as if this religious community were already established; but one cannot become a member of a community that does not yet exist. She calls herself 'Lorraine of Jesus' in imitation of naming conventions used in religious orders. When a man or woman joins her community, she adds 'of Jesus' after their first name. She claims to have made "PERPETUAL PUBLIC VOWS of poverty, chastity and obedience." (quoted from: 'Questions and Answers about LIFESONG.doc') as one would do in a religious order. But she is not a member of any religious order; and no such religious order has yet been founded by her.
"People who are interested in becoming part of this Community must be Catholic .. Single men, women, married couples, Priests, Religious may come and see if this is where God is calling you. Those who are FULL COMMUNITY MEMBERS are those who are called to live on our land or in our neighborhood."

"I met Saint Padre Pio in 1963 who told me, the Bishop and my Priest Spiritual Director many things among which was that our gifts overlap and that I would found a Catholic Religious Community and Healing Ministry."

"Our Catholic lay community "SAINTS JOSEPH and Teresa LIFESONG HEALING COMMUNITY" which is in its infancy does not exclude Religious and Priests."
(Questions and Answers about LIFESONG.doc)
In the quote above, again there is a clear discrepancy between what Louvat says and what her Bishop has stated. She claims that anyone who is interested can become "FULL COMMUNITY MEMBERS." But obviously one cannot be a full member of a community which has not yet been established and which has no official approval from the Bishop. She is not speaking as if she were moving in the direction of forming a religious community, but as if such a community already exists.

Also, a true religious community would be part of a religious order, and would have only religious brothers (monks) and priests, or religious sisters (nuns). But she invites even married couples, and priests and religious (who are already a part of some other religious order or part of a diocese), to leave their order or diocese and join with her unapproved and as yet unfounded community. To the contrary, the Church does not permit a priest to go wherever he wishes and to serve as a priest anywhere he chooses. A priest from one diocese cannot move to another diocese without permission from both Bishops. Even a visiting priest needs permission to say Mass and to hear Confessions in another diocese. And a monk, nun, or priest from a religious order would need permission from his or her religious superior in order to leave the order to join another religious community. It is unlikely that any prudent superior would allow a religious to leave an established order to join an unapproved group that allows unprofessed single men and unprofessed single women and married couples to live in the same community together, and with religious and priests.

Religious orders separate men and women into different communities within the order, or else the order is all men or all women. And they never admit married couples to the religious life per se. The religious life is by definition a different calling than the married life. Thus members of religious orders take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Obviously, the community that Louvat is organizing is not really moving in the direction of a religious order, since she is willing to admit single men, single women, married couples, and priests and religious from other orders and dioceses into one and the same group. Again, Lorraine Louvat shows a poor understanding of Catholic teaching and Catholic spirituality. Such a poor understanding of the Faith is incompatible with her claim to have received gifts of healing, of miracles and other gifts from birth.

In Canon Law, a religious community is a group of men or women who have taken vows and who are part of a religious order. The women are nuns and are called sister; the men are monks and are called brother; some of the men in the order may be ordained as priests. The founding of a new religious order requires the approval of the Bishop of the diocese or of the Holy See.

Religious orders have a rule of life, which govern the behavior and spiritual efforts of the members of the order; but Louvat has no such rule of life for her community. Religious orders have a religious superior, but Louvat's community has no religious superior. Members of a true religious order take vows, but the members of her community do not take vows. Although Lorraine repeatedly presents her community as if it were a religious community, it is not like any religious order or community in the Catholic Church.

Instead, her group is an assortment of different persons who live together without vows, without a religious superior, without a priest, without a rule of life or statutes or discipline. Her group is merely a small number of Catholics who have decided to live on the same property (or in the same neighborhood?). The only criteria for joining seems to be the believe that Lorraine Louvat has miraculous gifts of healing. In my considered opinion, this group is neither a religious community, nor the proper beginnings of a religious community, nor a work predicted by Saint Pio, nor a work of God.

7. Has Lorraine Louvat taken public vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience?

Lorraine Louvat makes the following claims:
"She has vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience"
"PERPETUAL VOWS were given 2 years later upon her return from Europe as a gift to Lorraine from the Church in 1965 through Cardinal Cushing of Boston, her Spiritual Director and Padre Pio."
(from the e-mail '2009 LIFESONG PILGRIMAGE' of January 6, 2009)

POPE JOHN the 23rd (Rome)
In 1965 the above Holy men along with my Spiritual Director Priest from France were responsible for allowing me to make PERPETUAL PUBLIC VOWS of poverty, chastity and obedience. This was a great GRACE as public vows are reserved only for those in Religious Orders or Religious Congregations. In 1965 I was not in either. A letter written by Pope John the 23rd acquired by my Spiritual Director Priest in 1962 was saved by the latter and passed on to Cardinal Cushing. The Holy Father's written words (although in 1965 he was in Eternity) along with another letter from Padre Pio and that of my spiritual director Priest led the Cardinal to allow me this precious and personal spiritual grace from Mother Church. I made Perpetual Vows in Boston through Cardinal Cushing in 1965."
(from the file 'Questions and Answers about LIFESONG.doc' attached to the e-mail 'WELCOME, NEW FRIENDS of LIFESONG')
Louvat does not name this 'Spiritual Director Priest from France,' and so we cannot check with him to verify her claims. She also does not name the various persons who gave permission for, or who accompanied her on, her trip to see Padre Pio. The persons that she does name are deceased. She does not present on her website any specific text from these alleged letters from a Pope, a Saint, and her unnamed spiritual director. She does not present an image of these letters on her website. She could easily do either, if such letters existed.

Her statement that public vows are reserved for those in Religious Orders is correct. She states that she was never in a religious order, except for being a novice in an unnamed order (she did not go on to join that order). She provides no evidence that her claim of taking public vows is true. It is very unlikely that Cardinal Cushing took time out from his work with the Second Vatican Council, which held its last session in late 1965, to give public perpetual vows to a woman who was not a member of any religious order. It is very unlikely that Cardinal Cushing would do so based on a letter from a deceased Pope, since permission from the Holy See under the current Pope would have been needed for such an exception to Canon Law (the 1917 code of canon law was in effect prior to 1983; Louvat does not even claim that permission was obtained from the Holy See for such an exception, without which her vows (if she took them as she alleges) would not be licit. It is very unlikely that any Cardinal or Bishop would give perpetual vows to anyone under the above described circumstances.

Furthermore, if she has taken vows of obedience, to whom would she be obedient? Men and women religious owe their vows of obedience to their superiors in their religious orders. But she is not a part of any religious order. Her own self-established community has no rule of life, no statutes, and no religious superior. And although she has met with the Bishop of her diocese, he clearly does not view her as a professed religious.

And if she has taken a vow of poverty, then why is it that all of her fundraising efforts instruct donors to make their checks out to her personally? She has been at her current location in Maine for several years; she has several persons who have joined her community; she promotes her group as if it were a religious community. Yet she still takes money in her own name:
"Make all checks payable to Lorraine Louvat"
Members of religious communities own property in common, in other words, the community owns the property and the individual who has taken vows of poverty owns very little. Such is not the case with Louvat; any 'donations' to her community are made out to her personally.

And if she has taken a vow of chastity, why does she live in a community which is seeking an assortment of single men and single women (who have not vowed chastity), married couples, and priests and religious, all to live together with her. Religious orders separate men and women, and do not admit married couples, because chastity would be harmed by such a group of married and unmarried men and women living in a close-knit community.

8. Is LifeSong the first U.S. Shrine of the Miraculous Infant Jesus of Prague?

Lorraine Louvat claims the following:
"Recently, LIFESONG was chosen as the first US Shrine of the Miraculous Infant Jesus of Prague. While there are many Shrines to the Infant Jesus of Prague throughout the U.S. this was told to be specifically chosen by Jesus Himself through a special ministry initiated at the Shrine in Prague. It is documented in the Archives of Prague as being in the Diocese of Portland, Maine at LIFESONG and this unique, exact replica statue made just for LIFESONG was a gift to Lorraine by the head Carmelite Monk at the Shrine in Prague. She had to acquire permission from Bishop Gerry. According to what was related to us it is the 9th Shrine established through that special ministry which began at the request of Jesus two years ago."
There are several reasons to doubt this claim. First, I contacted the Shrine of the Miraculous Infant Jesus in Prague. I received the following reply by e-mail on February 4th, 2009, from the Secretary of the Monastery of the Infant Jesus of Prague:
Our Fr. Anastasio, who have been the Prior of the Monastery of the Infant Jesus of Prague years ago have given to some people the statue and the paper with this text: "The devotion to the Infant Jesus is growing all over the world and is a great help in the new evangelization. Many who are distinguished by their love for the Infant Jesus help us in this. Among these we would like to officially declare you Mr./Mrs.... also an authorized collaborator. We are grateful to you for everything you would do for spreading the love of the Infant Jesus and for His church in Prague."

Nothing others!!! But in our archive is not the name Lorraine Louvat….
First, the Monastery found no record of the name Lorraine Louvat at all in their archives, as she claims. Certainly, if Lorraine Louvat had been given, as she claims, a 'unique, exact replica statue made just for LIFESONG,' and if it had been given as 'a gift to Lorraine by the head Carmelite Monk at the Shrine in Prague,' and if LIFESONG were in fact 'the first US Shrine,' then they probably would have some memory or record of all this! But instead, they state that they have never heard of her, that they give out these statues to anyone who wishes to promote the devotion, and that they don't even have a record of her having received such a statue directly from them. The Monastery has no association with Lorraine Louvat or LIFESONG.

Second, Louvat's alleged shrine has not met the criteria established under Canon Law for a shrine:

Can. 1230 By the term shrine is understood a church or other sacred place to which numerous members of the faithful make pilgrimage for a special reason of piety, with the approval of the local ordinary.

Can. 1231 For a shrine to be called a national shrine, the conference of bishops must give its approval; for it to be called an international shrine, the approval of the Holy See is required.

Can. 1232 §1. The local ordinary is competent to approve the statutes of a diocesan shrine; the conference of bishops for the statutes of a national shrine; the Holy See alone for the statutes of an international shrine.

§2. The statutes are to determine especially the purpose, the authority of the rector, and the ownership and administration of goods.
Louvat does not even claim to have any statutes, approved or otherwise, for her alleged shrine. She calls her shrine a the first U.S. Shrine, making it seem as if it were a national shrine. But under Canon Law, a national shrine is only established by the Bishops' Conference. The current Bishop of her diocese has not even given official approval for her community or ministry, much less has he approved of LIFESONG as a Shrine in the diocese. The Portland diocese website does not mention a shrine in Sherman, Maine.

Third, there is in fact an approved National Shrine of the Miraculous Infant Jesus of Prague in the United States, in Prague Oklahoma, approved by the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. See the official diocesan site here:
and scroll down to this text on the page:
National Shrine of the Infant Jesus of Prague
Infant of Prague Novena,17-25 Monthly Pilgrimage: Sunday of the Novena.
Web Site:
This approved National Shrine was established in 1949.
Obviously, this genuine National Shrine of the Miraculous Infant Jesus of Prague was established long before Louvat allegedly established her 'first U.S. Shrine' of the same. And even today, the Portland diocese does not acknowledge LIFESONG or Sherman Maine as the site of any shrine at all, certainly not 'first U.S. Shrine' of the Miraculous Infant Jesus of Prague. Louvat's claim to have the site of the first U.S. Shrine of the Miraculous Infant Jesus of Prague is patently false.


In my considered opinion as a Catholic theologian, the specific claim by Lorraine Louvat to have been born with special gifts of the Holy Spirit, gifts of healing and miracles and others, is contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Faith on grace and on baptism and on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is a required belief of the Catholic Faith that we are all conceived with original sin (except Jesus and Mary), that we do not have sanctifying grace until baptism, and that we do not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the various gifts of the Holy Spirit except when we are in a state of grace. Therefore, her claim to have been given special gifts of the Holy Spirit (even the gift of miraculous healing) from birth, and prior to baptism, is contrary to Catholic teaching on grace and salvation. This same claim is also contrary to the example of the thousands of Saints and Blesseds in the history of the Church, not one of whom has ever made such a claim. Therefore, this claim is not only false, but also contrary to true Catholic teaching on grace and baptism.

In addition, her claim to have the site of the first U.S. Shrine of the Miraculous Infant Jesus of Prague is plainly false. She in fact has no shrine that meets the conditions of Canon Law for an international, or national, or even local shrine. There exists a genuine national Shrine of the Miraculous Infant Jesus of Prague, which is located in Prague, Oklahoma, and which was established long before her alleged shrine. Her claim shows a blatant disregard for truth, and a strong tendency to use both exaggeration and falsehood to exalt herself and her group. And this dishonesty and self-exaltation is also incompatible with the gifts of healing and miracles that she alleges to have from God.

Her claim to have a 'Saint Padre Pio Prayer Pond' also shows a poor understanding of Catholic teaching, including of the concept of grace and of the meaning and place of holy water as a Sacramental. In this and other claims about Saint Pio, she shows a willful misuse of the name and reputation of that holy Saint, for the purposes of self-promotion and self-exaltation. Her claim to have met him once may be true, but her various other claims about the content of that meeting and her continued association with him are most likely either gross exaggeration or outright lies. It should be noted that her various claims on this subject always cite unnamed persons; she does not give the name of the persons whom she claims were present at that alleged meeting with Padre Pio (i.e. a Bishop and a priest spiritual director). She does not give the name of the religious order in which she once was a novice; she does not give a reason as to why she did not join that order; she does not give the name of "the Reverend Mother Superior General" of that order. Consequently, not only is there no basis for believing her claims, but her other false and exaggerated claims would indicate to any prudent person that these other claims are not trustworthy.

She has misrepresented the state of her community and her ministry in relation to the Bishop of her diocese. He states that he is undecided as to whether or not she has such gifts of healing, and that she has no official approval at all. He said that he permitted her "to move in the direction of forming a religious community." But she has already named the community, is seeking and accepting new members, is giving out names to them as if they were members of a religious order (i.e. appending 'of Jesus' after their first name), calls herself a foundress, and in every way treats this community as if it were already established. Oddly, only the name of the former Bishop of her diocese is mentioned on her website and in her e-mail materials; the current Bishop, who has been in office for several years now, is not mentioned by name at all. She says she is obedient to him, but she does not even mention his name.

So for all of the above stated reasons, my considered opinion is that her claim to have the gift of miraculous healing is false, and her other claims are variously either falsehoods or gross exaggerations. She shows a very superficial and poor understanding of the Catholic Faith, as well as an excessive concern with self-promotion and promotion of her group. I recommend that faithful Catholics avoid her and her group.

by Ronald L. Conte Jr.
March 11, 2009

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