December 2002 - District Superior's Letter

The Society celebrates its 25th anniversary. A 5km pilgrimage to Midland went well. Changes in the canadian district are outlined. Current relations with Rome haven't changed. Pope introduces the mysteries of light to the Holy Rosary.

Dear Faithful,


25th anniversary of the Society celebrations
As we come to the close of this year here is some news regarding our Society since my last letter. Last September at Holy Family School in Lévis Québec a few days of celebration were organized on September 21st and 22nd to mark the 25th anniversary of our Society in Canada.  The well attended ceremonies were held under the presidency of His Lordship Bishop Williamson and with the presence of yours truly, of Father Jacques Emily now district superior for Great Britain, Father Emeric Baudot, general bursar representing our Superior General, Father Paul Aulagnier, Father Laisney as well as the four priests of Holy Family School. On Saturday the 21st conferences were given by Father Yves le Roux on Christian nobility, by yours truly on the history of the SSPX in Canada, by Father Jean de l’Estourbeillon on the scout movement and a masterful conference by H. L. Bishop Williamson on Vatican II which was summarized in his October letter.  Sunday, during the pontifical high Mass, His Lordship spoke, amongst other things, of why the SSPX had to reject the apparently generous offer from the Roman authorities.

Pilgrimage to Midland
The following Saturday, the 28th, in Midland, north of Toronto, the pilgrimage of thanksgiving was held in honour of the Canadian Martyrs, these Jesuit missionaries who planted the cross and the faith in our country.  Well over 175 pilgrims from our Ontario parishes attended this pilgrimage.  In addition to Fr Sulzen and myself, Father Emily and Father Stephen Somerville were in attendance. Father Zendejas came all the way from Ridgefield to take part.  The Mass on the very site of the martyrdom of St John de Brébeuf and Gabriel Lalemant was followed by lunch and a 5km walk to the shrine.  There we were able to venerate the relics and make the Stations of the Cross.

Changes in the canadian district
In other news: Father Dominique DeVriendt has been transferred from Winnipeg to help with St John Bosco School in Calgary, bringing to three the number of priests for Alberta.  His arrival will greatly help Fathers Angele and Ockerse in their vast apostolic work.  Immaculate Heart of Mary parish is the largest SSPX parish in Canada and with a growing school and the five missions they service, a third priest was necessary.  Father arrived at his new post for the first Sunday of November.  Father Rusak received as his new assistant in Winnipeg Father Patrick Girouard who had spent the previous year in Shawinigan.  Father Girouard will also take over "Communicantes".  Unfortunately this means that again the priory in Shawinigan is without a resident priest and this will obviously have an effect on the retreats.  We will keep you informed as to what will happen.

Current relations with Rome
During my travels many ask what is the situation between Rome and the Society.  Not much, as a matter of fact there are no discussions.  Nothing has changed.  “When it comes down to it, Rome never answers the essential question.  They demand of us a statement which would make us tilt ever so little in their direction, but on their side there is no calling in question of their basic liberalism and modernism…  As I wrote them … however courteous our conversations have been, they have persuaded us that the moment for an understanding has not yet come.  We must have some protection against the spirit of Assisi… We have been at cross purposes in these conversations.  On our side, we are expecting the return of Tradition to Rome.  On their side, they do not budge.” [1]   The situation has not changed from 1988.  Sure the bait is bigger and nicer, but the line pulling us in is still the same.  In the minds of the present Roman authorities they want us to admit we were wrong, to admit we have created a schism and left the Church.  They want to bring us into the new church of Vatican II by the acceptance of the new mass, the new theology, the new catechism and ecumenism with its clear manifestation: the Assisi prayer meetings. They will give us anything we want if we accept this.  At the same time we see that those who have compromised have been silenced.  All we need to do is look at the Society of St Peter, Una Voce, and the latest victim; the Fraternity of St John Mary Vianney of Campos.  As far as Campos is concerned, the slide is faster than anticipated.  Recently the newly consecrated Bishop Rifan asked Dom Gérard, Abbot of Le Barroux, for forgiveness and in a conference at the same monastery said: “There are two Bishops de Castro Mayer.  The first until 1981, that was submissive to the authorities ... and a second after he retired, which was much harsher towards Rome…We have chosen the first…”.  It is quite clear.

There is really nothing to negotiate. The Faith is not negotiable.  What is more we do not negotiate with our superiors.  If we resist our prelate, as St Thomas Aquinas says we have the right and obligation of doing, it is only because our faith is endangered, and we see the ruins mounting all around us, and not because we are rebellious children.  “We continue to pray that modern Rome, infected by modernism become again Catholic Rome and return to its 2000 year old Tradition.  Then the problem or reconciliation will be solved…” [2] .  But as long as they want to lead us down the path of the new religion we have to continue turning a deaf ear and even resist their efforts.

Addition of the Mysteries of Light to the Rosary
Some ask also regarding the Rosary and the new “mysteries of light”. You will find a good commentary of it by Father Peter Scott, Rector of Holy Cross Seminary in his November newsletter which can be found at: www.holycrossseminary.com.  You can find it as a link to the Canadian website: www.sspx.ca.  So I will not repeat what has already been said.  Suffice it to say that in his apostolic letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae dated October 16 2002, Pope John Paul II says beautiful and true things about the Rosary especially how it is a prayer for peace and the renewal of the family.

“The Rosary is by its nature a prayer for peace, since it consists in the contemplation of Christ, the Prince of Peace…” [3] Yes but maybe not in the same way the Pope thinks.  The Rosary is the prayer of peace because it seeks to establish the reign of Christ the King.  It is the Rosary which has kept the Muslims at bay for hundreds of years and kicked the communists out of Austria. It is to devotion to the Immaculate Heart and its principal devotion: the Rosary that God has linked peace in the world.  Certainly, the daily Rosary would be more useful for world peace than the scandalous prayer meetings at Assisi.  Now if he could only go one step further and fulfill the request of Our Lady by consecrating Russia to Her Immaculate Heart. 

“The Rosary is also, and always has been, a prayer of and for the family. At one time this prayer was particularly dear to Christian families, and it certainly brought them closer together. It is important not to lose this precious inheritance. We need to return to the practice of family prayer and prayer for families, continuing to use the Rosary.” [4]  

Rosary is not an ecumenical prayer
On the other hand, his effort to render the Rosary a tool of ecumenism is unfounded.  The Rosary is not ecumenical, unless by ecumenism you mean to lead all non-Catholics to the true faith.  But judging by the last 24 years I do not think it a rash judgment to doubt that this is what he means.  Even more unfounded is the use of the Rosary as a tool for promoting the new religion of the “mystery of man” and the “Paschal Mystery” of Vatican II.

“What has been said so far makes abundantly clear the richness of this traditional prayer…” [5] .  Then why change it?  In 1972 Father Annibale Bugnini proposed to change the Rosary.  “Paul VI responded to this ridiculous proposal… ‘The faithful would conclude that the Pope has changed the Rosary, and the psychological effect would be disastrous… Any change in it cannot but lessen the confidence of the simple and the poor.”  Not happy with this answer Bugnini tried again in 1973.  This time Paul VI admonished him saying: “The Rosary is to remain single in form and unchanged from what it is now.  Let any new forms of Marian devotion take their place alongside the Rosary.” [6]   Needless to say there is no need to change or to “improve” the Rosary.  We will change absolutely nothing and pay no attention to these “mysteries of light”.  This apostolic letter is unfortunately a perfect example of what Saint Pius X called a modernist text: on one page the doctrine is traditional and on the other it is modernist. Enough said.

I thank all of you, priests and faithful who have offered Masses and prayers for the repose of the soul of my father who died October 7, the feast of the Holy Rosary.

Thank you all for your continued support.  Be assured of our daily prayers for you and all your intentions.  The usual monthly Mass for friends and benefactors is offered on the last Sunday of the month.  Accept our wishes for a happy and holy Christmas.  Prepare for it by prayer and penance.  Even if Advent is not officially a time of penance, as Lent, it is none the less liturgically a time of penance and preparation.  In addition to the monthly Mass, a Mass will be offered Christmas day for all our friends and benefactors.

With my blessing,

Father Jean Violette


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[1] Mgr Lefebvre, June 13 1988 to the four bishop elect.

[2] Mgr Lefebvre Letter to John Paul II June 2 1988

[3] Rosarium Virginis Mariae #40

[4] Rosarium Virginis Mariae #41

[5] Rosarium Virginis Mariae # 39

[6] The Remnant October 31 2002 pages 1 & 14.