January 2012 - District Superior's Letter
The work at St. Joseph's Centre in St. Cesaire is progressing well despite mishaps. In September, it will be opened as headquarters of the District of Canada. There will be some changes in Toronto and Shawinigan. The Canadian and American districts will collaborate more closely in the future. The Angelus magazine will be revamped and will replace Convictions magazine. The website sspx.ca will be revamped as well to be a more effective means of apostolate. Thank-you to all our generous benefactors for their support of the work of Tradition in Canada!
Reasons for the delay of the district's newsletter
You received the last edition of the district newsletter some months ago. The reason for this delay is due to the immense amount of work elsewhere in the district. In December of last year we purchased our new property in St. Césaire, Quebec. In January the renovation work was begun. The first priority was work on access to the chapel and on creating the priest’s living quarters. Alongside this project was the closer collaboration between the districts of Canada and the United States.
Progress of the work in St. Césaire
The work in St. Césaire is progressing well even though it is subject to many mishaps. The living quarters for the priests are now completed. There are bedrooms and offices for eight priests. By the end of November we turned on the new furnace. At this time also the rooms for the sisters were finished. Two sisters and Mlle. Dion moved from Shawinigan to St. Césaire. Fortunately there was not much work to do on the chapel itself apart from cleaning. The many paintings are all in very good condition and we found all the pews and all the statues as they were before. Only the altars needed to be remodeled since they had been adapted to suit the new liturgy. The stairs leading up to the chapel on the first floor and to the choir loft had been demolished in earlier years, and the faithful had to use the narrow stairs which now connect the offices and bedrooms of the priests. The planning and installing of the new staircase was a tricky thing. Finally everything has been done and the faithful may now access the chapel by a nice staircase worthy of the house of God. At Christmas, we opened the chapel definitively to the public, and for the first time in years the midnight mass was said in this beautiful church. From now on the faithful can attend weekday masses and have the opportunity to be present at the Sunday mass in our new priory. In 2011, alot of work was accomplished.
St. Joseph, our patron
Next year work will continue on the retreat house and our new primary school. We have complied with all the official regulations for the opening of the school and on November 21st we had the first visit of a government inspector. She was very pleased with the location so we hope that official permission will be granted to open in February 2012. This will give us enough time to prepare ourselves and to open St. Joseph’s primary school as an extension to the Holy Family School in Lévis next September. You can well imagine the amount of work and money already put into this project. We need the help of St. Joseph and your generous donations over the Christmas season and I ask you to contribute as generously as possible. As soon as renovations are completed, St. Joseph’s centre will open its doors to everyone who wants to come and honour God in retreat from the world for a short period of time. Our doors are even open to those families and single persons who want to spend their vacations in the region of Móntreal. Help us ensure that this convent becomes once more a place of pilgrimage in honour of St. Joseph.
New district headquarters
Since September St. Joseph centre is the official headquarters of the district of Canada. The district superior moved from Toronto to St. Césaire and there are three other priests in residence; Frs. Boulet, Pons and Roy. Fr. Boulet moved from Shawinigan to St. Césaire, Fr. Pons before that worked in Lévis for two years and the newly ordained Fr. Roy was stationed in Saint Césaire on January 10th , 2012. The priests are helped by Mr. Jackson, a seminarian from Winona, who is spending one year in Canada to gain some practical experience. Fr. Guéguen who was working in Shawinigan is now working in Lévis.
Changes in Shawinigan and Toronto
The retreat house in Shawinigan continues this year as the retreat house of the Society in Canada. The priests from Lévis assure the masses on Sundays and feast days. The biggest change this year took place in Toronto. It is now a proper priory with Fr. Fox coming from Kansas City as prior and Fr. Méry as his assistant. The two priests in Toronto and the two priests at our school at Wilmot are responsible for the apostolate in Ontario.
Collaboration between the canadian and american districts
Another busy project this year was the establishment of an efficient collaboration between the districts of Canada and the US. Since these two neighboring countries speak the same language and their activities are almost identical, their working together will enable us to pool our efforts, share the burdens and the costs. In addition, thanks to providence, Fr. Rostand had been superior in Canada for two years and is now the superior of the US. He has had the experience of both countries and is aware of the needs of Tradition in North America. Contacts with him are very pleasant. This is the opportune time to begin this work in earnest.
Revamped Angelus magazine
The first outcome of this common effort will be a completely revamped Angelus magazine with a totally new look and feel. Its aim is to reach out to the increasingly younger generation of our faithful in an attempt to provide them with help in the various situations of daily life. We aim to provide clear positive reporting in well written researched articles. You will also find a large number of carefully selected pictures displaying the richness and beauty of the Faith. In themselves they are a source of instruction and of meditation. The contemplation of these beautiful images, we hope, will convey a sense of joy and wonder. Spread through out the magazine they will seek to create a calming and peaceful effect. So, the new Angelus magazine wants to appeal to the whole family. The first issue will appear in January and from then on every two months. It will contain 88 pages. It will be a unique magazine and by its content and presentation aims at convincing those who are plagued by doubt. Every faithful catholic should read and pass it on. By this means it becomes a fruitful apostolate. In January we will print a greater run of the magazine. Please buy one for yourself and one for your friends. Convictions will continue as the newsletter for Canada reporting the news of catholic Tradition in Canada just as the Regina Coeli report will have the same function for the US.
A second positive result of this collaboration is the reworked website. This site is scheduled to go on line within the next few weeks. A fresh appearance, easy maintenance and professional organization has made the website a powerful tool for an ever increasingly important apostolate. With the same appearance and feel as that of the Angelus, it emphasizes unity in the work of the Society through an instantly recognizable format. Many articles will be available to both countries. Local priories and schools will be able to have their own website and offer information to every visitor.
Thank-you to all benefactors!
We wish to conclude this year by expressing our deepest thanks to all who have contributed to the work of the Society in this Country. With a grateful heart we will sing the Te Deum on the last day of the year. Looking forward to next year with childlike trust, we will place all our undertakings in the hands of God’s merciful providence. Your prayers and support are indispensable for the successful outcome of the work God has committed to us. We are sure your generosity will surpass all expectations. Everyday we recite the Rosary for your intentions and every month, on the first Friday, Mass is offered to thank all our benefactors. Our prayers are continuously offered for our dear faithful.
With my best wishes for a blessed new year in 2012,
Fr. Jürgen Wegner