May 2001 - District Superior's Letter
Retreat given by Father Selegny; general bursar. Rome rejects conditions of Bishop Fellay, refuses to consider doctrine and offers the Society a practical agreement. Changes in the canadian district. Possible priory in Vernon, BC. Various summer events.
Thank-you for Easter gifts
First of all I want to thank you for your cards and gifts at Easter and also your generosity in answering our appeal in favour of St Joseph's Bursary. May Our Lord and His holy Mother reward you for it.
Retreat given by Father Selegny
We were fortunate to have with us in Toronto Father Arnaud Sélégny, the secretary general of the Society, who came to preach the annual priests retreat. Father arrived in Toronto on Wednesday of Holy Week and stayed until Easter Sunday so we were able to solemnize the Holy Week ceremonies having 2 priests and a deacon, a truly great grace.
News from Rome:
On Good Friday cardinal Castrillon Hoyos officially informed us that the Vatican had refused the 2 requests made by Bishop Fellay (permission for the traditional Mass for all priests without condition and the lifting of the censures against our priests & bishops) as a sign of good will on their part in order to pursue the discussions.
They, cardinal Ratzinger in particular, were furious about a new study on the new Mass: "The Problem of the Liturgical Reform, The Mass of Vatican II and Paul VI", which we gave to them and is summarised in H.L. Bishop Williamson's April newsletter. After 30 years the problem still remains the same: they want us to accept the new religion expressed by the new Mass and Vatican II. So we have nothing to talk about. We must continue praying that our blessed Mother will open their eyes. But since they continue to refuse her Fatima request I don't think there is much hope at least with the men presently in power in the Vatican.
What Rome was offering was truly astounding: the equivalent of a worldwide diocese with apparently no strings attached, nothing to sign. We could have gone anywhere in the world without the permission of the local bishop and continue our work. But as someone remarked: "Don't you do that already?"
Rome says that doctrinal matters are not important
When we asked to discuss doctrinal matters they said: "No no, not now, that will take too long." The SSPX is not seeking its own private arrangement with Rome, nor for a peaceful coexistence with the new Mass. In this we must thank Bishop Fellay for his strong stand for the liberation of the true Mass for the good of the Church not just the Society. We must continue to pray for him. As others have pointed out it could have been tempting to arrange a deal for the SSPX and forget the rest.
The Society is not seeking a practical agreement
Nor is the SSPX seeking a purely disciplinary or canonical compromise. We don't need it! According to the code of canon law published by John Paul II in 1983: there are no excommunications and no matter what anyone says all our sacraments are valid. What we want is a true doctrinal accord. This is why the question of the new Mass and Vatican II are so important: it is a matter of faith. Please continue to pray for these intentions.
I invite all of you to attend the ordination ceremony at St Thomas Aquinas Seminary this June 23rd in Winona. Indeed 2 Canadians: Reverend Mr Emanuel Herkel of Calgary and Reverend Mr Patrick Girouard of Québec will be ordained to the holy priesthood of Our Lord while another Canadian Reverend Mr Robert MacPherson of Salmon Arm BC will be ordained to the Deaconate. Please remember to join in the novena for the ordinands starting Ascension Thursday May 24th, which consists of the hymn “Veni Creator” and the “Memorare” to Our Lady.
Many of you already know about the changes which will take place this year in our district. After 8 years in Calgary Fr Jules Bélisle will be taking up a new post in Australia. Fr Todd Angele, an American, with whom I have had the pleasure to work with during my 6 years in Australia, will replace him. Fr Angele brings with him a wealth of experience in working with schools. Another change Fr Hugues Bergez after a few years in Holy Family School is leaving us to take up a new assignment in India. In return the district is welcoming Fr Stephen Delallo. I wish to thank very sincerely Fathers Bélisle and Bergez for their devotion and work they have done in Canada.
Possible priory in Vernon, BC
We also hope later this year to open a fifth priory in Vernon BC. This is made possible by the generosity of Fr Paul Greuter who after founding the parish in Vernon and building a beautiful rectory has asked the Society to take it over. It is also possible due to the generosity of H.L. Bishop Fellay who is leaving the 2 new Canadian priests in Canada. This will no doubt bring about a few more changes within the district. I will advise in good time.
In addition to the ordinations, plan to attend one of the pilgrimages this summer:
July 28th in honour of St Anne in Québec, for information contact Holy Family School 418 837 3028.
September 29th in honour of the Canadian Martyrs in Midland Ontario, for information call 416 251 0499. I would like this one to become the annual district pilgrimage in honour of the founders of the Church in Canada. Our country is in need of many graces and pilgrimages are a very efficacious way of obtaining these graces.
I also recommend to your prayers the possibility of the purchase of a house near Montreal. This would indeed help develop our apostolate in this once great Catholic city.
I leave you with this thought from Dom Guéranger's very anti-liberal masterpiece:"The Liturgical Year", which I highly recommend to your reading, for the feast of Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Martyr on April 24: "Protestantism was established and rooted by the shedding of torrents of blood; and yet Protestants count it as a great crime that, here and there, the children of the true Church made an armed resistance against them. The heresy of the sixteenth century was the cruel and untiring persecutor of men, whose only crime was their adhesion to the old faith - the faith that had civilized the world. The so-called Reformation proclaimed liberty in matters of religion, and massacred Catholics who exercised this liberty, and prayed and believed as their ancestors had done for long ages before Luther and Calvin were born. A Catholic who gives heretics credit for sincerity when they talk about religious toleration, proves that he knows nothing of either the past or the present. There is a fatal instinct in error, which leads it to hate the Truth; and the true Church, by its unchangeableness, is a perpetual reproach to them that refuse to be her children. Heresy starts with an attempt to annihilate them that remain faithful; when it has grown tired of open persecution it vents its spleen in insults and calumnies; and when these do not produce the desired effect, hypocrisy comes in with its assurances of friendly forbearance. The history of Protestant Europe, during the last three centuries, confirms these statements; it also justifies us in honouring those courageous servants of God who, during that same period, have died for the ancient faith."
I take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and wish you a happy and blessed Eastertide and assure you of my daily prayers and the prayers of our communities for you and all your intentions.
With my blessing,
Fr. Jean Violette