November 2000 - District Superior's Letter

30th anniversary of the Society. An important apostolate of prayer for priests is being promoted and you are strongly encouraged to join. Priests are in serious need of your prayers. Mass stipends are now 15.00$. The spirit of Advent is one of truly preparing for Our Lord's coming at Christmas.

Dear Faithful,

30th anniversary of the Society
November 1st marked the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Society by Archbishop Lefebvre. If the last 30 years have been rich in trials, which are the sign of God's work, they have also been rich in blessings for which we must thank almighty God.  Could the Archbishop have foreseen all that would come from this humble foundation 30 years ago?

First our 401 priests and 200 seminarians in seven seminaries who try to remain faithful to the ideal of our founder: "to transmit... in all of its doctrinal purity and all of its missionary charity, the Catholic Priesthood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, just as He conferred it on His Apostles, just as the Roman Church always transmitted it until the middle of the twentieth century." (Spiritual Journey by Archbishop Lefebvre, Preface). We thank God especially for our four bishops whom Archbishop Lefebvre consecrated so as to not leave us orphans.  We thank them for having accepted this tremendous duty and burden of ordaining priests and administering the sacrament of confirmation all over the world. In June this year H. L. Bishop Tissier de Mallerais also celebrated his 25th anniversary of ordination.  Deo gratias!

Secondly the other branches which came forth as a consequence of the priestly society, our Brothers, Sisters and Oblates who dedicate themselves to the service of the priesthood, praying and sacrificing for priests as well as assisting them and in certain cases relieving them from many temporal preoccupations in order that they can devote themselves more fully to their spiritual apostolate.  These families of the Society provide an occasion for many young men and women to follow their calling to a more perfect life in a truly catholic atmosphere.  We could add the other religious families encouraged and supported by Archbishop Lefebvre and the SSPX: Dominicans, Benedictines, Redemptorists, Capucins who receive holy orders from our bishops.  As well many female orders who have as chaplains priests of the SSPX.

Thirdly, the Third Order of the SSPX for those persons held by obligations in the world but who want to do a little bit more in the way of prayers and sacrifices especially in fighting the spirit of the world so opposed to the spirit of Our Lord, by following the laws of marriage and throwing out one of the greatest enemies of the spiritual life: their television. Then there are also the many persons and families who after being scandalized by the conciliar Church, have come back to the practice of the faith thanks to the Archbishop and his work.  How many persons have discovered their vocation in life, have come back to a true prayer life, the reception of the sacraments and the following of God's law especially in the married state.  What an occasion of sacrifices, sometimes heroic on the part of the laypeople.  Here we can mention the special place the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius preached by the SSPX priests have played in such miracles of grace. These Spiritual Exercises are one of the greatest gifts God gave to the Society through Father Barrielle (RIP 1983).  The many Catholic schools, two Catholic universities and now retirement homes in different countries are also a sign of God's blessings on our work.

Restoration of the Church and society will be accomplished by a restoration of the priesthood
Society will not be converted nor the Catholic Church restored to Her former beauty but by true priests who preach the true word of God, administer the true sacraments and offer the true sacrifice of the Mass; by true religious who live the sacrifice of the Mass they attend daily by the practice of the three vows of chastity, poverty and obedience; and by true Catholic families who faithful to their duty, generously accept the children God sends them and from their infancy teach them "to fear God, and to abstain from all sin". (Tobias 1, 10)

Expansion of the SSPX
There is also the physical expansion of the SSPX's work despite the persecution of the conciliar Church.  Seven seminaries on five continents, the nearly 110 priories, 900 Mass centers, 60 educational institutions, 8 retreat houses, and chaplaincy of 8 non-SSPX communities.  We do have many graces to be thankful for.

Apostolate of prayer for priests
But the main focus of the Society remains the priesthood and the priesthood for sacrifice.  This is why I would like to write a few words concerning what I consider to be a very important apostolate: the "Apostolate of Prayers for Priests". 

The Apostolate began in Australia, the fruit of an Ignatian retreat in 1989 and received the blessing of Archbishop Lefebvre.  Its aim is the sanctification of priests through the prayers and sacrifices of its members who pray for: the perseverance of faithful priests, the strengthening of weak priests and priests tempted in their vocation, the conversion and return of those who have fallen away, the deliverance of priestly souls from Purgatory.  No priests are excluded from their prayers.  They pray especially for the Pope, cardinals and bishops.

Who may join this apostolate of prayer for priests?
The Apostolate is open to all practicing Traditional Catholics who find it a special duty of gratitude to pray for those who provide for their spiritual needs.  Members individually or as a group may adopt a particular priest for whom they wish to pray regularly along with the general intentions of the Apostolate.  Twice a year in June, the month of the Sacred Heart, and October, month of the Rosary, each member is allocated a particular priest for whom he has to pray for especially.

Certain prayers are to be said daily.  They will be communicated to those who want to join this apostolate.  Thursday, day of the institution of the priesthood, members are encouraged to attend Mass and a Holy Hour for priests either before the Blessed Sacrament exposed or simply before the tabernacle. 

The Apostolate presently has members in Australia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Holland, England and Philippines.  But we need more members.   If you wish to join this important and necessary apostolate, please write to us here in Toronto and we will forward your names to the central office in Australia.

Dear faithful none of us are worthy of the graces we have received.  But we have received them and now we must be faithful to them with God's help and especially we priests.  But we cannot do it without your prayers and sacrifices. I am sure one of the causes of the present crisis is the lack of prayers offered for priests in the past.  Some seem to think priests do not need prayers, that they are not tempted, that they were invincible, that they are automatically saved. It is not so. Let me assure you that the devil works harder on priests than on any other.  Please pray for priests and especially for those who look after your spiritual needs.  Otherwise they might be taken away from you...again.  And if your present duties allow please consider joining.  But remember it is an extra burden, so don’t take it on if you will not be able to fulfil the requirements. Pray also for many priestly and religious vocations.

Mass stipends are now 15.00$
Also please keep in mind that as of now the Mass stipends for the district are $15.00.  The stipend is not the price for a Mass, but a donation, an alm for the support of the priest; as St Paul says: "they that serve the altar, partake with the altar.  So also the Lord ordained that they who preach the Gospel, should live by the Gospel." (I Cor., 9,13‑14).  As the priests of the district receive no salary the daily Mass stipend of $15.00 is what they have for their personal needs apart for the other donations they receive from your generosity.  So please keep this in mind when sending in Mass request.  Also please when sending in a Mass stipend by mail always include your return address so we can notify you.

The spirit of Advent
A few words on Advent. For most people Advent is just so many shopping days left till Christmas. During Advent the Church certainly commemorates the 4000 years humanity waited for Our Lord in His first coming. But there are two other comings for which she prays for: the coming to every soul and the last Judgement.  The Church prays that Our Lord visit her in her hierarchy; in her members, of whom some are living, and some are dead, but may come to life again. Lastly, she prays that He visit those who are outside the fold that so they may be converted to the true light, which shines even for them. "In vain would the Son of God have come, nineteen hundred years ago, to visit and save mankind, unless He came again for each one of us and at every moment of our lives, bringing to us and cherishing within us that supernatural life, of which He and His holy Spirit are the sole principle."[1]  But she prays also for the a third coming, "she is impatient to be loosed from her present temporal state; she longs for the number of the elect to be filled up, and to see appear, in the clouds of heaven, the sign of her Deliverer and her Spouse. But the day of this His last coming to her will be a day of terror. (...) Not that she fears for herself,... but her maternal heart is troubled at the thought that, on the same day, so many of her children will be on the left hand of the Judge, and, having no share with the elect, will be bound hand and foot, and cast into the darkness, where there shall be everlasting weeping and gnashing of teeth."[2]  So Advent is a time of prayer and penance not parties.  Be careful not to waste the graces.

Thank you for your continued support.  In return you can count on our prayers for you, your families and all your intentions, especially at daily Mass.

With my blessing

Father Jean Violette


[1] Dom Guéranger, The Liturgical Year. Vol 1 Mystery of Advent.