September 1978 - Superior General's Letter #15
Notable events in the Church. More priests for the SSPX. Faithful are asking for the Traditional Mass and sacraments everywhere. Many vocations coming from everywhere also. The German speaking seminary moved to Zaitzkofen. Two new centers in Europe: Madrid and Brussels. In the US, the SSPX has acquired the center of St. Mary's, Kansas, site for future college.
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
Since our last letter a few notable events have arisen in the Church: the death of Paul VI and the election of John Paul I. To be sure, these events are far from leaving us indifferent! Our desire to see the Church free of modernists and progressivists that occupy it is all the greater. For close to twenty years we have prayed to God to give to His Church true apostles of the Catholic Faith- the Faith which has given the Church its martyrs, doctors, confessors, virgins and all the saints who illustrate her history and who prove the worth of her doctrine, Sacrifice and sacraments.
We tremble at the thought that the infiltration of modernism, that is to say naturalism, may continue in the Church. The consequences of this veritable cancer are the most serious that the Church has had to undergo during the course of her history; that is, the corruption of the Faith of numerous bishops and a great number of priests, monks and nuns. These clerics reason like the modernists and the protestants: witness the newly published book “Bishops Speak of the Faith of the Catholic Church.” The ideas of sanctifying grace, original sin, mortal sin and its consequences, of the expiatory Sacrifice of Our Lord which continues on our altars, are all spoiled. In their place one finds all the errors of liberalism, of Americanism, of Sillonism, and of modernism condemned by the Sovereign Pontiffs. Add to that the theology of liberation which is a marxist interpretation of the Gospel—a sacriligious and outrageous misinterpretation of Our Lord. Therefore, let us not be amazed that the patience of God is exhausted!
All seems to crumble around us because the foundation of all things has been abandoned; that is, the Way, the Truth and the Life—our beloved Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ. It is because of these reasons, these truths, that we wish to be so much more faithful to Our Lord, to His reign, to His cross, to His sacrifice, to His sacraments and to His teachings which have been faithfully transmitted by the successors of Peter during close to twenty centuries.
Let us ask Saint Pius X to guide Pope John Paul I. May the Virgin Mary, desiring the purity of the Faith as well as sensitive to everything which betrays her Divine Son, come to the aid of His Church.
By the grace of God, the help of your prayers and your generosity, so many priests, brothers and religious have joined the Society that is has increased rapidly making it difficult to give you a complete report. We wish that every district superior, as well as every superior of autonomous priories, would complete the news for each region.
On June 29th, we ordained eighteen priests from which there will be two for the Monastery of Bedoin of Dom Gerard, and sixteen for the Society. All will begin their ministry in this month of September. It would be necessary to ordain four times as many in order to respond to the requests that come to us from all the continents and all the countries. Everywhere the Faithful feel abandoned or betrayed by their clergy. They no longer find the Catholic Church but a modernist cult and doctrine. Parents are fearful for their children.
Japan, India, Australia, South America, South Africa—without counting all the countries where we already have missionaries -beg us to send true priests. Vocations arise from everywhere. This last year has been especially marked by support from South America and Italy. There are 65 new seminarians who enter this year in our three seminaries. Our fourth seminary will open in the month of March in Buenos Aires.
Henceforth, the seminary of the German tongue is transferred from Weissbad to Zaiztkofen between Munich and Ratisbonne. Weissbad will serve for those who prepare themselves for the major seminary. Two more locations are now open in Madrid and Brussels where the Society will begin its ministry. Seminarians studying at Ecône will take their second year in Albano in order to gain a deeper appreciation of the Church’s Latin and Roman traditions.
The Society has acquired the important center of Saint Mary’s, in Kansas in America, with its large sanctuary dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, suitable for pilgrimages, retreats and perhaps the site of a future college.
Eleven applications were received from young men wishing to enter the novitiate as brothers. Fifteen young women have applied for the novitiate at St. Michel-en-Brenne, and twelve for the Carmel in Quievrain, Belgium. If we added all the applicants to those congregations which have kept their sound traditions we would marvel indeed at this true renewal of the Church where the fruits of the Holy Ghost give forth their true radiance and not the aberrations of the charismatics.
Is it not obvious that where the Faith of the Church is, so also is its holiness; where the holiness of the Catholic Church is, there also is the Catholic Church. A church which no longer produces good fruit, which is barren, is no longer the Catholic Church.
We certainly do not amount to much, and the good which is done through our efforts comes from Our Lord. That is why we trust, because from nothing, He can do much. The whole history of the Church proves it. Our Lord does not demand success from us; this is His domain. He only asks for our willingness and readiness to serve Him in our crosses as well as in our blessings.
Should these few lines reach those priests, monks and nuns who are fighting to keep the Faith and Tradition—especially the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass let us tell them that the Society is ready with its means to assist them in matters spiritual, moral and material.
Dear friends and benefactors, how we would like to serve you in your sanctification and in the sanctification, education and spiritual support of your children. We wish to start schools, especially for boys. The future of Christian families depends thereon. We are fully aware of your needs. That is why we already have schools in New York and Houston, in America, and why we will continue the school at St. Michel de Chateauroux in France.
We trust that we will have your continued support, your prayers, your sacrifices and your generosity. May God repay you through Mary and Joseph in abundant blessings.
† Marcel Lefebvre
On the Feast of the Nativity of the Most Holy Virgin Mary
8 September 1978