Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Sorrows,
It was with great happiness that I heard the good news from your parish.
I congratulate and encourage you to continue your apostolate and especially to help many people to make a five-day retreat.
These spiritual Exercises are a spring of blessings from God and can change deeply the Christian Life and the Christian family.
God bless your beloved parish priest, the dear Fr. Terence Finnegan, true priest of our Society and true son of Reverend Fr. Barrielle.
God bless all of you!
Devotedly in Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Ecône, October 4, 1984, on the feast of St. Francis.
Acting on the suggestion of the well-known Fr. Ludovic Barrielle of the Congregation of Parish Cooperators of Christ the King, a thirty-day retreat was organized in August of 1983 (or 1984?) at our Montalenghe house, near Turin, Italy. In accordance with Fr. Barrielle’s request, Fr. Julio Tam and I were to preach. Fr. Tam had been ordained in June 1980; I, in June 1981.
Long familiar with the fruits of Ignatian retreats and aware that they were attended by many traditionalist seminarians and faithful, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who had never yet followed the Exercises of St. Ignatius, decided to set a month of 1983 (or 1984) aside to attend this thirty-day retreat preached by two of his young priests
I remember his regularity, his punctuality and his attentiveness. He was always among the first to take his place in the conference room, before the scheduled time, and he would tranquilly wait for the preacher to arrive and then rise for the opening prayers with everyone else.
A few days before the end of the retreat, he gave two conferences himself which, unfortunately, could not be recorded due to a technical difficulty. He spoke of the fruits he had drawn from these weeks of meditation and contemplation, in particular from the long hours spent daily, and nightly, in considering the life of Our Lord as recorded in the Gospels. He especially commented on the manner in which St. Ignatius’ method expressed his desire for the salvation of souls. He was delighted that many of his priests loved these retreats and were happy to preach them.
October 5, 2013