The Brothers of the SSPX - often referred to as the "angels" of the Society - held their annual retreat and pronounced their vows in California on the feast of St. Michael.
It is traditionally on the feast of St. Michael that the Brothers of the Society of St. Pius X pronounce their vows by which they are consecrated to God.
The ceremony of the vows is always preceded by a week of retreat where all the brothers get together. This year, their retreat took place at our retreat center in Los Gatos and the ceremony of vows at St. Thomas More church in San Jose, CA. Today, four novices made their first profession: Brs. Christopher, Paul-Mary, Simon, and George. This brings the number of SSPX brothers in the USA to 19, 119 worldwide.
On the day of his profession, the novice, after invoking the most holy Trinity, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, “before God and the Church,” consecrates himself to God for three years in the religious life by the vows of obedience, poverty, and chastity, according to the statutes of the Society of St. Pius X.
After these three years of annual vows and another period of six years, the brothers take their final vows.
Two brothers made their perpetual profession today: Br. Louis (Le Ray) and Br. Anthony (Hewko), who both reside in St. Ignatius Retreat House in Ridgefield, CT. The ceremony of the vows took place during the Solemn High Mass, at the offertory, in front of the opened tabernacle. Present at the ceremony were Fr. Jürgen Wegner, Superior of District; Fr. Yves Le Roux, Rector of St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary; Fr. Thomas Asher, Prior at Los Gatos; and Fr. Kenneth Dean, Novice Master. Fr. Patrick Crane preached the retreat and assisted to the ceremonies, as well as the other resident priests of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Retreat House: Frs. David Nichols, William Kimball and Christopher Petersen.
On the eve of the feast, September 28, two postulants became novices: Nicolas Brown took the new name of Br. Nathanael and Thomas Crouse became Br. Ignatius. They now wear the brother's habit: cassock and narrow cincture of black cloth without a sash. They received also a crucifix, the “sign of the Passion of Jesus Christ, so that it may be for you the foundation of the faith, a defense against adversity, and the everlasting standard of victory.” (Brothers’ Ceremonial – SSPX Statutes) They will have a complete full year of novitiate before being able to pronounce their religious vows.
The specific aim of the brothers in the Society is to assist the priests in all their duties, not by wishing to take their place in the priestly function but by facilitating their apostolic task in many ways. This can be by relieving them of material jobs, such as: bursar, practical works in the rectory or seminary, like gardening, cooking, upkeep of the buildings, care of the library, secretarial work, etc. Or it can be through a more direct participation in the apostolate, such as: responsibility for the church, choir master, catechism classes, organist, or helping out in a primary school. In the missions, this could also be the construction of buildings, or teaching in a trade school.“
(Rules for the brothers – SSPX Statutes)
In the Fall, the new postulants will enter in our Novitiate which has its own rules and schedule within the St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary. This year, we are happy to expect up to five postulants. During the postulancy time, the postulants are initiated to the spiritual life and they show their aptitudes for the life of brother in the Society of St. Pius X.