How can press releases help to spread the right message about the Society of St. Pius X?
An ongoing part of the USA District's efforts to promote the Society of St. Pius X's work amongst the general public is the use of press releases. One of the advantages of this press tool is that with a "click of a button" the District Office can send SSPX news to hundreds of media outlets, both in print and digital.
This was recently done with a press release concerning the arrival of the new District Superior, Fr. Jurgen Wegner, which also allowed us to announce the creation of Fr. Arnaud Rostand's new position of Communications Director, as well as the extent of the Society's work both here in the United States and throughout the world.
Such media efforts for the SSPX transcend the proverbial "15 minutes of fame", a vanity just as fleeting as the Holy Writ's "grass of the field". Rather, they allow us to project a positive image of our priestly society and its work for the Roman Catholic Church, thus leading souls to Tradition. Hence this will enable the SSPX to more easily give a clear exposition of itself to the press, such as the nature of its mission (to form priests), the principles for which it firmly stands (its fight for the entire Faith), and its authentic canonical status.
Of course, such a course of action is nothing new in the Catholic Church, which has always used whatever effective means were at its disposal, from Epistles written on parchment with ink, to the printing press (the Gutenburg Bible was actually a Catholic edition), to the telegraph, to the newspaper (the now-liberal L'Osservatore Romano was founded to defend the Church against radicals), to the radio, the establishment of a press corps, and now on the Internet (such as websites and social networking tools).
While the United States District (and the General House in Menzingen, Switzerland) has made use of press releases before, this was only periodically and for news of a more "momentous" nature—which was also the common employing of a press release in the world of business. However, due to the information revolution of the Internet (whereby news can be sent more quickly and referenced in an almost unlimited fashion), the trend of reserving press releases for very important announcements has recently changed to sending them more often, even weekly.
Recognizing the news distribution advantages that press releases offer, the Communications Team of the USA District has allocated resources to help spread the "Good Word" about the SSPX's work with more regular press releases—and the first "salvo" fired in this direction can be seen below.
SSPX USA Announces a New District Superior
Fr. Jurgen Wegner has been appointed the new District Superior for the U.S. District of the Society of St. Pius X.
Platte City, MO (PRWEB) August 25, 2014
The U.S. District of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) announces the appointment of Fr. Jurgen Wegner as its new District Superiorfor a 6-year term effective August 15.
The SSPX was founded in 1970 by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre to train priests for the Roman Catholic Church. The priestly society today numbers 589 priests who service missions in 37 countries throughout the world.
Fr. Wegner replaces Fr. Arnaud Rostand, the District Superior since 2008. Fr. Rostand is taking up the newly-established position of Communications Director at the SSPX’s international headquarters in Menzingen, Switzerland. From there he will coordinate the collaboration between the various institutions of the priestly society and oversee public relations matters.
The District Superior is responsible for the spiritual and practical welfare of the district, coordinating and organizing the apostolic activities of the U.S. District. Several priests, religious brothers and lay persons assist in a variety of roles at the District Office.
Reflecting the Society of St. Pius X’s international character, the U.S. District Superiors have included not only Americans, but also a variety of nationalities, including an Australian, French and German.
Fr. Jurgen Wegner comes from the town of Zell am Harmersbach located in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany. After attending the SSPX’s seminary in Econe, Switzerland, he was ordained to the priesthood in 1991. Fr. Wegner has already served three times as a district superior for the SSPX: in Belgium, the Netherlands, and most recently in Canada.
In his May-June District Superior's Letter, Fr. Rostand paid this tribute to his successor:
During this time I have had the opportunity to work with him, and I have appreciated very much his love of the Society of St. Pius X, his priestly spirit, his professionalism in handling projects in common, and his friendship. I have no doubt that he will continue the work done by my predecessors and myself for the expansion and the sanctification of the United States District."
One of the 'projects in common' that Fr. Wegner began in 2010, was to develop a standardized and comprehensive website platform for the SSPX’s worldwide use. A parallel project was creating a recognizable, international identity. Both projects are important to the U.S. District’s efforts to promote the Society of St. Pius X’s apostolic work.
The U.S. District looks forward to its continued development under the leadership of its new District Superior, Fr. Jurgen Wegner.
The U.S. District has 91 priests distributed amongst 22 priories where they live in common. From these priories, the priests serve over 100 chapels, 25 schools and a liberal arts college. The U.S. District also has 3 retreat centers for the spiritual enrichment of the laity. Separate from the District Office, the Society also has a seminary and separate novitiates for male and female religious and three sisters’ convents.
A hallmark of the Society of St. Pius X is its fidelity to the immemorial traditions of the Catholic Church, visible in its seminary training, the traditional Roman Mass offered exclusively by the Society’s priests, and the education offered in its schools.
The steadfast promotion of traditional values has resulted in an increase of religious vocations, solid Catholic families, and a devout laity. This expansion has translated practically into recent construction projects, such as a new seminary in Dillwyn, Virginia and a church in Phoenix, Arizona, that local community leaders praised as a "symbol of progress and hope".