October 1983 - Superior General's Letter #25
The Archbishop has continued the redemptive work of Christ. Vocations are increasing and new priories are opening as we attempt to answer the calls of the faithful. A true renewal in the Holy Ghost is the aim and an intense spiritual life is needed to strengthen our work.
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
Archbishop Lefebvre is the echo of 2,000 years of glorious Church history
WHO IS ARCHBISHOP LEFEBVRE? He is the echo of 2,000 years of glorious Church history—a history marked by the example of heroes, saints and martyrs. Because of his love for the apostolic Roman Church, he has never counted the cost for himself, but has taken upon himself hardships and crosses, calumnies and condemnations. To him, our father in the priesthood, we dedicate in gratitude these first lines. As a Catholic Bishop, Archbishop Lefebvre has, in these years of conciliar and post-conciliar confusion, fulfilled his duties, religiously keeping and faithfully exposing the heritage of our ancestors, dispensing the Church's treasure of graces and rendering them fruitful through the foundation and building up of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X. All his efforts have had but one aim: to continue the Church, which is the continuation and extension of the Incarnate Word, and which is therefore, in its essence, a living Tradition.
The Archbishop has continued the redemptive work of Christ
As a faithful witness of Jesus Christ, the Archbishop has held up in opposition to an unfaithful world the unchangeable and inalienable rights of God. Against the general apostasy of the nations, he has proclaimed the return to God by his proclamation of the holy Gospel. In spite of all the Modernists and Progressivists, he has continued the redemptive work of Christ, by the unique and true Sacrifice of the Mass, by the yearly ordination of new priests, by the foundation of new seminaries, new schools and new priories. To his apostolic action, fruit of a profound Faith and a unshakeable hope in the fullness of the merciful graces of our Crucified Savior, we owe our 123 priests, 250 seminarians, our thirty brothers, sixty nuns, and thirty oblates, as well as sixty houses throughout the world—without counting the priests and religious who, encouraged by his example, work towards the same end: to maintain Catholic Tradition by a close collaboration with us.
Vocations increasing as we attempt to answer the calls of the faithful
Thus, more than forty-five new seminarians and postulant brothers have recently entered at Ridgefield (U.S.A.), Ecône (Switzerland), and Zaitzkofen (Germany). And last year twenty-nine seminarians and religious from houses favorable to us have received the grace of the priesthood. With the help of God, the same number will advance to the altar shortly. It is with great joy that we shall see this coming November 20th, the first ordinations to the subdiaconate at the seminary at Buenos Aires, which received fifteen postulants last March. These reinforcements are very necessary, for the faithful everywhere are calling for us. Everywhere there are wounds to be healed, tears to dry; everywhere the Faith needs to be strengthened, the Sacraments administered and, above all else, the inexpressible mystery of our altars must be celebrated.
Our whole person, all our work and all our prayers are at the service of Christ, in order to extend His Kingship in His Peace.
The first preoccupation of our work is to foster vocations. At this moment, we are thinking of starting a seminary for those who speak Italian, in our house at Albano, near Rome; and also of the foundation of a sixth seminary in Africa. Indeed, it is only by the sanctity of the priest that souls are sanctified, the Church renewed "in capite et in membris" and Christian society renewed.
New priories opened worldwide
This summer we have been able, amongst other things, to open a priory in Dublin, Ireland, and another at Lourdes, so that the faithful who come to pray at the sanctuary of Our Lady will not be deprived of the Mass and the Sacraments.
A new foundation is being prepared in Colombia. In Holland, a new priory will open its doors next year. Just as we had acquired a magnificent small village church near Eindhoven, some of the faithful gave us another church also. Are we not obliged in conscience to come as soon as possible to the aid of these Catholics in the country the most affected by the abominations in the sacred places?
Intense spiritual life needed to strengthen our work
We are looking to an organic expansion exteriorly, according to the measure of our forces, and to an interior stabilization by a more intense spiritual life and deeper theological study. These are our most important concerns for these future years.
Day after day we beseech Heaven to come to our aid in our efforts to put a stop to the crystallization of the destructive principles of the reform in the Church, especially by the application of the new Canon Law.
A true renewal in the Holy Ghost is the aim
We do not want an institutionalization of the revolution, but a true renewal in the Holy Ghost founded upon faith in the redemptive Blood of Christ. As long as the Pope and bishops will not have understood the necessity of this true spiritual renewal, but continue to turn their back on the problem, and as long as the enemies of the Church occupy the most important positions, we will not see the healing of the Church, nor a full harmony with those who have authority at Rome.
Prayers, sacrifices and generosity are needed
The hour of Catholic truth is going to sound, all the more quickly inasmuch as your prayer, dear friends and benefactors, is fervent and persevering; inasmuch as your sacrifices are generous and your contributions magnanimous, and inasmuch as you apply yourselves to your personal sanctification for the benefit of our seminarians.
May God, by the intercession of Our Lady, Queen of the Rosary, reward you a thousand-fold for all your love for His Church upon earth, and may the crucified hands of Jesus carry you and your family towards Heaven.
Christus vincit, Christus regnat.
Father Franz Schmidberger,
On the Feast of the Holy Rosary,
7 October 1983