District Superior's Letter: May-June 2014
I have received confirmation that at the end of my 6-year term I will be transferred on August 15, 2014. I will then leave the U.S. District and take a new assignment at the General House in Menzingen, Switzerland. Fr. Jurgen Wegner is assigned as District Superior of the United States.
I have received confirmation that at the end of my 6-year term I will be transferred on August 15, 2014. I will then leave the U.S. District and take a new assignment at the General House in Menzingen, Switzerland. Fr. Jurgen Wegner is assigned as District Superior of the United States. Fr. Wegner was ordained in 1991. He was Superior of the District of Belgium and the Netherlands for 9 years, and these past 6 years he has been District Superior of Canada. 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.
I trust that you will welcome your new district superior as well as you received me 6 years ago. For myself, assigned to the General House, I have been entrusted to manage, develop and unify communications within the Society. It was a great honor and pleasure to serve the priests and faithful of the United States, a service which I will continue to do until the end of my term. These past 6 years have been a wonderful experience for me. When I stepped into the United States District, I knew that it would be a challenge, simply because of the size of the country, the large number of priests and faithful, the number of schools, etc. I was very impressed from the start by the good dispositions of the priests and parishioners, their enthusiasm and zeal to deepen in their lives and expand around them the reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It was also impressive to see the number of youths in our chapels and the generosity of so many large families.
The good number of ordinations in Winona has also allowed the district to grow and reach a better stability. There were 64 priests in the U.S. District in August 2008 when I arrived; there should be nearly a hundred priests this summer. This has allowed the opening of 5 new priories (Denver, CO—Sanford, FL—Walton, KY—Chicago, IL and Nicholville, NY). I want to thank here Fr. Yves Le Roux, Rector of the Seminary, for his friendship and good collaboration. The excellent relationship between the seminary and the district is so encouraging and fruitful for all.
The main effort during this period has been to strengthen the unity among the priests by regular visits of the priories, chapels, and schools, but also by organizing priests’ meetings, especially for the priors: an annual meeting and visit to the District House. I am glad to see that today the district is very well united and that a great spirit reigns among the priests.
The second big objective over the past few years concerned our youth. In an attempt to improve the education of the youth, many efforts have been made, especially to unify curriculum of our schools. Also, many more summer camps have been organized, thanks to the young priests.
The third major endeavor concerned the administration of the district. The United States District had grown so much over the years that structural adaptation was necessary. We were able to set standard policies and implement accounting and building procedures. It may seem of little importance, but in reality they are important tools that bring great support to the priests and participate in the growth of the apostolate.
I must thank all the priests and the brothers of the District for their good spirit and their close collaboration in making all these improvements possible, especially Fr. Gerard Beck and Fr. Steven McDonald, the 2 District Assistants. I want also to express my gratitude to the lay people who have helped me at the District Office and in different Society locations; I have found in them great support and professional experience. I will leave behind many good friends for whom I will remain grateful and who will remain in my prayers.
We give thanks to God for these six years spent together, and we entrust our lives and the continued growth in sanctity of the district to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. That is the reason why I’m glad to renew the announcement of a Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima travelling to all our chapels throughout the District. It comes at a good time. Indeed, at the end of the Rosary Crusade, the statue will depart from the District Headquarters and travel across the country. Your pastors will communicate to you the details of the visit of Our Lady of Fatima to your chapel. May this pilgrimage be an occasion to increase our devotion to the Blessed Mother and to make or renew the consecration of ourselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. You are and will always be in my prayers; please keep me in yours.
With my blessing, united in the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for Her triumph!
Fr. Arnaud Rostand