Communities for Men
SOCIETY OF ST. PIUS X
Marcel Lefebvre was born at Tourcoing in the Diocese of Lille, France,
on November 29, 1905. Ordained to the priesthood on September 21,
1929, after a short stay in a French parish, urged by his missionary
brother, he entered the novitiate of the Holy Ghost Fathers in 1931.
Sent to Gabon in 1932, he was appointed Apostolic Vicar of Dakar
and consecrated Bishop September 18, 1947, then enthroned Archbishop
of Dakar on September 15, 1955. Having become Apostolic Delegate
for all French-speaking Africa from 1948 to 1959, he was afterwards
named Bishop of Tulle in 1962. During this same year, his colleagues
elected him as Superior General of the Congregation of the Holy
Ghost Fathers, the post from which he resigned following the aggiornamento
begun by the Conciliar Church.
Lefebvre at his 60th anniversary of priesthood
(Paris, Nov 19. 1989)
the Society of St. Pius X and undertook its government as Superior
General from 1971 to 1983, he continued to assist the Society by
his wise advices until his death on Monday of Holy Week, March 25,
1991, anniversary of the priestly ordination of the Sovereign Priest,
Our Lord Jesus Christ.
OF ST. PIUS X came into being after the II Vatican Council, at the
request of seminarians desiring to be true priests according to
the Tradition of the Church. Then, in view of the fact that it
would be impossible to remain authentic priest when subjected to
the ecclesiastical milieu of the dioceses, the idea of a priestly
society was seen to be the best solution in order to be accepted
by the bishops and protect their priesthood, while fulfilling a
ministry much the same as secular priests.
all who are to be ordained priests approached!"
Priestly ordination, June 27, 1986, Ecône
1, 1970, the Society was officially recognized by Bishop Charrière,
Bishop of Fribourg in Switzerland; its constitution was warmly approved
by Cardinal Wright, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy,
the following February.
before its acquisition by the SSPX
priestly formation accomplished at the Seminary of Ecône got to
be known and eventually displeased and annoyed the French Bishops
who feared the arrival in France of these young priests, trained
in a traditional fashion. Thence came the pressure on Rome that
ended in the illegal suppression of the Seminary (1975), and in
the no less legal sanctions against the founder of the Society (1976).
has expanded rather rapidly and now (August 2000) includes more
that 650 members, of whom 401 are priests, and 170 seminarians.
The priests are distributed among the 6 seminaries and about 125
houses and churches, in 30 countries spread on the five continents.
to the Shrine of St Nicholas of Flüe,
in Flüeli, Switzerland
With his residence
at the Mother House in Menzingen, Switzerland, the actual Superior
General since 1994 is Bishop Bernard Fellay. He is assisted in
his office by Fr Franz Schmidberger and Fr. Paul Aulagnier. The
Society of St. Pius X is a Society with common life without vows,
like the Sulpicians, the White Fathers, etc.
of priests, the Society of St. Pius X also has religious members
who are brothers, sisters, and oblates.
controversial ordinations of June 29, 1976
and priests, after a year of spirituality, publicly pronounce their
commitment on December 8, each year, and after ten years of temporary
membership may ask to make their final commitment.
of the Society of St. Pius X, after fulfilling a one-year postulate
and a one-year novitiate, help the priests with various functions,
be they apostolic works like catechism; or material tasks in order
to unburden the priests from obstacles to their apostolate. They
recite the Divine Office with the priests. They number about fifty
has associated itself with a society of sisters: the Sisters of
the Society of St. Pius X, founded also by Archbishop Lefebvre in
cooperation with his own sister Rev. Mother Marie Gabrielle. They
enjoy their own canonical autonomy, have their own Mother Superior,
but work in close union with the Priestly Society. After a six
month postulate and a two year novitiate, they assist the priest
with multiple tasks: primary schools, catechism, visit to the sick,
sacristy, upkeep of the houses, especially in regards to the washing
and if required, the cooking also. They also recite the Divine
Office with the priests and brothers, and have a full hour of adoration
each day. There are now 108 professed sisters, about 15 novices
and postulants: they are dispersed in 19 houses
of which the Mother House, 4 noviciates, 7 schools, 8 priories,
a seminary, a retreat house, a nursing home, and a mission.
also accepts Oblate Sisters, who often are religious sisters, who
have rejected the reforms destroying their former societies. They
comprise also persons of over thirty years of age who are desirous
of living in the spiritual setting of the Society under the authority
of the priests. The Oblates have a year of postulate and a year
of novitiate if they are not already religious sisters. These are
admitted to the Oblation after one year of living in the community.
And they too help the priests in the priories and seminaries. There
are now 57 Oblates in the various houses of the Society.
persons desiring to share in the spiritual life of the Society while
yet remaining in the world, a ‘Third Order’ has been established,
in the broader sense of the word, in order to aid its members in
living a Christian life for their personal sanctification, and the
spiritual edification of their entourage.
of the instruments during an ordination (1986)
of the Society
spirit of the Society can be summarized as follows: To continue
the sacred priesthood as it was instituted by Our Lord Jesus Christ
and the priestly apostolate, according to the 2000 year old Tradition
of the Church. But this Institution and this Tradition teach us
that the raison d’être of a priest is to perpetuate the sacrifice
of the redemption of Our Lord and to keep dispensing its fruit to
all generations. From the pierced Heart of Our Lord flow the Church
and all the Holy Sacraments through which Our Lord communicates
His own Divine Life to souls and washes them of their sins. Thus,
the sacrifice of the Mass is recognized as the inextinguishable
source of the Church’s life, the great mystery of Faith, the synthesis
of all revealed Truths, the fountain of all graces. Sacrifice and
Sacrament, the Holy Mass brings the real Presence of Our Lord Jesus
Christ among us, and communicates him as miraculous nourishment.
30, 1988: the two consecrating bishops,
Archbishop Lefebvre and Bishop de Castro Mayer
It is this
sublime role of the priest that the Society has endeavored to perpetuate,
being conscious also that this role is the source of the reign of
Our Lord in our souls, in families and in society. It is to this
“Restoration of all things in Christ”, with all its zeal, that the
Society engages itself totally through its seminaries, colleges
and universities, academies, high schools and grade schools, through
its chapel and communities where retreats are held, and especially
the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius; and through its priories,
real centers of apostolic missions. To foster its fervour the Society
is attached to the great devotions of the Church in its liturgy;
to the great mysteries of Our Lord, his Sacred Heart, to the Virgin
Mary, and especially to Our Lady of Compassion; to St. Joseph, our
prudent guide in spiritual and material works; to the Holy Angels,
against all diabolical influence; to St. Pius X, to keep us in the
Faith and sanctity, against the errors and vices of the modern world.
In Asia, candidates
should write to:
St Bernard Pre-Seminary
Santa Barbara, Iloilo
Asia, write to either one of the following:
St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary,
Route 1, Box 97 A-1
Winona, Minnesota 55987
 (507) 454 80 00
Holy Cross Seminary
P.O. Box 417
Goulburn NSW 2580
 48-295 1771