Newsletter of the District of Asia

 August - September 1998

Letter to the Faithful
from the District Superior of Asia

September 3, 1998

Feast of St Pius X

Dear Faithful,

“Militia vita hominis super terram – the life of man upon earth is a warfare”, said a venerable old soldier, saint Job (VII, 1).  It is so true that we, Catholics who struggle to save our souls and the souls of others, are members of what has been called since immemorial time the Militant Church.  It is so true that Our Blessed Lord Himself has instituted a special sacrament which explicitly “makes us soldiers of Christ and perfect Christians”.

Should we be surprised then that if we insist on clinging to the Apostolic faith, we do become, like a famous Child, “a sign which will be contradicted” (Lk.. II, 34)?  Blessed are we!  Yes, a sign that we are doing right is the rage of the devil and of his agents. “Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake!” (Mt.5, 10).  “If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.  The servant is not greater than his Lord” (Jo. XV, 20).  Many spiritual authors assign persecution for justice’ sake as the 5th mark of the True Church. “Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in Heaven!” (Mt.5,12)

A sign of contradiction?  The Traditional Mass is surely one.  It disturbs the false peace of the modernists, their illusory, utopic and false ecumenism, it annoys them.  Excellent!  St Ignatius in his famous Rules for the Discernment of spirits would describe that as the role of the good spirit (Rule #314).

In the last two months, our Society of St Pius X has become a main topic of discussion and of attacks in two dioceses of the Philippines: Tagbilaran and Cebu.  This shows that although our numbers need not scare anyone, the truth we preach, the Sacrifice we offer on our altars, can and do shake the very heart of hell.  The number of faithful disciples present at Calvary was minimal, a mere handful.  Nevertheless, they had with them, “the Way, the Truth, the Life”.  And hell lost.  “This is the victory which overcometh the world, our faith” (I Jo. V,4).

In medieval times, crusades were launched for the reconquest of the Holy Land, to stop the Moorish invasions, the spreading of the Empire of the Croissant.  These crusades were a temporary effort gathering the forces of Christendom for a few months, sometimes a few years, at a time.  They were not a permanent institution.  Soldiers, knights, volunteered some of their time and then went back home.  Something else became necessary in this ongoing fight against darkness.  This brought about the institution of the Orders of Chivalry.  Their rule was written by no less than a Saint Bernard.  These military Orders had the same marks as any Church institution: they were excellent (holy), perennial (good for all time), they received a specific mission from the Church and assured its members of special graces.

I mention this because a similar situation is found now in the Philippines.  Since our implantation in 1992, various efforts have been made to reach the goal of our Society: the revival of Catholic Tradition.  These efforts have been the opening of many Mass Centers, the visit to a number of other groups scattered throughout these islands, the recruitment of vocations, camps, retreats, pilgrimages, also events, like Agoo, not to forget the campaign of consecrations to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  We can only thank God for all these blessings.  Many of them, though, were like the crusades, they were a once-off activity with little or no follow-up.

It is why we have come to a stage where we need to tighten our organization, our ranks.  Not everyone is enlisted in this fight, and those who are could be better organized.  The last few months have witnessed a number of efforts – so far quite encouraging – in the right direction.  For the youth, aged 17 – 30, an apostolic league, the Apostles of Mary, has been founded.  Four clans are in operation at present: Cebu, Bohol, Marbel, General Santos.  Almost simultaneously, we have seen the Legion of Mary opening its praesidia in, Marbel and General Santos, Manila and Iloilo.  The Legion enrolls anyone over 18 who is generous and willing to exercise a lot of self-discipline for the good cause.  The fruits are well worth all these efforts.  For the younger boys, the Archconfraternity of St Stephen, under the vigilant eyes of our Cristeros, is being put into place in Manila.  May it draw many more youngsters nearer the altar, and, hopefully, nearer the seminary too!

Finally, for all our men, we are now starting in the District of Asia, the Order of the Knights of Our Lady, an Order founded in France in 1945, resurrected in 1989 and now already operating in France, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and America.  In the spirit of the 1129 A.D. Rule written by St Bernard, these knights will, after a few months of formation, use all their skills and talents to “restore all things in Christ”, especially by operating at the social level, for the Social Kingship of Christ.  This Order of the Knights of Our Lady has been very closely tied with Archbishop Lefebvre as far back as the late 1960’s.  Three of the five laymen who bought Econe in 1968 were knights of Our Lady.  To give a little taste of this Order, here are the first words of its opening Prologue:

“Christian, you who are about to read this Rule, detach your mind for a moment from earthly care and fix your attention upon the mystery of God.  It is in a divine perspective that you are invited to choose a new way of life, whose characteristic is total fidelity to Our Lord.  For this little book concerns not only your intelligence, but also your will, your body, and your actions.  If you accept the way of life which it proposes, you will have to become a new man, a knight ready to fight hard battles for the honor of God, and determined to build a Christian world in harmony with the divine plan.  If you fear the effort and seek only peace of mind, if you can stand by and accept the reign of mediocrity, hypocrisy and vice, this book is not for you: close it and remain in your false peace.  If not, then recollect yourself  and listen.”

The Knights of Our Lady are starting in Manila, Iloilo and Tagbilaran.  The Master of the Order, who has just spent a week in our ranks, will be back, Deo volente, after Christmas to give our postulant knights some formation sessions.

As August came to a close, so did also the changes in our priestly community.  Fr. Vicente Griego has now taken the driver’s seat at Our Lady of Victories Church. Father replaces Fr. M. McMahon, now at work in England.  Father Marc Vernoy, after a year of hard work, has landed back in France to take the responsibility of the Society’s priory in Lourdes.  His replacement, Fr. Fabrice Loschi, with his 3 years of experience as prefect of discipline in one of our French boys’ school, has been assigned rector of our pre-seminary.  Of course, we can’t forget to mention our dear newly ordained Filipino, Fr. Soliman, who, after some weeks of rest (?) following his ordination, is now discovering the joys of the priestly ministry.

And, as a last bit of news, St Joseph, in his continual protection and care, has located for our four Dominican Sisters a little convent, a mere “decade’ away from our church.  A few more days of carpentry, masonry and plumbing will make of this little house a very decent convent.  Of course, it is only rented, as the real estate in this part of Manila, is sky high.  Thus, in order to come to their help with the rental fees and sundry expenses (and merit a share in their fervent prayers!), from the first Sunday in September, on the first Sunday of every month, we will have a second collection for them in the form of envelopes to be picked up as you enter the church and to be given to the Sisters as you leave.  On the third Sunday, we will do the same for our pre-seminarians and their pre-seminary.  This is for Manila obviously.  Readers residing outside Manila may forward their contribution to us with the appropriate mention.

May Our Blessed Mother shower  you all with an abundance of graces at the occasion of her many feast days occurring during this month!  God bless you all.

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