Newsletter of the District
- December 2004
Novitiate of the Oblates of
the Society of St Pius X:
Under the Patronage of
St Therese of the Child Jesus
By a Filipina Oblate
It is indeed to the protection of St Therese, patroness of the missions,
that our superiors confided our International Novitiate. She, who
desired so much to be an apostle, to be a missionary, and to evangelize
the faraway lands - here therefore, she watches over our vocations.
three new novices of July 25 included two Filipina (left and center)!
Our aspirants, coming from five different continents, approach us
for two aims: "to sanctify themselves through contact with
the Society, by making the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass the inexhaustible
source of their spiritual and religious life", and "to
devote themselves, according to their talents, to the works of the
Society, and thus of coming to the aid of the priests, either in
the Seminaries, or in the priories, or schools." (Statutes
of the Oblates)
"Magnificat anima mea Dominum ..." Three
times this past year 2004, the Hymn of the Blessed Virgin resounded
amidst the Community of the Oblate Sisters of Salvan, each after
a religious ceremony. Reverend Father Henri Wuilloud, the new District
Superior of Switzerland, officiated the ceremony of the "Taking
of the Habit" of our four postulants, coming from Australia,
Kenya, and Ghana, last Sept. 15th, Feast of Our Lady of Seven Sorrows.
In his homily, he reminded us of the essential role of the Motherhood
of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Co-Redemptrix at the foot of the Cross.
From her example, the new novices will offer their daily life, to
help in the redeeming of souls, and it is especially by their prayers
before the Blessed Sacrament, and through Holy Communion that they
will prepare their apostolate.
Clothed with the religious habit, the new novices knelt at the foot
of the Altar, and pronounced their Act of Offering. Then, having
received their name in religion, Father gave each of them a Rosary,
saying, "Receive, dearest daughter, this Blessed Rosary, which
you will carry perpetually, as a sign of your love towards the Blessed
Virgin Mary, and of her special protection over you." And then,
he gave each of them the Crucifix saying, "Receive this Cross,
a sign of the Passion of Jesus Christ, so that it may be the foundation
of your Faith, a defense against adversity, and the perpetual banner
of victory." (Ritual for the Taking of Habit)
"Magnificat anima mea Domimini..." This
Hymn of Thanksgiving, which is at the same time the canticle of
the Spiritual Infancy of St Therese, had been sung earlier in the
year on March 25th, for the 'Taking of Habit' of our German postulant.
By his presence, H.E. Mgr. Bernard Tissier de Mallerais enriched
this 'Feast of Our Lady's Annunciation', which is at the same time
the death anniversary of our venerable Founder, Archbishop Marcel
In his address to the future novice, Bishop de Mallerais took as
a subject, the fruit of the first Joyful Mystery - humility. He
expounded the greatness of this virtue present in the Word
made Flesh, in the Blessed Virgin Mary, and in the Archangel Gabriel.
Desiring to prepare herself worthily, with the help of God's grace,
for the religious and apostolic life, the new novice will always
remind herself of the prayer said at the blessing of her religious
habit: "0 Lord Jesus Christ, Who, being God, has deigned to
take the state of a servant, making Thyself like to man, and to
take a human nature for our salvation, we beseech Thee to bless
this habit and Thy handmaid here present vesting herself with it,
so that she may clothe herself with Thee, by imitating Thee, Who
art the example of all perfection. Who liveth and reigneth with
the Father and the Holy Ghost world without end. Amen." (Ritual
for the Taking of Habit)
This same "Magnificat" resounded again,
one Sunday in mid-summer, July 25th, in the Chapel of 'La Sainte
Famille', in Sion. In his sermon, Reverend Father Philippe Lovey,
from Menzingen, explained to the faithful the role of the Oblates
in the bosom of the Society of Saint Pius X, and the apostolic goal
of their vocation. 'Oblate' means 'being offered', 'being given
to God': so the Oblates will draw all the graces of their life through
the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. And through the example of Mary,
who summed up her life in one sole "Fiat", that the Oblates
will accomplish the simple daily tasks confided to them by their
superiors. Tasks which will be transfigured by love, and which will
be offered for an end so sublime, for the return of the souls to
God in the Church, for the sanctification of the priests, and for
the conversions of poor sinners.
Before an open Tabernacle, our three novices, originating from France
and the Philippines, engaged themselves by their 'Act of Oblation',
an entire gift of self to the service of God and of souls. "We
make to Thee the offering of our persons, of our lives, of all that
we have, of all that we are, for Thy greater glory, 0 my God, for
the salvation of our souls, the salvation of all souls, and very
especially for the sanctification of priests and future priests..."
In the name of the Superior General, Fr. Lovey received the three
chosen ones as Oblates of the Society of St Pius X. Since the ceremony
of 15th September 2004, we now number seven novices and six postulants;
the latter entered successively this year in Salvan. Six pre-postulants
are preparing themselves in the General House of Menzingen for the
next group of admission in the Novitiate. As there is no fixed date
of entry, aspirants engage as an Oblate of the Society of St Pius
X after a year of postulancy and a year of novitiate.
Assisted by the priests in giving classes, our Novice Mistress,
of German nationality, is also helped by a Swiss, two French, and
two Filipina Oblates. The religious formation is given simultaneously
in French and in English. Uniting nine nationalities of various
ages in our Novitiate House, the following question is often put
to us: "What language then, do you speak in the Novitiate?"
And here is the answer: "Aside from our respective language,
we also speak an International French... Cor Unum et Anima Una,
with one heart and soul, regardless of language and age, all together,
we make the prayer of our Heavenly Mother our own: "Magnificat...
- My soul doth magnify the Lord; and my spirit rejoices in God my
Savior... And His mercy extends from ages in all ages.."