The 50th anniversary of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X also took place ... in the southern hemisphere. In Johannesburg, South Africa, at the Africa District House. A great tent was erected to gather the clergy and faithful.
It was important to do so in this vast country where the faithful have little opportunity to meet. To put on some solemnity to show how beautiful our liturgy is, and how much our fight for Tradtion is worthwhile. It is for this reason that we invited the faithful for two consecutive days.
Saturday, October 31:
The solemn High Mass of our "elder", Father Anthony Esposito, who gave a magnificent sermon of praise and gratitude to our founder: H. E. Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre on this occasion. The sermon was a great thank you for the one who transmitted so well the light of Catholic Tradition. The faithful were very attentive and grateful to hear these very fitting and invigorating words.
The continuation was even more festive, with aperitif and lunch, while the children were jostling each other in two bouncy castles... it is really effective for a party, it gives space and time for the parents! Some speeches followed and then the 1st Vespers of All Saints. As we were for once enough priests, they were solemn. And there too, it shows a new facet of the richness of our liturgy. Moreover, the celebrant, Father Fortin (prior of Harare), had not done so since he left the seminary. This remains the case for most of the confreres throughout the world.
The night was tempestuous, the strong lightning of the Johannesburg sky impressed more than one... especially the campers! In the morning, all the lines had to be re-tensioned, but nothing was damaged.
Sunday, November 1:
On the very day of the jubilee, we had to begin sooner because the priests had to return to their parishes in the afternoon to allow the other faithful to accomplish their Sunday duties. Nearly 350 faithful were present and joyfully attended the Solemn High Mass celebrated by the District Superior. He tried to emphasize the importance of the first faithful who called the Society to the rescue, but also and above all, that this call had to continue! For if the political situation of the country is worrisome, a Catholic must nevertheless consider that the country in which he lives is the one in which he must radiate the greatness and beauty of the Catholic faith. In this respect, the Eastern Christians are so impressive... more than a thousand years of Islam and they still hold on. It is obvious that it is no longer human, but totally by divine grace. So, keep courage, dear South African Catholics!
After a last lunch taken together, it remained to cut the magnificent and artistic Jubilee cake, which one of our faithful decorated with taste. A small violin and guitar concert accompanied us, enchanted us and allowed us to part from each other in palpable joy and desire to start such encounters again...". Never again for a long time," I thought! Divine Providence would soon change this, since two days later, the Superior General asked South Africa to organize the priestly ordinations of Australia... since no bishop can visit the kangaroos. But at the same time it is still possible to leave the big island to go to South Africa. So the next words and the next pictures will be after December 5, 2020! Providence likes to lead us... it's up to us to enjoy it!
Fr. Henry Wuilloud
District Superior of Africa