As Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre wished, his original mission for the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) continues in earnest, with “all the works necessary for the formation of priests.”
With the Summer Ordinations in the Northern Hemisphere complete, the SSPX numbers 707 members of its priestly fraternity. During the past 30 days, six were ordained in the United States, eight were ordained in Switzerland, and three in Germany.
During these same ceremonies, 10 seminarians were ordained to the diaconate, joining two other deacons who had been ordained earlier in the year in La Reja, Argentina. In accordance with Divine Providence, this indicates a dozen more ordinations to the priesthood in the next year.
An International Society of Priests
The full quote of Archbishop Lefebvre’s, partially given above, is
[The Society’s activities] include all the works necessary for the formation of priests and whatever pertains thereto, whether the candidates be destined to be members of the Society or not.
This same sentiment, of working for the whole Church with any soul of good will, was echoed just last summer by the Superior General of the SSPX, Don Davide Pagliarani:
The Society of Saint Pius X has the duty to assist all those souls who are currently in dismay and are confused. Firstly, we have the duty to offer them the certitude that the Tridentine Mass can never disappear from the face of the earth. This is an absolutely necessary sign of hope. Moreover, each of us, whether priest or faithful, must extend a warm helping hand to them, for he who has no desire to share the riches he enjoys is, in all truth, unworthy of possessing them. Only in this way will we truly love souls and show our love for the Church.
It is with this desire to work for the good of the Universal Church that we gratefully acknowledge the hand Our Lord has had in this tremendous growth over the last 50 years. Including seminarians, professed Sisters and Brothers of the SSPX, and some 20 other religious congregations affiliated with the Society, the number of ordained, professed, and religious working for the full restoration of the Catholic Priesthood and the Traditional Mass well exceeds 700.
A Cause for Celebration?
But we must not be satisfied with this milestone, nor become haughty and think that this is a human work. However quickly the traditional movement – including the SSPX and others – may be growing, there is still much work to be done. The numbers of other traditionally minded communities worldwide are also important to note: Fraternity of St. Peter (341), Institute of Christ the King (80), and the Institute of the Good Shepherd (about 50).
To close again with a quote from the Superior General:
It is to Our Lady of Sorrows that we entrust these intentions. It is to her that we address our prayers, since no one has penetrated deeper than Our Blessed Lady, the mystery of the Sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ and of His victory on the Cross. There is no one greater than Mary who has been so intimately associated with His sufferings and His triumph. It is in her hands that Our Blessed Lord has placed the whole Catholic Church. It is therefore to her that the most precious thing in the Catholic Church has been entrusted: the Testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ – the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.