Accidental Death of Three Seminarians from Ecône

Source: FSSPX News


Document sans nom

Three French seminarians in their third year of study at the International Saint Pius X Seminary, in Ecône, Mr. Jean-Baptiste Desprès (from Gavrus in Calvados), Mr. Raymond Guérin (from Lyons), and Mr. Mickaël Sabak (from Paris), died on Wednesday, February 11, 2009. They were swept away by an avalanche during a hike in the mountains. The funeral Mass was offered by Bishop Bernard Fellay, on Saturday, February 14, in the church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, at the Seminary of Ecône. May their sorely tried families and the mourning community of Ecône be assured of the prayers of all.

Under the pen of Vincent Pellegrini, the Valaisan daily, Le Nouvelliste, in its February 16 edition, gave a sober and moving account of the ceremony:

Requiem in Ecône

“All three were seminarians at Ecône; they were between 20 and 22 years old. They lost their lives, last Wednesday, in the avalanche at Cleuson while they were snowshoeing.

On Saturday, Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X, celebrated their funeral and the requiem Mass for the repose of their souls. The large church was filled with faithful and with relatives of the victims, and the ceremony was transmitted by video in the vast crypt for those who could not find a place in the church.

“In the center of the aisle were two catafalques and a coffin. One of the unfortunate victims had not yet been found, and the body of the other had already been repatriated. Thus, on Saturday, only one French seminarian -- out of three -- killed in Cleuson was laid to rest in the vault of Ecône where Archbishop Lefebvre and other members of the SSPX are already buried.

“The ceremony, which lasted several hours, was very sober, with the sacred solemnity of the liturgical gestures and the plain beauty of Gregorian chant.

“Obviously very moved when the time came to deliver the sermon, the Valaisan Bishop Bernard Fellay especially comforted the families and the community of Ecône shaken by the tragedy. He explained that we could legitimately seek to avoid that such tragedy happen again, but that on this day, we had ‘to raise our gaze higher,’ toward Heaven.”