The apostolate of the Society of Saint Pius X in Brazil

Source: FSSPX News


By Fr. Joel Danjou, prior of Santa Maria

In October 1999, Fr. Lambilliote was appointed to a post in the south of the country. He found himself in a town of 240,000 inhabitants, called by the beautiful name of Santa Maria, where the apostolate had been carried out for a good twelve years by the priests of Campos and by Fr. Jean de la Croix, a Benedictine, who died in 2001. Campos is North west of Rio de Janeiro, about 2000 kilometers from Santa Maria. It was understandable that these priests wanted the support of the Society in order to ease the burden of their apostolate.

Archbishop Lefebvre’s priests were awaited there, by a group of around 100 faithful. Right from the start, two great benefactors, Mr. and Mrs. Otero, gave a priory with a chapel to the Society. And so a second priest was immediately appointed, Fr. Carlos Herrera, a Chilean, still at work in Santa Maria today.

Our only priory in Brazil is in the heart of the southernmost region, called Rio Grande do Sul, 1,400 km from São Paulo (the country’s largest city), 2,800 km from Rio de Janeiro and 2,400 km from Brasilia, its new capital since 1960.

Every month since the end of 2002, a priest from the priory sets out to visit several groups, at São Paulo, and to the north of this immense city of 15 million inhabitants. Apart from São Paulo, the principal places visited are Campinas, Belo Horizonte and Passos. It is worth knowing that not one of these young communities has more than 35 faithful. The considerable distances which must be covered sometimes demand great sacrifices, and families call us in order to avoid having too heavy traveling expenses. It would be desirable to set up a priory in São Paulo. With the help of Providence, this could become a reality in 2005.

At Santa Maria, major work has been carried out in order to transform the original chapel into a beautiful church, dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, with stained glass windows representing the 15 mysteries of the Rosary. We have just finished painting the exterior of the church, and it is beginning to attract the faithful. We still need to complete the work on the high altar in order to be able to solemnly consecrate the building.

The priory has all the necessary space for a small school, but we do not think that we have a sufficient number of convinced parents, at this moment, to make any progress with this project, even though several pressing demands have been made to us along these lines…as several Brazilian families (at least three that I know of) send their eldest children to Traditional schools in France! Imagine the efforts of these parents! In brief, there is no shortage of projects, and frequent letters ask us for visits from priests to celebrate Holy Mass.

I am not able to say everything here, but it is clear that Tradition in Brazil also comprises the apostolate of Dom Lorenço (Lawrence) from Niteroi and the Holy Cross convent of Dom Tomas (Thomas Aquinas) in Nova Friburgo. There is also the work of small isolated, but promising communities, like that of Fr. Jair near Salvador, who currently has two brothers who are receiving formation at Avrillé in France, or the Institute of Our Lady of the Rosary, of Fr. Fernando Lopes Conceiçao who is director of a school of 90 pupils, 120 km from Brasilia, a small orphanage and a community of around a dozen sisters, already with about twelve postulants and a dozen more applicants.

Concelebration of Bishop Rifan, September 8, in Aparecida, Brazil