An Address of Archbishop Lefebvre in Australia in 1973
(From WORLD TRENDS No.33, April 1973)
My dear Brethren,
At the close of this week of prayer with you and especially in offering the Divine Sacrifice of Jesus Christ Our Lord on the Altar, I would like to give you a few words of encouragement as St.Paul to the faithful of Caesarea and Miletus when he said: “Vigitate et memoria retinentes …” (Watch, therefore and remember the counsels which I have given you…) – So spoke St.Paul.
Here is now my advice to you, my dear Brethren.
First of all, keep the Faith without any compromise and pray daily to preserve the Faith, reciting the Rosary in the family or in a group.
Secondly, deepen your Faith by reading the Gospel and above all the Catechism of the Council of Trent, the Catechism of St.Pius X, the Catechism of Cardinal Gasparri or the Baltimore Catechism.
Thirdly, attend a Tridentine Mass and receive Holy Communion whenever possible. If not, attend a Mass in which the priest says the Consecration in Latin, or a Mass in one of the oriental Catholic rites.
Finally, gather in groups around those priests who have remained good and faithful; and together, pray, organize the defence of the Faith and try especially to strengthen the faith of your children.
All this must be done with patience, with confidence in God and without bitterness. Our work is primarily to construct more than to fight. This was the way followed by all the true faithful during the persecutions. Let us remember the Catholics of Japan who suffered for many centuries. Let us remember the Catholics of South America and Catholics, including priests, behind the Iron Curtain.
Another very important work is training of true priests, priests strong in the interior life, the spiritual life, firm on doctrine, faithful in their teaching to the traditional magisterium of the Church and the traditional liturgy and sacraments. This is what I am endeavouring to achieve in Switzerland through the Society of St. Piux X in my seminary of Econe, where I now have sixty-five seminarians of eight different countries; and, please God, I will have next October, two or three from your own beloved Australia.
The foundation for Nuns is provided for in the statutes and, with the help of God, I hope to open this foundation next October and God alone knows, perhaps with one Australian postulant. What is the future of this Society? Well, I think that the experience accrued in the long history of the Church shows that the most important thing for each one of us is to accomplish God’s will within the lifespan allotted to us. As for the future, God alone knows. But the aim of the Society of St.Pius X is pastoral work, the work of a priest assisted by brothers and nuns, following the only true way of sanctification, namely Jesus Christ Our Lord crucified upon the Cross. The Cross of Calvary and the Sacrifice of the Mass provides the only answer to the problems of our souls whatever they may be. Without Calvary, and without the Sacrifice of the Mass as the continuation of Calvary, there is no opening for the sanctification of priests, no substance for the religious life, no support for Christian life in general. Without Calvary and the Mass there is no answer to human suffering, no justice possible, no peace possible. That is the reason why we must preserve the true Sacrifice of the Mass, for the Mass is the corner-stone of the Church; indeed the heart of the Church. Such is the spirituality of our Society, and I recommend to your prayers our Society, our Priests, our Society of Nuns, and especially that we may have many Australian vocations.
I will take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to the President of the “O Salutaris Hostia” Committee, to those who have assisted him and to the Bishops and Priests who have so kindly helped in making possible this week of prayer.
God bless you all by the intercession of His Holy Mother, Amen.