October 2022 - News from the Summer
October 7, 2022
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
As we reflect this month on the mysteries of the Rosary and honor Our Lady of Victory, let us beg for the triumph of Her Immaculate Heart in all souls. For all of her joys, sorrows, and glories are channels of grace for the Church and for the world. May we ardently appeal to Her to pour forth these graces now as we unite our own joys and sorrows to Her Most Pure Heart. Especially, let us ask for the grace of many holy priests and Catholic families to console her and join the battle for souls.
Over the summer, a number of our priests, deacons, brothers, and seminarians made visits to many of our SSPX chapels and retreat centers. These pilgrimages and apostolates afforded them the chance both to witness the persevering Faith among you, our faithful and to bear witness to their seminary formation after a school year focused on their studies.
Rev. Mr. Budds and Rev. Mr. Pfeiffer were sent to assist with preaching retreats in Sanford, FL and Ridgefield, CT. Even as a priest, preaching the Ignatian exercises is one of the most rewarding of apostolates. Thus, for a Deacon helping to preach the Ignatian retreat is the best experience that he can have during his formation for the priesthood! The deacons were immersed in the retreat schedule for the week and would preach a conference or two every day. They also experienced close pastoral work with souls through consultations with the retreatants to help them to make their retreat well: by encouraging, dispelling doubts, fears and temptations, and aiding meditation on the various subjects. Finally, they helped the retreatants to make resolutions for their day-to-day life after the retreat. The Ignatian Exercises were given to St. Ignatius by Our Lady, and so, it is She and the Holy Ghost who really guide the soul through the retreat. The Priest is the instrument of God, but during the retreat it becomes evident that we are only instruments when you see how quickly grace works in souls over such a short period of time. Only God can make such a transformation. As a Deacon then, having such proximate participation with the grace of God over the week, being that instrument, is an invaluable experience.
The five professed brothers stationed at the Seminary accompanied the newly ordained Padre Aldo Cruz for his First Mass tour in his home country of Mexico. Directed by Rev. Fr. Vassal, they left the week after Ordinations and spent twelve days experiencing the very best of Mexican Catholic culture. The small group toured the churches and main features of Leon, Guanajuato, and Lagos de Moreno before moving south. There they joined a couple of our Seminarians, as well as, a few Seminarians from our Minor Seminary in Orizaba to tour Cholula and Puebla. Finally, they paid their respects to the Empress of the Americas (Our Lady of Guadalupe) in Mexico City.
The highlights of the trip included seeing three incorrupt saints, praying in the very spot where Padre Miguel Pro was martyred, and helping with the celebration of the First Masses of Padre Aldo Cruz in his home parish of Leon as well as in Mexico City. The brothers returned with a new appreciation of the history, depth and richness of the Catholic Faith in Mexico.
Even during the summer months, the Seminary is not left empty. The Spirituality and Humanity classes rotate among 3 in-house apostolates to do the necessary house-keeping chores as well as some deep-cleaning. During this time sacred vessels were polished, floors were scrubbed, gardens tended, produce put up, over 2000 chickens were processed and many more tasks that will help the new school year run more smoothly. The Seminary prayer schedule remains as per usual and time for outings is allowed. Many of the groups chose to spend a day in DC touring the museums and churches. The Marine Base Museum in Quantico was a favorite, displaying artifacts and history about the Marines from the Revolutionary War to the present. Such visits also present a favorable opportunity for the young seminarians to witness to the Catholic Faith and the SSPX.
On this feast day we rejoice to welcome another 28 men to the Seminary; they will begin Seminary life with their own retreat to gently guide them away from things of the world and prepare them to begin their studies and spiritual formation. Life in the Seminary is truly a blessed one. This life is only possible because of your unending generosity and prayers. For this we offer our daily thanks for you especially in our evening rosary. Be sure that you and your intentions are remembered as well with a monthly Mass for benefactors. May you continue to persevere strong in the Faith through the recitation of the daily rosary.
In Christo Sacerdote et Maria,
Fr. Yves le Roux