Having initially endorsed the “loose confederation of independent priests” model, Bishop Faure was besieged with requests from clergy to form some kind of formal congregation. Many priests simply weren’t comfortable with becoming independents, and the lack of any formal congregation and/or hierarchy served as a deterrent to SSPX priests wanting to continue the traditional apostolate according to the model provided by Archbishop Lefebvre.
Canonically erected in the summer of 2016, the Statutes of the SAJM were recently promulgated, thereby completing the infrastructure of the new congregation: Canonical erection, hierarchy, seminary, statutes. Everything is now in place for the preservation of Tradition, according to Archbishop Lefebvre’s proven model for the apostolate.
According to the official website of the SAJM, the young congregation currently counts among its members two bishops and four priests: Bishop Faure (Superior General), Bishop Zendejas (USA), Fr. Rene Trincado (France), Fr. Giacomo Ballini (Ireland), Fr. Maurice Duployez (France), Fr. Matthew Salenave (France).
It was also recently announced that Rev. Rodrigo Ribeiro will be ordained to the priesthood on December 23 by Bishop Williamson (bringing the congregation to five priests), and will base his operations out of Santa Cruz Monastry under the de facto/delegated authority of Bishop Thomas Aquinas. The young congregation will then be operating in four countries.
It should also be recalled that another Brazilian (Fr. Angelo Mello de Carvalho), has left the diocese and requested to receive priestly formation from the SAJM, though it is unclear whether he will actually request to be admitted as a member.
Meanwhile, in lieu of SSPX clerical apathy, the SAJM continues to grow organically, currently training thirteen seminarians, five of whom were just incardinated into the congregation on December 8. “Slow and steady wins the race,” as they say, and this tree is now starting to blossom.
Marian Corps of St. Pius X (MCSPX):
The summer of 2016 also witnessed the birth of the Marian Corps of St. Pius X (MCSPX) –actually predating the SAJM by a couple months- under the leadership of Superior General, Fr. Francois Chazal. With operations based out of the famous “Bamboo Seminary” in Cebu City (Philippines), the MCSPX operates primarily in the Austrasian theatre (i.e., Oceania, Southern and Southeast Asia), and, excepting the ever more liberal SSPX, represents virtually the only traditional Catholic apostolate in this huge region.
At present, the MCSPX counts four priest members (Fr. Chazal, Fr. Picot, Fr. Valen, and Fr. Suneel Pio) and two collaborating priests (Fr. Elijah, OFM and Fr. John, OCD), four brothers (Br. Michael, Br. June Mark, Br. Elias, and Br. Arsene), three seminarians, and one pre-seminarian.
Not bad for 18 months!
Collectively, the MCSPX is serving approximately 1,400 faithful through 40 chapels in eight countries, spread out across huge distances and multiple languages/cultures.
May Our Lord grant them perseverance, and the help of the faithful to keep this little lifeboat afloat!
Santa Cruz Monastery (Brazil):
In Brazil, Bishop Thomas Aquinas’ Benedictine monastery marks its 30th anniversary, but underneath this monastic silence is growth. Generally unknown because of its location within the confines of a cloistered community, Santa Cruz has developed over the last year or so its own internal seminary for the formation of priests, and it has not been a barren project:
In December of 2016, Br. John of the Cross received clerical tonsure, and in August/2017, received the minor orders of Lector and Acolyte, while Rev. Rodrigo Ribeiro (SAJM) also completed his studies at Santa Cruz (i.e., He had formerly considered monastic life), recently having been ordained to the Diaconate and, as mentioned above regarding the SAJM, is to be ordained to the priesthood in just a few days.
In March, Br. John Baptiste received the clerical tonsure, and in August received the minor orders of Porter and Lector, and in September, the minor orders of Exorcist and Acolyte.
So at present, there are at least two monks in Santa Cruz progressing through Orders.
The United States:
With the episcopal consecration of Bishop Gerardo Zendejas last summer, the United States got a boost. With 2,000 American faithful, 2 brick and mortar schools, and several chapels, the bishop did not rest content with the status quo. He had already purchased a large property in the Northeast which telegraphed his intent and desire for continued growth. Situated on 10 acres, the multi-purpose facility will suffice to serve as a retreat center, priory, district office of the SAJM, seminary, and even publishing house.
Though defections from the SSPX have been non-existent in America over the last couple years, everything is now in place for the American SAJM to offer priests still desirous of averting disaster in a conciliarized SSPX the same sense of normalcy and community they enjoyed in the Society: Hierarchy, structure, organization, statutes, etc.
Meanwhile, organic growth has been slow, but it is not altogether absent. At present, I believe we have at least two American seminarians studying at the SAJM seminary in France, both of whom are known to me, and seem to be excellent young men. Please pray for their perseverance, and that more will follow in their footsteps!
In addition to the ministries of Fr. Bufe, Fr. Ballini, and Fr. MacDonald, Ireland saw in 2016 the birth of the rarest of the rare foundations in the Catholic Church: A new order of hermits.
The Victim Adorers of the Holy Face of Jesus, founded by Rev. Mother Irene (a professed nun of nearly 30 years), and modeled upon the ancient Carmelite Rule, did not seem to have much hope of success on the Emerald Isle: Poverty, extreme austerity, primitive living conditions, cold wet climate, isolation, no benefactors, active opposition, visa issues, etc.
But God seems to be making an example of this young community, sustaining it against all odds, and keeping it afloat.
In March, the hermits received their first vocation (a miracle in itself, as the hermitage, given the description above, stands in stark opposition to everything the modern world esteems: Comfort, convenience, wealth, and living the “good life”), who in September received the habit, and was admitted to the Novitiate.
An even greater miracle is that this young Novice has persevered. God grant she will continue, for the good of the Church, to do so!
In November, Bishop Faure visited the hermitage, meeting with them both collectively and individually, and received a favorable impression of them, agreeing to help assign a religious confessor to the young community, and the hope of future collaboration.
Meanwhile, several inquiries from young ladies all over the world continue to come in, which again, is amazing.
If you want to join the toughest of the tough, and give everything to Our Lord, this is the place for you!
Where ISN’T the Resistance growing in France?
The Capuchins of Morgon continue their steady drift into open Resistance, having written and submitted to Bishop Fellay in 2016 a 200 page book explaining their reasons why they cannot support a deal with unconverted Rome, and in 2017 began publishing this book and openly distributing it to their faithful.
Meanwhile, the Benedictines of Bellaigue, as well as the Transfiguration Monastery, are like-minded in opposing following Bishop Fellay into hostile Rome.
And of course, the Avrille Dominicans remain the backbone of the Resistance in France, staffing the seminary, running schools, and preaching missions.
But it is not only the men:
Many forget the 2012 conflict within the SSPX Sisters, with some refusing to support the reorientation of the SSPX, and leaving to form the Sisters of Our Lady CoRedemptrix (Newsletter).
If the hermitage is not your calling, but you are attracted to a more active apostolate, young ladies have an option to explore a vocation with these Sisters.
One Resistance priest recently told me, “The slow death of the SSPX is causing the slow birth of the Resistance.” Surely this is the case. Yet, as can be seen above, a slow birth is in progress nonetheless. If 2016 was the year the Resistance started to get organized, 2017 was the year the “first fruits” began to be harvested.
With the accelerated deterioration of the SSPX, and its imminent entry into modernist Rome, we can in turn expect an accelerated growth for the Resistance, if not from SSPX clergy (who may now have been slow-boiled in the waters of compromise for too long, and are enjoying the warm water), then from the organic growth of our own people.
Slow and steady wins the race.
Oh Lord, grant us priests.
Oh Lord, grant us holy priests,
Oh Lord, grant us many holy priests,
Oh Lord, grant us many holy religious vocations.