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Friday, September 10, 2021

With Gratitude to Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and the SSPX - Journey into Tradition and the SSPX #1

Traditional Latin Mass
St Thomas More Church, Sanford, FL

As the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) is being suppressed around the world it's a fact that, by the providence of God, the TLM will continue among a remnant no matter what further steps are taken to suppress it. For that gift we thank the great Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX).

The SSPX states: Until 1969, the various Catholic liturgies were all of apostolic origin. The Gregorian Latin liturgy, celebrated in this church (St Thomas More, Sanford, FL), follows the tradition of St Peter, the first Pope, and has never undergone any essential change til the present time. Every gesture, every word has been weighed and measured with the assistance of the Holy Ghost, for the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls."

Every week we'll post a person's journey - not as a conversion story into the Catholic Church,  but rather one's Catholic conversion into Tradition and their journey to the TLM and the SSPX. 

Below is the account of the first person to give us his search for Tradition. He and his wife live over an hour away from St Thomas More SSPX parish in Sanford, FL - a long way but a sacrifice they consider well worth making. They're looking to relocate to or nearer to Sanford so that they might enroll their son in the school at St Thomas More.

We were both born into the Faith, but I was the first to return to Tradition. We met at the same Novus Ordo super-parish in Palm Coast (average age 65, and with nary a child in sight, it is indeed your actual dying parish -- especially since its wealthiest benefactors have passed on). 

My advantage, if you can call it that, is that (like so many others), I had left the Faith for a number of years, after so many empty sermons and irreverent Masses. When I returned, I felt like my mother after returning from the store and admonishing us children, "this is NOT how I left this place!" I just couldn't quite put my finger on it at the time.

Thank Almighty God for the Internet, because that's how I found the missing pieces. I remembered something from my childhood (the True Mass*) and a little digging turned up the Society. It was like discovering an oasis in the desert. My wife was very reticent to attend, believing at the time (as so many sadly do) that because the SSPX is "not in communion with Rome" (heck, ROME isn't in communion with Rome, as I like to say), it should be avoided. So we went first to the indult Mass in Jacksonville, at that stunning cathedral, Immaculate Conception, with its gorgeous French Gothic architecture and reredo, statues ...

She had tons of questions, like "where's Jesus?" and was delighted to learn that He was right there front and center, unlike most NO parishes, where He's been banished to the side. But she wasn't immediately taken with the Mass, partly, I think, because it was always a Low Mass and she had difficulty following it. Then one day, she asked, "Can we check out St. Thomas More?" (I had gone several times before we married) Silently, I was pumping my fist, Yesss! and turned to her, "If you insist, darling." And that was that! She never looked back.

1 comment:

Neil Frazier said...

Bless you for this article!

A close friend and I have attended the Men's Silent Ignatian Retreat twice at said parish. We love and pray for all of the priests there and cannot recommend it enough. They pray for the pope and the local bishop at every mass and never dwell on the negative.

I swam the Tiber in 2007 into the NO church via RCIA. Being an a big fan of old books, I discovered very quickly that somethings were missing. Christmas vacation in Savannah, GA was my turning point. The Christmas Eve mass was so incredibly irreverent, but I spotted a flyer for the TLM to be held early in the morning. It was that Christmas morning that I found the "pearl of great price". Upon returning home I discovered that a TLM had just started in town and I've been blessed ever since. Even my elderly Baptist mother converted and soon died in the Faith.

May God bless and preserve the SSPX as it may soon be all that remains.