On the Occasion of the Sixth Anniversary of the Foundation
Dear members of the Confraternity of Saint Peter,
Cordial greetings in our venerable Patron, the Apostle Saint Peter!
On Friday 22nd February, Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, we will celebrate the sixth anniversary of the Confraternity’s foundation. On behalf of everyone, please allow me to express my heart-felt thanks for your spiritual commitment to and support of our priestly vocations and ministry.
You are doubtless aware of the fact that our young community will celebrate this year the twenty-fifth anniversary of its foundation. In the space of a quarter of a century, we have grown from the small group comprising a dozen founder members to roughly four-hundred, serving the souls of the faithful of one-hundred and sixteen dioceses spread across four continents. We work in the Lord’s vineyard as his humble and fallible servants, but made fecund by the strength of the Roman traditions of his Church and by the grace of hierarchical communion with the successors of his Apostles. However, do we not benefit from a third asset, less important than the first two, but essential for their concrete realisation? Indeed – your very selves. Each day, the 3800 souls of yours beg the Lord “to send labourers to his harvest,” as He commands us to do. Each day you recite, alone or with your family members, the beautiful Prayer of the Confraternity of Saint Peter, enhanced with quotations from our cherished Roman Missal. Wishing to be heard more speedily by the Lord, you request the intercession of His Blessed Mother, the Virgin Immaculate, by your daily recitation of a decade of the Holy Rosary. Finally, each year you arrange for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to be offered for the Confraternity’s intentions, thus providing for ten Masses to be celebrated each day for our priestly vocations and ministry.
All of us who have learned to “live by the faith” (Hebrews 10:38) know how your invisible prayers are a fundamental cause of the numerical and geographical expansion of our little Fraternity, and even more importantly of the supernatural good that the Lord deigns to bring about through its apostolic work. Without your commitment in daily prayer as members of the Confraternity of Saint Peter, we would not have the grace of admitting many candidates each year at our two international seminaries. Without your faithful prayers our priests would be less protected against the world enemy of Christ and of his Church, and less fervent in their sanctification for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Allow me to share this in confidence. Like I do, surely my priest confrères ask themselves regularly how to improve our ministry. The hindrances to our priestly zeal are numerous: negative influence of the media, anti-natural laws voted by parliaments, lack of understanding of certain Churchmen in positions of responsibility, occasionally deficient time-tables and sacred edifices… Over the years however, the priest discerns more clearly the fundamental obstacle to his sacred ministry, which is his own lukewarmness. He laments his lack of mortification, of prayerfulness, of studiosity, of poverty, of purity, of obedience and of joyfulness. He understands more fully that the Lord Jesus wants to save the world through him and that only too often he does not love enough Jesus, the Church and the souls, that he is wasting the grace of his priesthood and rationing it out to souls.
Then it is, dear brethren, that the part you play is so important! Your prayer can obtain from the Lord an increase not only in the quantity but also in the quality of your priests and future priests. Satan said to the Curé of Ars: “Were there three like you in the world, my kingdom would be destroyed.” We are far more than three, and yet Jesus is still little known and poorly loved. Pray therefore dear friends and offer up sacrifices so that our seminarians will be docile and generous, and our priests faithful and supernatural. Fewer holy priests is better than many mediocre ones. Even better however is many, many, many eminently holy priests. And who will affirm that such is not God’s will! Dear friends, we also pray for you, for more holy married and single Catholics, for more holy young people, and for more holy clerics and consecrated persons within the Confraternity. You also pray for each other, even if you have not yet met all of the 3800 members of the Confraternity, you are present to them daily when they recite the Prayer, and at least each Sunday at Mass, and every month or more during Holy Hour. Let us thank God for this mutual support and let us offer up to Heaven more regular and more fervent prayers.
To that end, I shall inform you before Easter of an encouraging decision made by the Superiors of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter. In the meantime, your Chaplains offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for your intentions each month, and every 5th November the 236 priests of our Fraternity include your deceased members in the Memento of a Holy Mass of Requiem. Finally, I should like to remind you of the three plenary indulgences the Holy See granted you on the day of your incorporation and every year on 22nd February and 29th June.
With my best wishes in Saint Peter and Our Lady,
Fr Armand de Malleray, FSSP
General Chaplain of the Confraternity of Saint Peter
January 22, 2013