“The Society is essentially apostolic, because the Sacrifice of the Mass is too, and because its members will have to perform an external ministry. They will live by this conviction that all the effectiveness of their apostolate flows from Our Lord’s Sacrifice which they offer daily.” (Statutes)
A single directive
The apostolic works of the Society are primarily parish ministry and preaching missions. Archbishop Lefebvre’s pastoral instruction to his priests is the one that he used to give in Dakar:
Give priority to supernatural means, because the Holy Ghost is the one who works in souls, since the priest is only His instrument.
This truth keeps the priest humble and, in the face of difficulties, encourages him to pray and persevere.
The Society shares the spirit that animates it with the members of its Third Order, who wish
to rediscover the capital importance of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and of its mystery, so as to find in it the meaning and the source of Christian life—a life of sacrifice and co-redemption.
It also comes to the aid of aged or infirm priests.
After the parish, true Catholic schools
The Society is especially invested in the work of schools,
which are truly free from all hindrances so as to offer young people totally Christian instruction and education.
Finally, its apostolate extends to all sorts of works such as the children’s Eucharistic Crusade, chaplaincy of religious houses, youth movements, assistance to families, missions to the poorest of the poor, etc.
How to form a Christian elite?
A fervent reader of The Soul of the Apostolate by Dom Chautard, Archbishop Lefebvre taught what must be the key to the apostolate: whether they be works of piety or charity, of teaching or spiritual direction, pastoral work or winning converts, whether the works are conducted among adults or young people, whether they are religious works or works designed to subject society to Christ, the secret is to form an elite of Christians who live in a state of grace and pray. From this good hearth, a fire will automatically spread that will enkindle others.
- 1. Rules for the Third Order of the Society of St. Pius X.