The Third Order of Penance
If you are not familiar with the Dominican Third Order of Penance, the article below will explain the nature of it. If you are ready to request entrance now, please follow the request form below. Thank you!
If you are not familiar with the Dominican Third Order of Penance, the article below will explain the nature of it. If you are ready to request entrance now, please follow the request form below. Thank you!
[ Editor’s note: For those who may not be familiar, “Ecclesia Dei” is a Conciliar Church structure created in 1988 by Pope John Paul II, in response to Archbishop Lefebvre’s episcopal consecrations. It is an umbrella structure which includes pseudo “traditionalist” groups such as the Fraternity of Saint Peter, the Institute of Christ the King, and many others. The Ecclesia Dei structure was clearly designed by Modernist Rome to keep a firm grip on these organizations who desire the Tridentine Mass but yet who refuse to speak and act openly against the Conciliar Church’s errors. Modernist Rome, through Ecclesia Dei, keeps a tight grip on these groups by giving them certain perks: allowing them to celebrate the 1962 Tridentine Mass, to enjoy friendly relations with Rome, etc. ; but at the same time Rome destroys them slowly, by requiring them to conform to and not speak out against the Conciliar Church’s errors: the documents of Vatican II, the New Mass, the New Catechism, the constant scandals of the popes, etc.
Because of the perks granted to these groups by Conciliar Rome, many lesser-informed and otherwise good Catholics, desiring to avoid the evil New Mass and only attend the Tridentine Mass, have made the mistake of attending these Tridentine Masses offered by Ecclesia Dei member groups such as the Fraternity of Saint Peter, etc. — putting themselves in great danger of being pulled more and more into the Conciliar Church. ]
Father has a discussion outside the chapel with Philip, a 17 year-old member of the congregation. During the conversation, Philip talks about the last weekend he spent with his friends in Paris. Philip says that the group of friends he was with chose to go to an Ecclesia Dei Mass there 1…
Philip : Why are you making that face, Father ? After all, it is the right Mass !
— Father : Undoubtedly the Mass is good ; but that’s not the main thing.
Philip : Not the main thing ? What more do you need, Father ?
— Father : Well, let me make a comparison. Whiskey is a good thing, isn’t it? (Philip aquiesces, smiling with an air of understanding). Right. But every time you drink whiskey, you are not necessarily carrying out a good action. (Philip understands). So, it’s the same for Holy Mass. That the Mass is good in itself is one thing ; but it is also necessary that assisting at this Mass be a good thing ; it is necessary that assisting at this Mass be a good action.
Philip : Okay, but whiskey and Mass are not quite the same thing, after all ! You seem to be saying that you can do wrong by assisting at a Traditional Mass !
— Father : Exactly, that’s just what I meant! Just as you can make bad use of whiskey, so it is not necessarily good to assist at a True Mass. It can even be bad.
Philip : Well, that beats all I ever heard !
— Father : Philip, I can understand your astonishment. Normally a Catholic should not have to think twice about assisting at a Catholic Mass ; but at the moment in the Church there are a lot of abnormal things. For example, we say Mass in halls transformed as best we can into makeshift chapels. The local clergy is hostile to us. We are called “lepers”, “excommunicated”, “schismatic”… Many people don’t come here because they think that it is wrong to do so. And yet it is the right Mass! Where they are mistaken is in thinking that it is wrong to come here.
Philip : Yes, exactly, they are mistaken, since it is the right Mass !
— Father : No, Philip, be careful. Their problem is not the Mass ; their problem is that they have been told that it is wrong to go to it. It’s completely different. Well, the problem with Ecclesia Dei groups is of the same kind : their Mass is good; okay, but is it good to go to it ? That’s another kettle of fish ! Do you see the distinction ?
Philip : Okay, I see the distinction. But I really don’t see why it’s wrong to go to the Fraternity of Saint Peter or the Institute of Christ the King !
— Father : You see – once you start asking yourself if it is right or wrong to assist at such and such a Mass, you are immediately talking about the priest who says this Mass. Isn’t that interesting ?
Philip : I don’t really see what you’re talking about…
— Father : Okay. Someone says, like you have just done : “I am going to the right Mass with the Fraternity of Saint Peter, with the Institute of Christ the King, with the Society of Saint Pius X, and it is the same Mass in each case”. Yet, assisting at Mass in one or the other is not the same thing. It all depends on the priest who says the Mass.
— Father: Because Mass and whiskey are not the same thing! Earlier on, you could have said to me: “But, I’m careful when I drink whiskey; there’s never any problem, since I drink it with moderation!” But Mass is not something which is consumed alone in a corner in a purely private fashion.
Philip: What is it then? Personally, I go to Mass to recollect myself, to pray and to go to Holy Communion. Big deal if the priest belongs to the Fraternity of Saint Peter or the Society of Saint Pius X. After all, that’s something you have to sort out among yourselves!
— Father: Holy Mass is the Church’s highest act of public worship. In other words, it is an act which is first and foremost a social act, in which we honor our God, and we receive its benefits under the authority of the Church, the society which God has instituted in order that He can be honored as He desires.
Philip: That’s a bit harsh, Father…
— Father: Let me start again. In private, you can pray to God quite freely, when you like, how you like; in a certain way it’s your prayer. But the Good Lord has wanted to be also and especially honored by bringing men together around the Cross, by the Mass; and that is the public and official prayer of the Church. She thus renders to God, in the name of all men, all the honor and glory which are due to Him. The Mass is therefore not a private devotion of either those who assist at it or of the priest who says it. It is a common act of worship which supposes that the one who carries out the worship (the priest) has received from the Church the authority to do so. He must depend on a bishop, who in turn depends on the Pope. That is why I was speaking about the authority of the Church.
Philip: But, Father, you are independent of this authority.
— Father: Philip, we have now arrived at the heart of the problem. You are saying the same thing as the Conciliars and their followers when they say that it is not permissible to assist at our Masses. Once more, they don’t say this because the Mass we say is bad; they say it because we are resisting the hierarchy, resisting Rome. And we in turn say: you must not assist at Ecclesia Dei Masses because they submit to the Conciliar hierarchy.
Philip: If I understand correctly, then, the nub of the problem is submission to the current hierarchy?
— Father: Exactly! Normally in the Church, a priest is subject to his bishop, who is subject to the Pope; thus he receives a mission to celebrate the Mass and the other sacraments for a portion of the Church’s faithful. However, for about forty-five years now, the fact is that, in order to keep the Faith, the faithful have asked those priests who also wanted to keep it, to take care of them, to the point of resisting the bishops and the Pope. Their aim was not to resist for the sake of resisting, but to defend their Faith faced with the decisions of Rome which were contributing to the loss of Faith among the faithful.
Philip: Which decisions?
— Father: Well, for example, the promulgation of the New Mass of Paul VI in 1969. But before that there was the Council, with several bad texts, notably on ecumenism and religious liberty. Later, there were the changes in the other sacraments, then the new Canon Law in 1983. There were all the scandals of ecumenism, such as Assisi in 1986. And then there was the fierce struggle against Archbishop Lefebvre who, as he often said himself, was only doing what he had done throughout his life with the approbation of Rome. In 1988, the Archbishop consecrated bishops because he had understood that Rome wanted to destroy Tradition. The Faith of the faithful continued to be threatened. Here is the main thing which must be understood: the hierarchy, the bishops and the Pope, are there to lead the priests and the faithful in the Faith. If they do not do this, the faithful and the priests must resist and seek to keep the Faith, which is, at the end of the day, a higher form of submission.
Philip: Alright… But, how do the Ecclesia Dei Masses fit in with all that? Will I lose my Faith there?
— Father: You have to look at the problem from the other end…
Philip: (Interrupting) From the other end?
— Father: Yes, the other end. The question of knowing if I will lose the Faith is indeed capital. But, we must also ask ourselves: what is the correct attitude of a man of Faith in relation to Ecclesia Dei Masses? In the question you asked me, isn’t there something of the following attitude implied: if I’m careful, since it’s the right Mass, there will be no problem, just like me drinking the whiskey. Am I wrong in saying this?
Philip: No, Father, I agree!
— Father: Therefore, we must look at the other end, the one which I explained earlier. The Mass is above all a public and hierarchical act. The Mass of an Ecclesia Dei priest is the Mass of a priest who, at least officially, obeys the local bishop and the Pope; a priest who will therefore from time to time receive his bishop for ceremonies; a priest who does not preach that the New Mass is bad, dangerous for the Faith; a priest who will therefore gather around himself faithful who are weaker in their Faith, less well informed on the serious dangers which threaten Catholic life in the Conciliar Church; a priest who, if he is logical with himself, thinks that the situation in the Church today is basically normal, in any case normal enough to render a public resistance illegitimate; a priest who, by obeying liberal and modernist authorities, will inevitably deviate; finally, a priest who betrays everything Archbishop Lefebvre did, who betrays souls and tricks them by making them believe, by his public submission to the hierarchy, that the Pope truly leads his sheep and lambs in the paths of the True Faith…
Philip: You’re going a bit far there, Father!
— Father: The Archbishop spoke like that in his time! An Ecclesia Dei priest, right now, does not have a just position in the Church. He is not in order with the Good Lord. He is not in the truth. He is between two stools, torn between his desire to do good and his submission to to the Conciliar authorities. His sermons necessarily feel the effects of this, as well as the bookstall and the periodicals which are on sale there. There will also be diocesan documentation at the back of the church. There is also the serious risk of allowing himself to become lukewarm over time by being in contact with faithful who are less well informed in the Faith, as well as the risk of letting himself be attracted either by a more lenient doctrine, or, as the case may be, by the sympathy of the people or other priests.
Philip: So, you can never go to an Ecclesia Dei Mass?
— Father: You can never offend God! These Masses are not for us! If, for exceptional reasons you have to be present at an Ecclesia Dei ceremony, then you should keep a discreet attitude, avoiding giving the impression that you adhere to their submission to the bishops and the Pope – for example, by abstaining from receiving Holy Communion. Because you also have to think about the example you give to others around you.
Philip: What about if it’s the only Mass you can get to on a Sunday?
— Father: If you have understood our conversation, then you will be able to conclude yourself that in this case, even on a Sunday, you are not obliged to go to such Masses. You cannot be obliged to assist at a Mass of a priest who does not publicly profess that the Conciliar church puts the Faith of the faithful in danger. It’s not possible to be obliged in these conditions. The Good Lord will give you graces in another way, if only by rewarding your courageous fidelity and your attachment to the truth.
Philip: To the truth?
— Father: Yes, to the truth. Let’s summarize a little. At the beginning, I was saying: the Ecclesia Dei Mass is good, but that is not the question. The question is: is it really good to assist at it? By this Mass do I really, in all truth, attach myself to the Church and to Our Lord? The answer is no, because the Ecclesia Dei priest is not in a true position, he does not resist the bad shepherds, whereas he should. He fools himself, and fools the people. With him, under his influence, under his priestly authority, how could you expect to find a real love of the truth, of Our Lord, of the Church, and even of the Pope? The priest is in error in an essential matter!
Philip: Undoubtedly, it all goes much farther than I thought!
— Father: Yes, it must be said that it’s not obvious. Today we have to form ourselves more than ever, in order to know what we are doing. Danger is everywhere. But it is also an extraordinary time, as Archbishop Lefebvre used to say, because it pushes us to love the Church and Our Lord Jesus Christ more truly, and to remain strong in the Faith! And it is also the best service of charity that we can render to those who still find it hard to grasp all the difficulties of the current situation. Let us be witnesses of the truth and of the Will of God!
[This text written by Fr Jacques Mérel (SSPX) was published in the Newsletter of Priory Saint-Jean-Eudes (France) in July/August 2008. It was the official position of the Society since the time of Archbishop Lefebvre. Would all the priories publish it again in the year 2015 to warn their faithful against the Ecclesia Dei Masses?]
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– The Dominican Fathers of Avrille
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The whole Church understands by the term that the Blessed Virgin Mary, soon after her death and glorious resurrection, was taken up body and soul to Heaven to be forever enthroned above the angels and saints.
The term Assumption is used rather than Ascension since, unlike Jesus who ascended to Heaven by his own power, Mary was lifted up by God to the degree of glory for which she had been predestined. […]
Without a divine revelation, the Assumption would not be capable of being defined a dogma of faith, since the motive of faith is the authority of God in revelation. […]
Hence, that the Assumption should have been known as certain and capable of being proposed to the whole Church for acceptance, a public revelation must have been made to the Apostles, or at least to one of them – Saint John, for example. Note that this revelation must have been made to an apostle since the deposit of common and public revelation was completed with the death of the last apostle [Saint John]. It may have been made explicitly or implicitly. […]
Everything tends to indicate that the privilege of the Assumption was explicitly revealed to the Apostles, or at least to one of them ; and this was transmitted subsequently by the oral Tradition of the liturgy ; otherwise there is no explanation of the universal Feast of the Assumption, found so clearly from the 7th century on, by which time the Assumption itself was already the object of the ordinary magisterium of the Church. […]
— From the words of Gabriel the Archangel at the Annunciation and from St Elisabeth at the Visitation :
* « Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee ; blessed art thou amongst women » (Lc 1, 28) ;
* « Blessed art thou amongst women » (Lc 1, 42).
we can conclude that the Assumption was implicitly revealed in the Holy Scripture :
Mary received fullness of grace and was blessed by God among women in an exceptional way. But this exceptional blessing negatives the divine malediction to bring forth children in pain and to return to dust (Gen 3, 16-19). Mary was therefore preserved through it from corruption in her body: her body would not return to dust but would be restored to life in an anticipated resurrection. […]
— « Thanks be to God, who hath given us the victory through Our Lord Jesus-Christ » (1 Co 15, 57) ; « Through death, [Jesus-Christ] might destroy him who had the empire of death, that is to say, the devil » 5 Hebr 2, 14).
Christ ‘s perfect victory over Satan included victory over sin and death. But Mary, the Mother of God, was most intimately associated with Jesus on Calvary in His victory over Satan. Hence she was associated with Him in His victory over death by her anticipated resurrection and her Assumption.
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin along with the Ascension of Our Blessed Lord, crowns our faith in the objective completion of the work of the Redemption, and gives our hope a new guarantee.
Finally, the just man lives by his faith. Hence he finds in the solemn definition of a revealed truth a form of spiritual nourishment which increases his faith, strengthens his hope, and makes his charity more fervent.
(Fr Garrigou-Lagrange O.P., The Mother of the Saviour and Our Interior Life ; St-Louis, Missouri ; B. Herder Book Company ; 1948 ; Part one, Chapter IV, Article II, « The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin », extracts.)
If you are not familiar with our confraternity, the article below will explain the nature of it. If you are ready to enroll now, please follow the enrollment link below. Thank you!
These past few years, the SSPX superiors have unsuccessfully tried to make our Order align itself to their new Roman policy outlined in the Doctrinal Declaration of 15th April 2012, and in the Declaration of the General Chapter of 14th July 2012. The latter is contemplating a canonical “normalisation” under six conditions, without waiting for a doctrinal agreement or the conversion of Rome, which Archbishop Lefebvre regarded as a prerequisite: “It is therefore a strict duty for all priests wishing to remain Catholic to separate themselves from this Conciliar Church, so long as she has not returned to the tradition of the Church Magisterium and of the Catholic Faith” (Spiritual Journey).
Our Rule declares that the Knight “serves the Faith up to its ultimate consequences and its most rigorous applications”, and that he “defends the Holy Church unto blood”, while our Constitutions add: “awaiting, in holy hope, that blessed day when [the Order] will again be able to submit entirely to […] a Rome that has finally been set free from the pernicious influence of the Modernist heresies”, like, in his 1974 Declaration, Archbishop Lefebvre insisted: “This we shall do until such time that the true light of Tradition dissipates the darkness obscuring the sky of Eternal Rome”.
Moreover, none of the conditions set by the 2012 Chapter specifically excludes the Oath & Profession of Faith of Cardinal Ratzinger, which the Superior General has himself already implicitly accepted in a footnote of his Doctrinal Declaration, and which, for the past fifteen years, the Vatican has requested as a non-negotiable condition for any canonical recognition. Now, the Knights of Our Lady, who have pledged the Tridentine Profession of Faith and the Anti-Modernist Oath before the Holy Altars, together with Archbishop Lefebvre1, regard it as morally impossible for them to accept this post-conciliar oath, and consequently to bind themselves to clerics who would consider pledging it.
Our fidelity to principles has irked some, and various blackmailing attempts and sanctions have been carried out to make us give in. On October 13th, then on November 29th, 2012, we were requested to change our Constitutions, which fully endorse Archbishop Lefebvre’s 1974 Declaration, since, we were told, there would no longer be a need to wait for the conversion of Rome.
Then, on July 15th, 2013, the Superior General’s representatives informed us at the French District House, that instead of having a Bishop Protector –a position which Bishop de Galarreta had accepted since 1996–, we should have an Ecclesiastical Superior, who could overrule the decisions made by the hierarchy of the Order. This was quite the opposite of what Archbishop Lefebvre had insisted upon, i.e. that the bishops he had consecrated had no direct jurisdiction, and that it was up to the laity to call on faithful priests in case of necessity.2. We politely declined their proposal.
On September 2nd, 2013, the Prior of Manila proposed to our Visitor for the Philippines to disregard the Magistry of the Order, and report directly to the District of Asia: the latter bravely replied that he would not be the one to introduce division in the Order. After we refused to take him as our local “ecclesiastical superior”, and hearing accusations from Menzingen, the Asian District Superior, asked us to no longer meet in their priories and chapels.3
Finally, on September 18th, 2014, French District Superior Fr. Christian Bouchacourt wrote to the Master: “Given the public positions which you have taken, as Master of the Order of the Knights of Our Lady, supporting those dissident priests of the Society, who have followed Bishop Williamson, the General House, with good reason, is asking me to inform you that no Knight will be allowed to participate in this pilgrimage in uniform”. He was referring to the Lourdes pilgrimage to which our Knights had officially been invited to serve for the past sixteen years. As for the so-called “public positions” taken “as Master of the Order of the Knights of Our Lady”, neither the French District Superior, nor the Superior General in his subsequent correspondence, were able to substantiate them.
During another meeting at the French District House on January 13th, 2015, we proposed that a priest be in charge of contacts with our Order within the French District, but this was not heard, and the French District Superior informed us: “I will send you a Declaration –that will be my text– and you will sign”. By this Declaration, we would have pledged to never criticise Menzingen’s new orientations in our meetings or correspondence, and to never attend, even in private, Masses said by priests he would not have approved. These two commitments were in fact as good as amending our Constitutions, which, with the approval of the SSPX Canonical Commission dated 22nd September 1995, make it a duty for us to wait for the conversion of Rome, and give us the liberty to call on all the “faithful members of the Clergy”.
Since we refused to yield to this abuse of power, Fr. Bouchacourt notified us, by a letter dated May 26th, 2015, that he was suspending “the support of the District of France to the Knights of the Order of Our Lady”, and announced that he had “requested that some lay people would organise themselves to found a new structure”, which would allow those Knights who would disagree with their superiors “to follow the same ideal”. On June 4th, he confirmed this double decision in a fax to the French priories and some religious communities.
Following St Pius X, the Knights of Our Lady know that the worst enemies of the Church are hidden in Her very bosom.4. They will consequently remain faithful to their Constitutions, and Archbishop Lefebvre’s 1974 Declaration, as well as to the Tridentine Profession of Faith, and the Anti- Modernist Oath, without siding with anything else than Catholic Tradition, pursuing the good combat of the Faith opportune, importune, as they have fought it for the past seventy years, and, with Archbishop Lefebvre’s encouragements, since 1969. Furthermore, they wish to express their heartfelt gratitude to the many good priests who continue to support them, and to renew their determination to remain at their service.
The Knights of Our Lady meeting at Salérans for their 22nd General Chapter, and the 70th anniversary of the founding of their Order
Saint Dominic’s chief glory among men lies in the broad and free spirit bequeathed to the threefold religious family of friars, nuns and tertiaries which perpetuates in our times the apostolate of spreading of the Truth and of fight against the errors and against those who spread them, inaugurated by him in the thirteenth century.
What, then, was this spirit which he gave to his followers and which is the special mark of his genius ?
Briefly, we may say the essence of this spirit is embodied in his intellectual ideal, which distinguished Saint Dominic among the great leaders who, by several fashions of religious life, have founded in the Church institutes to lead souls Godward.
By no mere accident the motto of his religious family is « Truth », for this word touches the magic appeal of saint Dominic’s heart. Were we to choose a text to express the peculiar mold of his genius, we could find none better than the Saviour’s words : « The Truth shall make you free » (Jn 8, 32). He aimed at truth and attained freedom of soul. Consequently, he zealously fought against the errors which destroyed truth in the souls : a good pastor doesn’t only gives pasture to his flock. He also protects it against the wolves. If not, he cannot be called a good pastor. He is a mercenary !
The long student life of Saint Dominic at Palencia (Spanish famous University of this time), his years of contemplation as canon of the cathedral of Osma (Spain), his apostolic preaching in Languedoc (south of France) against the Cathars, his dispersion of the brethren (August 15, 1217) to the University centers just after the foundation of the Order (December 22, 1216), and finally the astounding influence which his friars straightway exercised at these power-houses of learning – all these facts bring out strikingly clear the intellectual mission of Saint Dominic and of the Order he founded.
And moreover, was it not this mark of his genius that, in the thirteenth century, charmed the most virile intellect of Europe, Saint Thomas Aquinas ?
The secret of Saint Dominic’s holiness, then, was his fast-knit friendship with Christ, who is the Truth, the model of perfect spiritual freedom, the freedom of the children of God.
(From the book Dominican saints, by Dominican novices, Washington D.C., The Rosary Press, Dominican Publications, 1921. Slightly revised by the Dominican Fathers of Avrillé.)
O Lumen Ecclésiae,
Nos junge beátis.
Light of the Church,
Teacher of truth,
Rose of patience,
Ivory of chastity:
Thou didst freely pour forth
the waters of wisdom;
Preacher of grace,
unite us to the blessed !
O SPEM MIRAM, quam dedísti mortis hora te fléntibus, dum post mortem promisísti te profutúrum frátribus ! Imple, Pater, quod dixísti, nos tuis juvans précibus.
V. Qui tot signis claruísti in ægrórum corpóribus, nobis opem ferens Christi, ægris medére móribus. Imple, Pater, quod dixísti, nos tuis juvans précibus.
R. Glória Patri et Fílio et Spirítui Sancto. Imple, Pater, quod dixísti, nos tuis juvans précibus.
SWEET THE HOPE thy fainting breath
Gave to those who wept thy death,
Promising, though life were flown,
Thou wouldst still protect Thine own,
Father, keep that gracious word
Pleading for us with our Lord.
V. Who so oft was wont to shine
Midst the sick with powers divine,
To our languid souls apply
Christ’s restoring remedy.
Father, keep that gracious word,
Pleading for us with Our Lord.
R. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Ghost
Father, keep that gracious word,
Pleading for us with Our Lord.