SSPX News from Africa

Source: District of the USA

Father Loic Duverger, Superior of the District of Africa, speaks about the anniversaries of the SSPX's mission work in Zimbabwe, Gabon, and South Africa.

Newsletter from the District of Africa

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

This year, the District of Africa celebrates several anniversaries, which we refer to in these pages: 30th anniversary for the Mission in Gabon and our Priory in Zimbabwe; 25th anniversary for our Priory in Durban (South Africa); 20th anniversary for our School Complex Juvenat du Sacré-Coeur in Gabon.

It is the occasion for us to thank God for his visible protection over the development of our houses. At each moment, Divine Providence has watched over us, giving what is necessary for us to live and to grow. Without a penny in advance, houses were purchased and furnished - and projects to expand them, are plentiful.

Behind the material and visible development of the Society, we must also consider the magnificent apostolic work being done. Thousands of Baptisms, Confirmations and Extreme-Unctions have been administered, helping the faithful sanctify their souls. So many people have found or rediscovered their Faith, thanks to the Traditional Mass and the Sacraments.

Many are those who have drawn from the Sacraments, the strength and consolation so necessary in bearing the trials and tribulations in life – in a life that is so difficult in Africa, agitated by so many wars and constant economic and political upheaval. Many have found refuge in the Traditions of the Catholic Church and thus avoided falling into one of the numerous religious sects or into western materialism.

In Africa, the development of Tradition is living proof of its vitality and the growth of the Catholic Church would be even greater, if every priest was given the liberty to return to the Traditional liturgy and teachings.

Despite the successes, what we stand for and the work we accomplish is only a drop in the ocean, when looking at the number of those who do not know Our Lord Jesus Christ: Catholics only represent 20% of the African continent’s population.

Therefore, firstly we give thanks to God for the good accomplished and we thank all who are God’s instruments in this work: priests and religious who work amongst the faithful, but also all our benefactors who support them with their prayers and their help. Secondly we add a supplication to God that Divine Providence will increase the number of workers in this vast apostolate and the benefactors to support them.

I take the liberty in asking you to pray particularly for our work in Zimbabwe. The economic difficulties there are making daily life ever so difficult.

I assure you of our prayers each day, through the intercession of Mary Immaculate.

Father Loic Duverger
District Superior SSPX District of Africa,
P. O. Box 14881, ZA

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30th anniversary of Saint Joseph’s Priory in Zimbabwe

This year, the priory in Zimbabwe celebrates its 30th anniversary. As elsewhere, the Catholic Church introduced the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, with disastrous consequences. A small handful of Catholics who resisted, helped and supported the few priests who remained faithful to the Traditional Mass. They worked towards the opening of a priory, by purchasing a house and by building a church. Saint Joseph’s Priory was officially opened in 1986.

The priory has experienced several difficulties that even threatened its existence. However, the continual protection of Saint Joseph allows us to celebrate this anniversary and to remain in this lovely country – and to continue as an antenna of Catholic Tradition.

For the past three years, Father de Clausonne runs the priory, assisted by Father Ngaruro, from Kenya. On top of the apostolate in Harare, the priests have made several visits to Zambia, bringing Holy Mass and the Sacraments to a small and very isolated group of Catholics.

The apostolate is not very easy in this beautiful country. With great zeal, our confreres strive to maintain the Faith, sanctifying the faithful as best they can, while waiting for Divine Providence to begin the harvest.


30th anniversary of Mission Saint Pius X — 20th anniversary of Juvenat du Sacré Cœur in Gabon

On January 16th, 1986, Feast of Saint Marcel I, the Mission Saint Pius X began in Libreville.

Archbishop Lefebvre named Father Groche as Superior and Rev. Mr. Stehlin (a deacon), came to help him begin the Mission. Quickly the first faithful started arriving and the original chapel became too small. They were forced to build and extend, again and again. “Victims” of their missionary zeal, they realised that the harvest will be great…

Five years later, Father Patrick Duverger opened the boy’s school in a catechism classroom and he watched the school grow over the next twenty years. The purchase of the ex-residence of the American Ambassador allowed the school to have a permanent footing. However the new property still became too small and the current Director, Father Legrier, is constructing an additional building.

Three years ago, the Sisters of the Society of Saint Pius X opened a girl’s school, at the Mission, once again in the catechism classrooms. Soon they will need to move to larger premises.

Today the Mission has over 2,000 faithful and more than 600 students in the Catechism programme. The boy’s school currently has 270 students and has opened a small boarding school for twenty students in the senior classes. The zeal of the priests has resulted in thousands of Baptisms, Confirmations and Extreme-Unctions.

This anniversary was celebrated earlier this year, on January 17th.


Durban: 30 years of Tradition and 25 years of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Priory

In 1986, a group of Traditional Catholics purchased a house in Durban so that Father Eldred Leslie, who had remained faithful to the Traditional Mass, could live and celebrate Holy Mass.

With the number of faithful increasing, it was necessary to find a larger and more suitable place. Divine Providence made it possible for them to purchase a protestant church. It was blessed and placed under the name of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary on November 1st, 1996. Later, Father Leslie gave his “parish” to the Society of Saint Pius X and moved to Pietermaritzburg, not far from Durban, where he opened another chapel. It was there that he was tragically killed in 2009.

Over the past 25 years, the Priors were Fathers Griego, Wall and Esposito. Currently, Father Esposito is assisted by Father Bertrand Lundi.

A few years ago, another chapel was opened at Folweni. Holy Mass is celebrated each Sunday, in a hired classroom, for 120 faithful – while awaiting patiently the purchase of a suitable piece of land and the building of a church.


News from Tanzania: our new project is to buy a piece of land

Divine Providence brought the Society of Saint Pius X to Tanzania in 2008, through Dr Pelegrin Msemwa, a Professor at the Dar Es Salaam University.

After very humble beginnings, a group of faithful, convinced about Catholic Tradition, was formed and worked for the development of Tradition in this country, so much so that the Society Superiors decided to plan for a permanent mission to be started.

The first two major steps in opening a mission in a country are to obtain a legal status for the Society with the government and to purchase a piece of land on which the Mission can be built. The first step was completed in 2013. The Society now has the legal right to open churches, religious houses and schools in Tanzania, as well as to publish Catholic literature. The priests are also eligible for residence visas.

Now we can move on to the second step: purchasing a piece of land. Obviously it must fulfil the required criteria: easy access to public transport, close to a major city and sufficiently large for constructing a complete Mission complex: a church, a priory, a convent for the sisters and a primary school.

Divine Providence, using ways and means that are not always ours, but that are always wise and efficient, found for us a plot that is 25 km from the centre of Dar Es Salaam, the largest economic and administrative city in Tanzania. Providence, through generous benefactors, also gave us the means to acquire 5,000 m2 . However, if we want to set up a full Catholic Mission, it is too small. We need to also purchase the adjoining plot of 10,000 m2 , currently on the market, and thus we need to quickly find the required 50,000 euros for the purchase. But, with current property market trends, we are seriously worried that this plot will be sold quickly.

However, if it is the will of Divine Providence that we purchase this land, then we are certain that benefactors will come forward and that Providence will recompense their generosity.