Newsletter of the District
Friends and Benefactors,
few days ago, God recalled to Himself the soul of Bishop Salvador.
Bishop Lazo, retired bishop of San Fernando de la Unión in the Philippines,
joined in the fight for Tradition in 1995. With an admirable courage
he took up the pen to try to tell the clergy of his own country,
priests and bishops, what he himself had been given the grace to
discover: an enormous crisis is overwhelming Mother Church, and
the time has come for action. To this he gave witness as best he
could all over the world, but especially by lectures in English-
pressure brought to bear on him by his fellow-bishops and even by
Rome, he faithfully continued to defend the Truth which he had re-discovered
after spending a quarter of a century under the influence of the
Council. He explained how for the most part bishops are buried beneath
administrative paperwork and hardly have the time to think. Most
of them follow orders coming down from above, from Rome, from the
Episcopal Conference which makes sure to give out only news selectively
screened: for example, it was only after he re-joined Catholic Tradition
that Bishop Lazo learned, around 1996, that in 1984 the old Mass
had been allowed again under certain conditions.
His courage was a great consolation and source of strength for all
of us over the last few years, especially for our priests in Asia.
His unreserved support for the work of Archbishop Lefebvre and his
developing a solid and deep friendship with our priests earned him
in addition the animosity of the bishops of his own land, albeit
tempered by their respect for his seniority. However, he was always
Our priests in Manila kept watch by him day and night for the last
month of his painful illness. He would give his soul back to God
in the arms of our priests, in our priory. I offer these sufferings
for the conversion of bishops. I wish to go home, he said to
our priests who were faintly puzzled – Yes, I wish to go to Heaven…
My God, if you wish, you may come and fetch me. The Nuncio may come
and visit me… I shall tell him that I am dying for Jesus Christ
and not for men.
In accordance with his last wishes, we had the honor of burying
him in our church in Manila, named after Our Lady of Victories,
a programme in itself. There he lies waiting for the resurrection
of the dead and for the Last Judgment which will show forth the
grandeur of soul of this upright bishop, esteemed by his fellow-bishops
for “his wisdom, prudence and undeniable achievements.” Yet none
of them were there to accompany him as he was buried according to
the Pontifical Mass with five absolutions. No doubt they feared
to be infected by Catholic Tradition, at the same time as they dare
to invite pagans and idolators to enter the very Cathedral of Manila!
of our priests dared in all simplicity to ask if the bishop thought
he knew where the grace of his conversion to Tradition had come
from. He replied with the same simplicity that he thought that his
Holy Hour every day was partly responsible, also his devotion to
the Holy Rosary.
us hope that his prayers and sacrifice will soon be answered, and
that the day is not too far off when we see an army of bishops rejoining
the ancient Tradition of the Church. What immense good would come
in Manila, we took the opportunity to look at life in the priory.
Since September of 1999, two priests have been taken away from Manila
to look after the pre-Seminary which we have set up on another island
to the South. From there, they prepare future seminarians and brothers,
and also look after Catholics in the region of Cebu. So the Manila
community has been somewhat reduced, to five priests, reaching from
Japan to Hong Kong, not forgetting Korea. They also prepare young
women who think they have a vocation to the religious life, who
live together in two houses not too far away from the priory. In
addition, they continue to promote parish life and the medical missions
in Manila itself. The latest of these missions was a huge success:
in one day more than 900 patients form poor parts of the city were
treated. About three times a year doctors, dentists and parishioners
of Our Lady of Victories devote one full day to this good cause.
A whole street is sealed off by the township. A large tent is set
up and from sunrise to sunset an uninterrupted stream of poor people
comes from nearby to be treated. After a brief questioning, they
are directed towards the different doctors present. One can only
admire such Christian charity at work!
only today’s world could see everywhere this charity in action,
seeking only to relieve, by giving without expecting anything in
return. Charity comes up with all kinds of new devices! The capital
city of White Russia recognized the same devotion to the welfare
of men when it honored one of our priests for his humanitarian action
in the city of Minsk!
Lazo, in his agony, is here seen assisted by the Society priests.
such humanitarianism is not our primary concern, doubtless something
would be missing from Catholic Tradition if such temporal works
of mercy were lacking. But that is not the case. Indeed the numerous
marks of fraternal charity to be found amongst our faithful, and
reaching outside the boundaries of Catholic Tradition, are reason
for profound gratitude to God on our part: charity will overcome
our world of wickedness and lies, cowardice and deceit. We well
know, God is infinitely greater than the evil of the crisis shaking
our age to its roots in which we cannot help seeing a foreshadow
of the terrible time of the antichrist. Yes, God will conquer, the
Church will triumph once more. What an honor to be able to take
part in today’s great battle! Christ must reign, families must once
more become Christian. The whole world must recognize its Creator
and Saviour and bend at last beneath His gentle yoke. Let us all
set to work, each of us in his appointed place, to undertake this
great task. Charity cannot be restrained.
despite the incredible stunts of a Rome making us ask with an ever
greater anxiety Quo vadis?, Rome, where are you going?; despite
the curious and stunning spectacle of certain Jubilee ceremonies
turning into a sort of masonically flavored madness, such as the
humiliating request for forgiveness of March 12 corresponding so
exactly to the reproaches long flung at the Church by her enemies
that it is impossible not to make the connection; despite expressions
such as the globalization of solidarity uttered by Mr. Kofi
Annan last April 7, suggesting that the global economy and the whole
world are about to be forced into line with the United Nations;
despite Mr. Gorbachev’s inviting socialists to follow John Paul
II, an invitation certainly not to be taken lightly; despite all
these things and much besides, we firmly maintain our hope.
our August pilgrimage will be our proclamation that we cleave to
Eternal Rome, to the Church’s immemorial Tradition, to the Catholic
Faith. Come in large numbers to show your lively faith and your
unshakable will to remain Catholic, cost what it may.
the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph, said Our Lady of
Fatima, When times are so tragic, let us know how to find in our
Lord, in the Immaculate Heart of Our Lady, in the Sacred Heart,
the strength, vigor and enthusiasm of the followers of Christ. The
world will pass away, but God and the word of God will not pass
our duty to pray and to make sacrifices is urgent; to pray for our
salvation and fidelity, to pray for priests and bishops. So we would
like to bring this letter to an end with a prayer for priests, written
in the last century by a priest, and which we suggest you pray from
time to time. May God repay your ever ready generosity with an abundance
of graces and blessings.
Superior General Feast of the Resurrection, 2000
MY God, pour out in abundance Thy spirit of sacrifice upon Thy priests.
It is both their glory and duty to become victims, to be burnt up
for souls, to live without ordinary joys, to be often the objects
of distrust, injustice and persecution. The words they say every
day at the altar, “This is my Body, this is my Blood”, grant them
to apply to themselves, “I am no longer myself, I am Jesus, Jesus
Crucified. I am, like the bread and wine, a substance no longer
itself but by consecration another”.
my God, I burn with the desire for the sanctification of your priests.
I wish all the priestly hands which touch you were hands whose touch
is gentle and pleasing to you, that all the mouths uttering such
sublime words at the altar should never descend to speaking trivialities.
priests in all their person stay at the level of their lofty functions,
let every man find them simple and great, like the Holy Eucharist,
accessible to all yet above the rest of men.