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SSPX vocational information
Here is a brief introduction to the religious family that comprises the Society of St. Pius X.  SSPX vocational contact info in the USA >
The founder of the Society of St. Pius X

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre was born at Tourcoing in the Diocese of Lille, France, on November 29, 1905.

Ordained to the priesthood on September 21, 1929, after a short stay in a French parish, and urged by his missionary brother, he entered the novitiate of the Holy Ghost Fathers in 1931.

Sent to Gabon in 1932, he was appointed Apostolic Vicar of Dakar and consecrated a bishop on September 18, 1947, then installed as Archbishop of Dakar on September 15, 1955.

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre,
the founder of the SSPX

Having become Apostolic Delegate for all French-speaking Africa from 1948 to 1959, he was afterwards named Bishop of Tulle in 1962. During this same year, his colleagues elected him as Superior General of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers, the post from which he resigned following the aggiornamento begun by the Conciliar Church.

Having founded the Society of St. Pius X and undertaking its government as Superior General from 1971 to 1983, he continued to assist the Society by his wise advice until his death on Monday of Holy Week, March 25, 1991, anniversary of the priestly ordination of the Sovereign Priest, Our Lord Jesus Christ.


The SSPX came into being after the Second Vatican Council, at the request of seminarians desiring to be true priests according to the Tradition of the Church. Then, in view of the fact that it would be impossible to remain an authentic priest when subjected to the ecclesiastical atmosphere of the dioceses, the idea of a priestly society was seen to be the best solution in order to be accepted by the bishops (i.e., to be incardinated into a diocese) and protect their priesthood, while fulfilling a ministry much the same as secular priests.

On November 1, 1970, the Society was officially recognized by Bishop Charriere, Bishop of Fribourg in Switzerland; its constitution was warmly approved by Cardinal Wright, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, the following February.

The traditional priestly formation accomplished at the seminary of Econe became known and eventually displeased and annoyed the French bishops who feared the arrival in France of these young priests, trained in a traditional fashion. Thence came the pressure on Rome that ended in the illegal suppression of the seminary (1975), and in the no less legal sanctions against the founder of the Society (1976).

The Society has expanded rather rapidly and now [as of January 2010] includes 511 priests and over 200 seminarians. The priests are distributed among the 6 seminaries and about 125 houses and churches, in 30 countries spread on the 5 continents.

With his residence at the General House in Menzingen, Switzerland, the elected Superior General since 1994 has been Bishop Bernard Fellay (he is currently serving his second term) and is assisted in his office by other priests of the SSPX. The SSPX is a society of common life without vows (meaning the vows of religion, as the SSPX is a secular religious congregation and not a regular, or monastic order), like the Sulpicians, the White Fathers, etc.

Members of the SSPX

Composed mainly of priests, the SSPX also has religious members who are brothers, sisters, and oblates, and by affiliation, Third Order members.

The priesthood in the SSPX

The seminarians and priests, after a year of spirituality, publicly pronounce their commitment on December 8, each year, and after 10 years of temporary membership may ask to make their final commitment.

The SSPX's brothers

The brothers of the SSPX, after fulfilling a 1-year postulancy and a 1-year novitiate, help the priests with various functions, be they apostolic works (teaching catechism and in primary schools, assisting with the choir), or material tasks (sacristy work, cooking, upkeep of the priory), in order to unburden the priests from obstacles to their apostolate. They take the vows of religion, recite the Divine Office and are bound to other spiritual duties. Today [as of January 2010] number 104 professed brothers in the SSPX.

The SSPX's sisters

The Priestly Society of St. Pius X is also associated with a society of women religious: the Sisters of the Society of St. Pius X, founded also by Archbishop Lefebvre in cooperation with his blood sister, Mother Marie Gabrielle. The SSPX sisters enjoy their own canonical autonomy and have their own mother superior, but work in close union with the priestly society.

After a 6-month postulate and a 2-year novitiate, they assist the priest with multiple tasks: primary schools, catechism, visit to the sick, sacristy, upkeep of the houses, especially in regards to the washing and if required, the cooking also. They also recite the Divine Office with the priests and brothers, and have a full hour of adoration each day. There are now [as of July 2009] 150 professed sisters dispersed amongst 19 houses of which the motherhouse, 4 novitiates, 7 schools, 8 priories, a seminary, a retreat house, a nursing home, and a mission. 

The SSPX's Missionary Sisters of Jesus and Mary

The SSPX has recently helped establish a congregation of missionary sisters who assist the Society's apostolate in mission countries throughout the world. The exterior works of the Missionary Sisters of Jesus and Mary are directed to children and women through the teaching of catechism, in schools, fulfilling secretarial and accounting work, providing medical assistance as nurses or aids, sewing, housekeeping, farming or whatever else the apostolate requires.

Candidacy is open to ladies between the years of 16 and 35 and the postulancy lasts for one year, followed by a 2-year novitiate period, then the vows of religion. read more here or to apply [] >

The SSPX's oblates

The Society prudently realized the need of providing to religious sisters forced to leave their communities because of the post-conciliar reforms a place to continue in their dedicated state of life. He also wanted to offer a place for ladies desirous of entering religious life, but who would not be accepted by a religious institute due to advance age or having been widowed. For this purpose, the SSPX also has oblate sisters, who live in the spiritual setting of the Society and under the direction of its priests.

The SSPX's oblate sisters assist the priests in priories, seminaries, retreat centers and schools through various tasks, from housekeeping, sacristy care, teaching, secretarial or accounting work, and cooking. As of now [January 2010] there are 74 oblates in various houses of the Society throughout the world.

If not already professed religious, the oblate has a year of postulancy followed by a year of novitiate. After living a year in community, the novices are admitted to the oblates.

The SSPX's third order

Finally, for lay persons desiring to share in the spiritual life of the Society while yet remaining in the world, a Third Order has been established.  Through their affiliation with the Society, members of the Third Order share in its spiritual benefits, and aid its members through their prayers, while striving to increase their personal sanctification.

The spirit of the SSPX

The dedicated spirit of the Society can be summarized as follows:  To continue the sacred priesthood as it was instituted by Our Lord Jesus Christ and the priestly apostolate, according to the 2000 year-old Tradition of the Church. But this Institution and Tradition teach us that a priest's reason for existence is to perpetuate the sacrifice of the redemption of Our Lord and to keep dispensing its fruit to all generations. From the pierced Heart of Our Lord flows the Church and all the Holy Sacraments through which Our Lord communicates His Own Divine Life to souls and washes them of their sins. Thus, the sacrifice of the Mass is recognized as the inextinguishable source of the Church’s life, the great mystery of Faith, the synthesis of all revealed Truths, the fountain of all graces. Sacrifice and Sacrament, the Holy Mass brings the Real Presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ among us, and communicates Him as a miraculous nourishment.

It is this sublime role of the priest that the Society has endeavored to perpetuate, being conscious also that this role is the source of the reign of Our Lord in our souls, in families and in society. It is to this "Restoration of all things in Christ," with all its zeal, that the Society engages itself totally through its seminaries, colleges and universities, academies, high schools and grade schools, through its chapels and communities where retreats are held, and especially the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius; and through its priories, real centers of apostolic missions. To foster its fervor,  the SSPX is attached to the Church's liturgy, the great mysteries of Our Lord Jesus Christ (especially His Sacred Heart), to the Blessed Virgin Mary (particularly to Our Lady of Compassion), to St. Joseph (our prudent guide in spiritual and material works), to the Holy Angels (our patrons against all diabolical influence), and of course, St. Pius X (to keep us in the Faith and sanctity and against the errors and vices of the modern world).

SSPX Sisters: helpers of the priesthood

SSPX Sisters: helpers of the priesthood
The SSPX's Sisters' Sacred Heart Novitiate in Browerville, Minnesota provided us with some beautiful images of their religious life. We present them along with an explanation about the vocation of the SSPX's sisters
... 10-5-2012

USA: 8 new priests, 12 deacons!

USA: 8 new priests, 12 deacons!
Appropriately on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Friday, June 15, 8 new priests and 12 new deacons were ordained by Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais
... 6-18-2012

20 more subdeacons!

20 more subdeacons!
Sitientes Saturday fell on March 24th this year, and we have two brief reports to give from the SSPX’s seminaries in the United States and Switzerland... 4-2-2012

Engagements to the SSPX; Dec. 8th

Engagements to the SSPX; Dec. 8th
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8) is the day reserved for when the clerics of the Society of St. Pius X make their engagements to their religious family...  12-14-2011

Missionary Sisters of Jesus and Mary

A New Missionary Initiative: Missionaries of Jesus and Mary are established in Kenya
Since the Society of St. Pius X arrived in Africa, many ladies showed interest in the religious life, although many could not realize their vocation... 

SSPX Brothers make religious vows

SSPX Brothers make religious vows
The Feast of St. Michael, September 29th, is a special day for the SSPX's brothers as the Archangel is their particular patron. Today at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary some of the brothers made their religious vows during a Solemn Mass... 9-30-2011

Six American Brothers' pilgrimage to St Benigne Shrine

Six American Brothers' pilgrimage to St Benigne Shrine: a video
This short video is a beautiful expose on the SSPX brothers from their Novitiate in Winona taken during a pilgrimage to St. Benigne Shrine (in Dijon, France)... 5-27-2011

SSPX Sisters: Daughters of Archbishop Lefebvre

SSPX Sisters: Daughters of Archbishop Lefebvre
On Low Sunday (also called Quasimodo Sunday), May 1, the Sisters of the Society of St. Pius X had their annual ceremonies... Includes a beautiful collection of images and an explanatory text about the SSPX sisters...
5-19-2011 © 2013                    home                    contact