Celebration of 30 years of SSPX presence in India

Source: District of Great Britain

On the 17th of April 2016 Bp. Fellay made a visit to Palayamkottai to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the arrival of the SSPX in India, where he was joined by Fr. Karl Stehlin, Superior of the District of Asia. See the gallery of photographs taken during the celebrations.

Celebration of 30 years of SSPX presence in India

A true story

Once upon a time, there was a man named Zacchaeus.  He was a smallish dwarf of a man who kept a record of how much money each person owed the Federal Government.

To make matters worse, he had a reputation of dishonestly targeting groups he did not like.  He routinely penalized them with higher taxes. Zacchaeus’ reputation was a terrible one.  In fact, some claimed he was the most unpopular man in the entire village of Jericho. The townsfolk avoided him, his family disowned him, and his own clients placed “Don’t Tread on Me” signs in his yard.

It was on one such idle workday that Zacchaeus overheard a group of his ex-friends speaking in the courtyard.  “Jesus is coming to Jericho!” they cried.  “He’ll be here within the hour!”

Zacchaeus eye’s widened.  Could it really be true?  The famous Jesus of Nazareth is coming to our town?

Zacchaeus had heard many rumors about Jesus.  Many people said he was a miracle worker sent from Heaven.  “I have to see Jesus with my own eyes…” he said within himself.  “If He can heal others, perhaps He can also forgive me for my dishonest business practices.”  

As the crowds assembled near the gates of Jericho to greet the Savior, Zacchaeus found himself stuck a long distance away.  Since Zacchaeus was tiny in stature, he could see nothing!  He was a full head and shoulders shorter than the people around him.  "How awful," he thought. "From this distance, I might never lay eyes on Him!"

In desperation, Zacchaeus sprung into the nearest sycamore tree and climbed with all his might to get a better view. Jesus immediately approached the large tree.  He stopped before the sycamore and stared up into its branches.  Much to the surprise of the people standing nearby, Jesus said: “Good morning, Zacchaeus....come down from that tree, for today I will dine in your home.”  The people were shocked.  Why would Jesus dine with Zacchaeus?  Does he not know who he is?  The people began to mutter, “Jesus is going to be the guest of a sinner…”

Zacchaeus knew full well that he had cheated the people of Jericho, so when Jesus arrived at his doorstep, he confessed everything to Our Lord.  He declared aloud: “I am heartily sorry for the sins of my past life.”  With a firm purpose of amendment, little Zacchaeus declared to Jesus: "I will distribute half my wealth to the poor.  And to those I have cheated, I will repay them four fold!"

Jesus could read Zacchaeus’ heart and He knew that meant what he said.  Jesus knew he was sorry for his actions.  "Today,” Jesus said with a blessing, “…salvation has come to this house."

This famous story, related in the Book of St. Luke, serves as an allegory for an event that occurred very recently in the 20th century.  

An allegory and a true story

In the same way Jesus entered the home of Zacchaeus 2,000 years ago, so the Society of St. Pius X graced the doorstep of India 30 years ago.  Unlike many countries after Vatican II, the fight for Catholic Tradition was low-profile and of little consequence in India.  Since the majority of India was pagan, there were very few Catholics willing to take a stand against the novelties within the Church. There was only a tiny remnant of Traditional Catholics who were desirous of a Latin Mass in India.  These small groups of earnest Catholics climbed into the sycamore tree and cried aloud to the great Monsignor.

Archbishop Lefebvre heard cries coming from the sycamore tree.  He approached and said to the people of India: “Tonight, I must abide in thy house.”   And the people began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a pagan country…”

Archbishop Lefebvre sent Fr. Laroche and Fr. Fellay (today’s Bishop Fellay) to investigate the possibility of setting up a priory in India.  On September 3rd, 1986, the first priory in India was officially inaugurated.  It was on this day we heard the words:"Today, salvation has come to India."

Yes, Zacchaeus received forgiveness.  But he received something else, something greater. Our Lord himself!! Our Lord will stay with him. What else he can ask for? He, the Emmanuel, will be with Zacchaeus.

And our country of India received a similar blessing.  The past three decades have been an era of great grace in our poor country.  The Society of St. Pius X has labored tirelessly in the vineyard of India.  The priests of the SSPX have established God’s kingdom on our soil.  They represent God’s highest blessings on our country.

Thanks to the presence of the SSPX and her priests, how many sacrifices have been offered since 1986?

How many priests have discovered the Mass of All Time? How many souls are now fed with true doctrine & piety? How many sinners are absolved of their sins? How many souls now have access to the sacraments?

What would have been the case if SSPX had not been here? Will people speak of tradition in our country? How about the Latin Mass? And how about very many souls under care, especially those of little ones? Will they have access to the throne of grace? To the heart of Jesus, so tenderly burning for love?  

Let us say proclaim with conviction the sentiments of Zacchaeus: “Thank you, dear SSPX!  Thank you, Mgr. Lefebvre!  Thank you, Bishop Fellay! Thank you, Father Schmidberger! Thank you dear Fathers Stehlin and Couture! Deo gratias et Mariae!”

Allow me to thank you dear friends and benefactors, once again for your continual support. The priests, sisters, faithful and children are truly grateful for your kindness.  

May God bless you all,

In Christo,

Fr. Therasian Xavier