FSSP priests, deacons and seminarians at the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the FSSP's foundation at Petersham on July 18 (thanks to Francesca for the photo).
The official celebrations for the 20th anniversary of the FSSP's foundation take place in October, when they were canonically erected, but the presence of Secretary General Fr de Malleray in Sydney for Juventutem (to which he is ecclesiastical advisor) allowed a special mass to be said to honour the formal decision to form the Fraternity.
On 30 July 1988, Archbishop LeFebvre illicitly consecrated four bishops for the SSPX. On 2 July, a group of society priests declared their intention to found a new group in full communion with the Pope. On 18 July, they signed a foundational document, which says:
"By this act the undersigned clerics found the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter as a clerical Society of Apostolic Life, in conformity with the dispositions of CIC (can. 731-46), taking into consideration the exemption foreseen in the Protocol of 5 May 1988 and the Motu proprio Ecclesia Dei adflicta of 2 July 1988. This society can associate lay brothers to its work.
The Constitutions, which will specify the goals and the spirituality of this society, are inspired by the approved statutes of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X, the society reserving to itself the right to make any changes which it judges necessary by reason of present circumstances.
The undersigned respectfully request the Holy See to approve the said society in the shortest delay possible in order that they may act effectively for the unity and the good of the Church.
Made at Hauterive on 18 July 1988."
Now, twenty years later, the society has 315 priests and seminarians serving in 100 dioceses around the world. It has two seminaries (Wigratzbad and Denton), as well as the year of discernment in Sydney. Its recently formed confraternity (to whom Fr de Malleray is also chaplain) has 1600 members. Certainly achievements worth celebrating!