May 2013 Print


A priory is a religious house in which a number of priests, forming a small community, live, work and pray together in conformity with their particular rule of life approved by the Church. In the priories of the Society of St. Pius X, which number over a hundred throughout the world, the ideal of the priestly life is lived in a spirit and bond of apostolic charity. The ideal priory is three priests and, if possible, a religious brother. There are larger priories dependent upon the number and needs of the faithful and the scope of the apostolate undertaken.

Four times a day the community of priests come together to pray the Divine Office and the Rosary, which is offered for all our benefactors. The offices prayed are Prime, Sext and Compline, which is sung.

The community takes its meals together and assembles for other functions when necessary. As a true family the priests share their lives and apostolate with one another. The superior of the house is the prior. He is the one in charge of the missionary work of the priory and the chapels which depend on it. The priests are usually assigned to a particular chapel which they serve on the weekend, but from time to time there is a visiting priest who gives the faithful an opportunity to confess to a different priest. The role of the prior is like that of a parish priest in many respects. He administers a parish, as it were, and fosters and nourishes spiritually, with the help of his brother priests, the various organizations such as the Third Order, the Holy Name Society, the Legion of Mary, etc.

Various priories are scattered throughout a district and work closely under the guidance and supervision of a District Superior. The priories form the backbone of the worldwide organization of the Society of St. Pius X. The community life is one without religious vows, though the spirit of the vow of poverty is highly to be prized.