(Illustrations by Bridget Bryan)
As the new chaplain of Acies, Fr. Gardner began his first recollection by reminding us that ‘acies’ is Latin for ‘battle line’ - or in other words ‘the cutting edge of the battle’. "Is Acies the cutting edge of our parish", he then asked, sparking self-reflection in the audience. Revisiting the three pillars of Acies (Prayer, Study, and Apostolate), he noted the connection between them and also the serious need for Catholic Action in our times. Going out and meeting these souls, he observed, helps us realize ‘I need to learn more about my faith’ and drives us to pray more earnestly, sincerely than before - which in turn fuels our zeal. He then described the three motives for zeal and asked everyone to think of all the non-Catholics they knew on a personal level.
We must realize, he said, that these souls are depending on us for salvation, and they may never have another chance.
He ended by noting the missionary spirit of Archbishop Lefebvre and how Acies, as part of the SSPX, should likewise be driven by a zeal for souls.