What 3 Things Help Most to Convert Souls and to Pass on Catholic Tradition?

(Hint: it is not Giving Money to the N-SSPX, which is the

N-SSPX’s Own Avaricious Answer.)

The three greatest helps to passing on the Catholic Faith (i.e., converting souls) are:

  1. Sanctifying our own souls;

  1. Increasing our knowledge of the Catholic Faith; and

  1. Increasing our devotion to Our Lady, in particular.

Below, we examine each one of these crucial helps to convert others to the Catholic Faith.[1]

  1. Sanctifying our own soul is a great help in converting other people.

When a person converts to the Catholic Faith, he is beginning his road to holiness.  Although converting souls is God’s work, we can be better tools for God’s use, by being holier ourselves because “you can’t give what you don’t have” (as the proverb says).[2] 

Further, when we sanctify our own souls more, this shows a potential convert that we are serious about our souls and we give him a model and example of pursuing holiness seriously.

  1. Increasing our knowledge of the Catholic Faith is a great help in converting other people.

God uses human instruments to explain the Catholic Faith to potential converts.  Thus, knowing the Faith better ourselves allows us to better explain it and answer a potential convert’s questions.[3]

Further, when we continually study our Faith (as the Church instructs us to do) this shows the potential convert that the true Faith is important and we set a good example to him.

  1. Increasing our devotion to Our Lady is a great help in converting souls.

Drawing closer to Our Lady and being more devoted to her, will increase her help bringing potential converts to her Son, as she brings us closer to her Son also.  Strengthening our devotion and friendship with the Blessed Virgin Mary is crucial for increasing our interior life, for saving our own souls, and for winning converts to her Son because:  

  • Our Lady is the “Neck of the Mystical Body of Christ”.[4]  This means that everyone who goes to our Lord Jesus Christ, goes to Him (the Head of the Mystical Body), through the Neck (Our Lady).

  • Devotion to Our Lady is not an optional devotion for us or for the person we seek to convert to the Catholic Faith.[5]  The potential convert sees the example of our devotion to Our Lady and thereby understands that the way to Our Lord is through His mother.

  • Conversion to the true Catholic Faith is a gift of God which no one can merit for himself.  All conversions require grace.  Our Lady is the Mediatrix of All Graces.  Thus, we must be devoted to her and lead potential converts toward devotion to her, who supplies the grace to convert to the Faith and to grow in it.[6]

  • Our Lady is the Co-Redemptrix of mankind.  She joined in Our Lord’s Sacrifice to redeem the “lost sheep” (mankind).  Joining with her Son to redeem man, she is most ready to apply that salvific merit to individual souls.  Our increased devotion helps us to unite with her those persons whom we seek to convert.

Conclusion of this article so far

The three greatest helps to passing on the Catholic Faith (i.e., converting souls) are:

  1. Sanctifying our own souls;

  1. Increasing our knowledge of the Catholic Faith; and

  1. Increasing our devotion to Our Lady, in particular.

Let us use them to cooperate with God in sanctifying our souls and being God’s tools in leading others to heaven.

The “New” SSPX says the best way to pass on the Catholic Faith is to give the N-SSPX money.

The “new” SSPX has a very different, unspiritual outlook.  It tells people that the best way we can spread the Catholic Faith is by giving the N-SSPX money in our wills or trusts.  Here are its words:

There is no more meaningful or lasting way to pass on the gift of Catholic Tradition and the traditional Latin Mass, than to make a legacy gift [viz., to the N-SSPX].[7]

There are two problems with this statement:

  • giving money is not the best of all ways to pass on Catholic Tradition (as shown above); and

  • it is proud self-interest for the N-SSPX to declare that it is the best place to give money for this purpose.[8]

How different is the Catholic truth, from the N-SSPX’s money-grubbing claim![9]  Above, we see that sanctity and studying the Faith are our best means to pass on the Faith.  The Catholic Church focuses on the spiritual, whereas the N-SSPX is money-focused.  The Venerable Bede, Doctor of the Church, teaches that priests should trust so much in Providence and be so focused on the eternal things of God that they give no thought to temporal things.  Here are his words:

For such should be the preacher's trust in God, that, though he takes no thought for supplying his own wants in this present world, yet he should feel most certain that these will not be left unsatisfied, lest whilst his mind is taken up with temporal things, he should provide less of eternal things to others.[10]

The “old” SSPX did not used to be so money-focused.  For example, in the mid-1990s we remember an SSPX priest who was newly-assigned to our area.  In his first sermon, he told the congregation that:

You won’t hear me talk much about money.  I think that if I do my job [viz., sanctifying souls], the money will take care of itself.  

(Bracketed explanation added to this priest’s words, to show the context.)  This priest still belongs to the (new) SSPX but has been marginalized in recent years by his superiors, who are money-focused and unspiritual.



Let us focus on holiness and on studying the Catholic Faith, and not on giving money to the N-SSPX.

[1]          In footnotes below, we quote The Soul of the Apostolate, which is a book about holiness and prayer.  This book lucidly demonstrates that converting and sanctifying other persons especially requires our own sanctification.  We heartily urge all Catholics to read this wonderful book on prayer and holiness, as the means to converting other people!

Pope St. Pius X read this book and admired it so much that he declared:

If you desire that God should bless your apostolate and make it fruitful, undertake everything for His glory, saturate yourself and your devoted fellow-workers with the spirit of Jesus Christ, animating yourself with an intense interior life.  To this end, I can offer you no better guide than The Soul of the Apostolate, by Dom Chautard, Cistercian Abbot, I warmly recommend this book to you, as I value it very highly and have myself made it my bedside book.

Quoted from the Introduction of The Soul of the Apostolate, by Dom Jean-Baptiste Chautard, O.C.S.O., Abbot of Notre Dame de Sept-Fons, Abbey of Gethsemane Press, U.S.A., ©1946.

Pope Benedict XV wrote the author, Dom J. B. Chautard, about The Soul of the Apostolate, in these words:

We congratulate you sincerely upon having brought out so clearly the absolute necessity of the interior life for those engaged in good works, a life so necessary for the success of their ministry.

Expressing a wish that this work in which are found gathered together doctrinal lessons and practical advice suited to the needs of our times may continue to spend and do good, We send with all Our Heart to its esteemed author, an affectionate Apostolic Blessing,

[signed] Benedict PP XV


[2]          Here is how The Soul of the Apostolate expresses this truth:

  • The apostle should always remember that “the extent to which you yourself are able to live on the love of Our Lord, will be the exact measure of your ability to stir it up in other people.  What it all comes to, is that you base everything on the inner life.”  Page 57.
  • It is crucial to “give [lay apostles] piety, genuine and ardent piety, based on conviction and full of understanding”.  Page 56.

  • For the lay apostle, it is crucial that his “center … will be Jesus and Mary”.  Page 56

[3]          The Soul of the Apostolate explains the importance of “lay apostles” knowing the Catholic Faith well in order to effectively help convert others.  For example, here is an instruction to a priest for forming laymen into effective apostles:

You are going to build up a strong faith in them [viz., laymen], by a series of well-prepared talks, which will take up many of their winter evenings.  Your Christians will go out, after these talks, well enough armed not only to give complete and effective answers to their fellows in the various plants and offices, but also to resist the more treacherous action of newspapers and books.  

The Soul of the Apostolate. page 56.

[4]          Pope Pius X called her the Neck of the Mystical Body, in his Encyclical On the Immaculate Conception, Ad diem illum laetissimum.

[5]          True Devotion to Mary, St. Louis de Montfort, part 1, ch.1, §3, #39.

[6]          Here is how The Soul of the Apostolate explains this truth:

Whether it be the task of the active worker to rescue souls from sin or to make virtues put forth flowers in their souls, his first objective must always be, as was St. Paul’s, to bring forth Our Lord in them.  Now Bossuet says that God, having once willed to give us Jesus through the Most Blessed Virgin, there is no further change in that order.  It was she who brought forth the Head, and so it is she too who is to bring forth the members.

To isolate Mary from the apostolate would be to misconstrue one of the most vital parts of the divine Plan.  …  St. Bernardine of Siena justly concludes that, since the Incarnation, Mary has acquired a sort of jurisdiction over every temporal mission of the Holy Ghost, in such a way that no creature receives any graces but through her hands.

But the man with true devotion to Mary becomes all-powerful over the Heart of his Mother.  And so, what apostle can doubt the efficacy of his Apostolate when, by his devotions, he can control the all-powerful mediation of Mary in the distribution of the merits of the Precious Blood?

The Soul of the Apostolate, page 286.

[W]e observe that all great converters of souls are filled with an unusually powerful devotion for the Blessed Virgin. …  What persuasive accents will Mary give to her true children, that they may open to Jesus hearts hitherto locked!

The Soul of the Apostolate, page 286-7.

[7]          Quoted from an undated SSPX money-seeking brochure mailed to the U.S. District mailing list in April 2019.

         With great self-importance, the N-SSPX adds that whatever money you give to the N-SSPX benefits the whole Church.  Here are Fr. Wegner’s words soliciting bequests for the N-SSPX:

And your bequest, one that benefits the whole Church in Her desperate hour of need, will certainly be remembered.

Quoted from the March 28, 2019 letter from Fr. Wegner, N-SSPX District Superior for the U.S. (emphasis added).

         For additional examples of the N-SSPX’s focus on money, read here:

         Words of the Venerable Bede, Doctor of the Church, quoted from the
Catena Aurea on St. Mark’s Gospel, St. Thomas Aquinas, editor, ch.6 §2 (emphasis added).