Members of the Pius X Secular Institute received this apostolic enthusiasm from their founder, Father Henri Roy. By joining with young men and women involved in the Young Catholic Worker movement, Father Roy founded the Pius X Secular Institute to give to the Church a new apostolic Family specifically formed for evangelization. With Father Roy, these young people from the first generation felt just one yearning: to dedicate their whole life to the cause of Christ among the poor of the working class.
But, the obstacles were important. In the Church of that time, there existed no “structure” in which laypersons who wished to give themselves totally in the world could identify with. Time passed, and the United States became involved in the Second World War and many “Family” members – that’s how they called themselves at the onset – were called to defend their country. They were scattered throughout the world. Wherever they are, they continue to witness their love for the Savior, Jesus.
Upon returning from war, they noticed that everything had changed. Father Roy had been transferred form Manchester to Canada. Furthermore, the Young Catholic Worker movement had dwindled. The Family members soon realized that to realize their dream, they would need “heroic means”: first, total sanctity and dedication of self; second, specially trained priests, formed in the spirit of the “Family”, to exercise their ministry in the world; third, specially prepared laymen to go before the priest and make ready the way, able to penetrate where the priest could not; finally, married couples to carry the Gospel of Christ into the homes themselves.
Thus, in 1945, notwithstanding the difficulties proper to each foundation, the initiators started to live out their life project. With the publication by the Church of the constitution Provida Mater Ecclesia in 1947, they encountered an answer to their dream. The form of secular institutes corresponded to their most deeply felt intuitions.
They settled in Quebec (Canada) where, with the archbishop’s support, they opened various fields of apostolate and started to live out fully their apostolic life. The Pius X Secular Institute was approved in 1959 in Quebec as a secular institute of diocesan right.
Since that time, the mission of apostolate and evangelization continues in as many milieus as there are Institute members. Today, some 20 consecrated members and approximately 230 associate members continue to live out the great mission of evangelization.