RU 29/2010 - SWEDEN, interview of Fr. Sten Sandmark
- SWEDEN (ru – July 24th, 2010) : Interview of Fr. Sten Sandmark SSPX of July 15th, 2010, par RU. Almost 3 weeks after his ordination as Catholic priest in the seminary SSPX at Zaitzkofenin Germany, we were able to realize an exclusive interview (for the Internet site LPL) with Rev. Fr. Sten Sandmark, ancient Lutheran pastor in Sweden.
“- Which was your life 10 years before ?
The last ten years I’ve been working as curate at Nas/Dalarua from 1999 to 2002, and as vicar at Oskarshamn from 2002 to 2006, in the Lutheran State Church.
- At one moment you started to wear the Augustinian habit ?
We took (5 men) the Augustinian habit in 1994, and me and Fr. Lennart gave our eternal vows in 1997 (he died in 2002), i.e. the three classical religious vows, but the Lutheran Church never accepted this. Most of the Lutheran clergy want to live as quiet ‘normal’ non-Christians. I had as little contact as possible with this nomenclatura.
- You had any contacts with the Catholic Church in Sweden ?
My first contact with the Catholic Church in Sweden was in 1965, when I attended tridentine masses, but from 1967/68 they started with the new mass and I found this more ugly and boring than the Lutheran High Church mass.
In 1995, I had my first contact with Catholic bishop Brandenburg in Sweden, and later on with his successor bishop Aborelius, but both of them wanted me to stay in the Lutheran Church and not to convert to the Catholic Church.
- During the pilgrimage of UNEC to Sweden, in 2005, what happened exactly ?
Through the visit of pilgrims from Paris at Oskarshamn in 2005, I found suddenly a contact with the Catholic Church, I found a gate which was open. I visited Paris, Econe, Menzingen, and Zaitzkofen and found places and persons with deep Catholic faith.
My last Lutheran mass was on July 16th, 2006, and conversion to the Catholic Church was on July 30th, 2006, in Paris, a great day, because for the first time in my life I could go to the ‘real’ communion.
- This new life, it was first the study of the Catholic theology in Germany, is it ?
Yes, a new life started, I had to use my Latin and German which I hadn’t used since 1968.
Three hard years of studies, but necessary years to prepare myself for the future life as a Catholic priest in Sweden. Hard years, but also years filled with great joy. I will miss all these wonderful persons whom I met at Zaitzkofen, when I will start my work at Bristol in England, in August.
- The devil got involved in order to hamper your conversion?
Through all these problems, articles in newspapers, problems with my health, an accident and the famous TV program in Swedish television, I more and more understood the way God wanted to lead me. The strongest power in the world is not the devil, but God. And through the Mother of God I received an enormous lot of help. These difficulties made my faith even stronger. So I thank God today for these events…
- And Sweden, what will become of Sweden ?
I think we must be very humble and search the way God wants to have the mission. Today, there are not so many traditional Catholics in Sweden, so we can start from the ground again. This is a big challenge and possibility. We can’t suspect any help from the High Church in the Swedish Church, as not so many belong to this group, and moreover, I think within 26 years there will not stay open any Lutheran Church in Sweden. That ‘sect’ has betrayed Our Lord, through same sex marriages, woman-pastors and so on… Because of this betrayal they have no shelter any more from the Lord.
We must be prepared to help all these people who will leave the ‘sect’ and assist them to become traditional Catholics, by catechising and conversion work.
- You would like to place your future mission under which patronage or sign ?
As I’ve found Saint Mary, and as I really love her, I would put the future mission in Sweden under her control. She is stronger then any army.
A little (traditional Catholic) monastery in Sweden would be something immensely important, a kind of ‘Kraft-Zentrum’ for the whole of Scandinavia.
Sub tuum praesidium, Sancta Dei Genitrix !
- Thank you, Reverend Father, and may God and the Most Holy Virgin Mary protect you, as well as this new mission of Sweden.” – End of the interview (given in English language).