Presentation of the formation in a seminary of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X, made at the Seminary of St Thomas Aquinas, in Dillwyn, in the United States.
Saint Thomas Aquinas Seminary is a house of traditional priestly formation for the Society of Saint Pius X.
Our mission at the seminary is the formation of holy priests: a priest who is another Christ. The liturgy, prayer life, studies, work and recreation all harmonize at the seminary to make the seminarian like unto Christ.
The life here the Seminary consists of many different aspects.
The Liturgy holds the prominent place in the future Priest’s life.
This includes daily Mass- the very soul of the priest’s life. Solemn High Mass on Sundays and feast days, and the Divine Office, chanted three times a day in community. Seminarians are specifically designated and tasked to prepare these sacred ceremonies with great attention and devotion.
Seminarians gather in the chapel for the daily rosary, holy hours, and Stations of the Cross. Every day in the evening the seminarians gather for a spiritual conference given by our rector. talk about the purpose of it
In addition to common prayer, silence is essential for a fruitful interior prayer life. Silence is the very atmosphere of the seminary. It is the necessary condition for union with God and intellectual studies.
Studies are a vital element to ensuring that the priest is well equipped for his spiritual life and ministries later on.
Over the course of 7 years, the seminary curriculum ranges from a year of Humanities, to studies later on in Philosophy and Theology according to Saint Thomas Aquinas.
The education is a seven year curriculum. It begins with the year of humanities, where the seminarian receives the natural foundation to the spiritual life offered by the liberal arts. The next year is the year of spirituality which is dedicated to mystical and aesthetical theology. The two following years focus primarily on the philosophy of Aristotle. Lastly all culminates in three years of theology based on Saint Thomas Aquinas.
Seminarians have the daily opportunity to refresh the mind and body with recreations. This provides an excellent time for fostering fraternal charity by which seminarians learn to treat their fellow community members as Christ.
Recreation also plays an important role in the life of the seminary. An hour a day is set aside to give our seminarians a chance to exercise and relax the mind. Activities include a variety of sports as well as casual walks, fishing and community hikes. Besides refreshing the seminarian, these activities help impart him with social virtues and aid him in seeing Christ in every one of his neighbors.
As part of our formation, household jobs, like waiting on tables and washing dishes are performed on a weekly rotation by all seminarians, instilling in them both a spirit of diligence and humility. In addition to these weekly jobs, there are also more permanent department jobs such as sacristy, Master of Ceremonies, library, house cleaning, art, grounds, schola, kitchen, and general campus management.
These jobs aid in preparing the seminarian for roles of leadership and responsibility as well as facilitating the efficient smooth running of the seminary.
The future priest, besides this pious intention to honor God and serve souls, must also show academic promise, moral discipline, psychological health, common sense, and intellectual maturity. All of these qualities are essential for a successful priestly ministry. Likewise, he cannot be driven by his emotions, attached to physical pleasures, or desirous of worldly praise and renown. Such defects would gravely hinder his pastoral duties and mar his relations with God.
The goal of the seminary is the formation and training of young men to be a priest in the model of Christ. This will prepare them for their missionary work throughout the world. Carrying on the torch of tradition in the spirit of our founder:
"I have passed on what I have received." –Archbishop Lefebvre
TRADIDI QUOD ET ACCEPI
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