Fr. Yves le Roux on the 10th Anniversary of St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Virginia

October 09, 2019
Source: District of the USA

"Your help is necessary to provide priests who will pray for you and your families at the altar, provide you with the sacraments, and guide you through this turbulent storm in the Church and the world."

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

We are living in a unique time in history. Morality is nearly extinct. Heresies abound. Many faithful, priests, religious, and even the highest prelates now recognize what Archbishop Lefebvre called out 50 years ago as “a voice of one crying in the wilderness.” We are a Church in crisis!

By the grace of God, our dear founder was given the vision and strength to hold the rudder firm until the Church would regain her balance. The founding of the Fraternal Society of Saint Pius X was his noble and successful response to the confusion of the post-Vatican II Church. He foresaw the need to form priests according to the perennial teachings of the Church for the good of souls and Holy Mother Church. Thankfully, we have been given the grace to join his ranks at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary with the precious task of nurturing young men into priests for God. You too are among these ranks as we work together to preserve Tradition: praying faithfully, making sacrifices, and performing your daily duty. Thus, I’m writing you today to enlist your vital help in the formation of priests.

For those who have followed our journey to Virginia, you know how much time, energy, and resources it has taken to come to this point. For those who are new to this project or the work of Tradition, we should summarize this journey. In 1974, St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary was founded in a church basement in Armada, Michigan. After five years, this space was quickly outgrown. We then settled in New England, in Ridgefield, Connecticut. After a number of turbulent years in the Society, we experienced a large influx of new seminarians which caused us to look again for a new home. In 1987, the “jewel” of Winona was discovered and a year later it was inaugurated. This was our seminary home for nearly 20 years. However, in the last five years of residence, many seminarians were housed up to four men per room. Confronted with this reality, and after much consideration and prayer, we saw the need for a larger seminary.

After considering all options, we realized that building a new seminary was our only viable option. Many marks of Providence guided and confirmed us as we undertook the enormous task of building a new seminary. In 2009, blessed with this beautiful property in central Virginia, we began actively planning the construction of our new home, inaugurated on November 4, 2016. We are now celebrating our 10th year of incorporation in Virginia!

We are touched by the many tokens of gratitude which you have expressed to us for our work of ensuring the inheritance of the true Faith…that it will not be lost. This work of preserving our Catholic Faith costs everyone something. For those young men who give their lives, it costs everything. For you, it costs resources and sacrifices. As St. Thomas Aquinas teaches, friendship is based on the sharing of a common good. In this case, we share a common love for the traditions of the Church and our mutual sacrifices to that end. We are grateful to have such friends and could not possibly have undertaken the building of our present and permanent home in Virginia without you.

Almost miraculously, now just 10 years later, we have nearly finished the embellishments of the seminary building and are working on the completion of the administration building. The cold showers, unfinished floors, screeching fire alarms, and cardboard boxes of our first two years of residence are only a “happy memory.” For this, we are grateful to God and to you, who, seeing our need, reached deeply—sacrificing simple pleasures and perhaps even your own needs at times. However, while the majority of the work is done, the bills have not all been paid.

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Despite our expansive fundraising for the New Seminary Project and your extensive generosity, a large debt to the General House of Menzingen remains. You have given over 35 million dollars for this noble and necessary endeavor which is already bearing eternal fruit. Yet, we are still obligated with an internal loan to the General House of $15 million. It is a large sum, but let us consider the words of St. Pius X: “I know that your earnings are small, but I know that there are many of you…many grains make a heap, and many drops a shower! Love your seminary!” We are confident in your friendship to help us to reach the summit of this mountain!

With each prayer, sacrifice, and donation you make, you are helping us provide the necessary means to form traditional and faithful priests for Holy Mother Church. Priests who will pray for you and your families at the altar, provide you with the sacraments, and guide you through this turbulent storm in the Church and the world. Priests who will put the glory of God and salvation of souls above all else and be strengthened and formed to do worthy battle against Modernism.

As the battle intensifies, we hear the heartfelt pleas from faithful Catholics who simply want to practice their Faith in purity and truth. I frequently receive letters from the faithful asking for an SSPX chapel near them. Many, and you may be among them, make the sacrifice of driving several hours to attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Sadly, some are unable to travel such a distance and thus, unable to attend Mass. We hear this “cri de coeur,” but we must have more priests!

Certainly, we are doing our part as are you, but this battle is not going away soon, we must all do more! More prayer and more sacrifices! Our Mother, the Church on earth, is depending on us. I know that I have already asked much of you, but in order to bring the seminary to full capacity, I am relying on you. Knowing well your generosity to us, I am thankful to be able to write to you about this problem and trust in your vital and timely response.

We are embarking on a seven-year campaign to close out all debt on the seminary proper. Once this is complete we will be able to launch the final crowning of the seminary with a chapel under the mantle of Our Lady, built for the glory and worship of her divine Son. A chapel, which like the seminary building, will order all things to Christ—specifically to the reverent and glorious celebration of the Mass of all time!

Your gift today is vital for the formation of many holy priests to win souls and crush the enemy!

In Christo sacerdote et Maria,

Rev. Fr. Yves le Roux
Rector, St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary

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PS. My gratitude abounds for the sacrifices that you make for the good of the seminary and the proliferation of the Roman Catholic Faith in your homes, communities, and world. It is so necessary in our times. But, there is one thing that is the most necessary as Our Lord spoke to Martha. Prayer. Without prayer, all is nothing. Without your prayers, our seminary would be empty. As you consider what financial sacrifices you are able to make, I would also ask you to consider dedicating yourself to praying for the grace of more vocations to the priesthood. Perhaps you could make a regular holy hour or offer a daily rosary for this intention. Ask Our Lord what He wants of you. Know that we pray for you and your intentions every evening with rosary or benediction and a monthly Mass offered for all benefactors.

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