June is always a special time for many of the priests of the SSPX, who celebrate their priestly anniversaries. This year, 9 celebrated milestones!
On Thursday June 2 -- the eve of the final ordinations in Winona, MN and Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus -- the priests at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary celebrated the 25th anniversary of U.S. District Superior Jurgen Wegner's elevation to the priesthood. 2016 is also the ordination anniversary for many priests in the U.S., including Fr. Dominque Bourmaud (35 years); Frs. Juan Iscara, James Haynos, and Charles Ward (30 years); Fr. Kevin Robinson (25 years); and Frs. Gerard Beck, Michael MacMahon and Peter Katzaroff (20 years)!
More than 90 priests and brothers assisted at the votive Mass of the Holy Ghost that Fr. Wegner celebrated, along with Frs. Beck and Bourmaud, in the tent setup in the seminary's park. Also present were Bishops Bernard Tissier de Mallerais and Alfonso de Galaretta, as well as Fr. Niklaus Pfluger, First Assistant of the SSPX, who delivered the sermon.
After the First Vespers of the Sacred Heart, the seminary hosted a festive gathering for the bishops and priests. Knights of St. Mary's and Cadets of Kansas City had the privilege to serve the priests in the majestic refectory. Fr. Yves le Roux, Rector of the seminary, gifted Fr. Wegner a replica of an 18th Century crucifix and Fr. Beck, in the name of the U.S. District, offered a special anniversary card calligraphed by Br. Marcel.
Prior to Compline, a slide-show of the history of St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary -- in particular of the last 28 years -- was presented to the priests, many of whom were moved by the reminder of their seminary years. Since its foundation in Armada, MI the seminary was in Ridgefield, CT before moving to Winona. This Fall, the seminarians will relocate to St. Thomas Aquinas's new facilities in Virginia.