The institution in which a future priest receives his intellectual and spiritual formation is known as a seminary. The word “seminary” comes from the Latin word seminarium meaning “seed bed”. A seminary is a place where a vocation to the priesthood develops from the original germ that led the young man to enter the seminary, to its full growth on ordination day. The Church has not always formed her priests in exactly the same manner, and it appears that the English Cardinal Reginald Pole first used the word "seminary" in 1556 in its present sense of an institution exclusively devoted to the formation of the clergy.
St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary (STAS) is a house of studies of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), established in the United States in 1973, for the formation of Roman Catholic priests according to the traditional teaching of the Church. St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary draws from the greatest riches of the 2,000 year history of the Church in the formation of her priests. The formation that the seminarians receive is traditional in every aspect: doctrine, liturgy, retreats, daily schedule, etc. The core of the seminarians' study is the philosophy and theology of St. Thomas Aquinas, while moderate proficiency in Latin is required before ordination. A typical day in the life of the seminarian contains three hours of prayer, three hours of classes, four hours of study, and a hour and a half of recreation. Seminarians are expected to attain the holiness required of a priest, through the means provided at the Seminary: daily Mass, meditation, Rosary, and hours of the Divine Office, as well as Benediction, Ignatian retreats, monthly recollections, and weekly confession and spiritual direction.