A breath of fresh air

Community recreation is essential to the Seminary formation and is in fact a mandatory event for all seminarians.

The first reason for this recreation is that it relaxes the mind and burns off the body’s excess energy, thus enabling the seminarians to go back to their studies and prayers with renewed vigor and focus. This is why Archbishop Lefebvre called this recreation “absolutely necessary” in his Rule for the Seminaries. Hours spent in chapels and classrooms are good and rewarding, but man is made up of body and soul, and neither body nor mind can work forever without rest, even if that rest is only a change from a more to a less demanding activity.

At the same time, recreation is a school of virtue. Because it is a time of relaxation, people on recreation give more play to their personalities and are more likely to reveal their opinions, likes, and dislikes than at other times. In the excitement of a lively discussion or a game, our good and bad qualities assert themselves, giving us opportunities to humble ourselves and chances for our companions to exercise patience and forbearance.

At the Seminary the daily recreation periods allow for a variety of relaxing pursuits, both indoor and outdoor. Long walks on the Seminary grounds are the most popular of all, providing low-impact physical exercise and lively conversation at one and the same time. For outdoor sports, seminarians play soccer, basketball, and volleyball mostly, but football, baseball, and even rugby are not unheard of. Those less inclined to team sports often go jogging or go on walks with other seminarians, which allows for in-depth conversation. Inside, the Seminary has two recreation rooms: a game room with ping-pong, pool, and foosball, and a more relaxed, quiet room suitable for reading, cards, or board games. Whatever they do, though, is sure to end at the sound of the bell, calling them to quit their recreation and return to their duties, whether that entails studies, classes, department work, or the cultivation of their prayer life.

"It is not the actual physical exertion that counts toward a man's progress, nor the nature of the task, but the spirit of faith with which it is undertaken." (St. Francis Xavier)