Good Shepherd Sunday, Post Falls

Source: St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary

On April 10th, Good Shepherd Sunday, the Seminary visited Immaculate Conception Church in Post Falls, Idaho.  The seminarians provided the servers and schola for a Solemn Mass celebrated by Rev. Fr. le Roux.  They also attended a Low Mass and sang Vespers in the evening.  A game of ice hockey and a wine and cheese social provided an opportunity for the seminarians and the parishioners to mix.  The visit was made with the intention of promoting priestly vocations.

“For you were as sheep going astray: but you are now converted to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls” (1 Pet. 2:25).

Christ the Good Shepherd

The Second Sunday after Easter, known popularly as “Good Shepherd Sunday,” presents for our contemplation Jesus Christ as the shepherd of our souls, so that through this pastoral metaphor we may penetrate deeper into the goodness and mercy of our Lord, and appreciate better our utter dependence on Him.  For we are like sheep, who rely completely on their shepherd for guidance and protection, lest the wolf catch and scatter them.  Jesus Christ is our shepherd, and in the excess of his love He laid down his life for us, his sheep, that we might no longer wander in the shadow of eternal death, but be converted to Him and live and graze in green pastures, where there is one fold and one shepherd.

A Visible Hierarchy Continues Christ’s Pastoral Office

But Jesus Christ, the heavenly “shepherd and bishop of our souls,” is not content with guiding us from afar by his graces and inspirations.  In a manner well accommodated to our human nature, He also shepherds us visibly through the ministers of the Church, who are his representatives on earth. Before his Ascension into heaven, He commanded his disciples, with Peter as their head, to teach, govern, and sanctify the flock in his name, promising that He would assist them unfailingly in this task until the end of time (cf. Jn. 21:15-17; Mt. 28:19-20).  They have been entrusted with the continuation of Christ’s own mission: “As the Father hath sent me, I also send you” (Jn. 20:21).  He speaks through them: “He that heareth you, heareth me” (Lk. 10:16).  Their duty is to “feed the flock of God,” not only by preaching and administering the Sacraments, but also by the example of their own holiness of life, “being made a pattern of the flock from the heart” (1 Pet. 5:2-3).

The Need for More Pastors

Since the Church cannot dispense with the clergy any more than sheep can survive without a shepherd—for by divine institution there must pastors and doctors in the Church until the end of time (cf. Eph. 4:11-13)—it is not surprising that Good Shepherd Sunday becomes an occasion to speak of the priesthood and to encourage future vocations.  To this end, the Seminary yearly visits one of the priories of the U.S. district, hoping to make an impression on the young men and stimulate them to generous self-oblation. 

Destination: Post Falls

This year Immaculate Conception Church in Post Falls, Idaho was the location chosen. Immaculate Conception Church is one of the largest SSPX chapels in the U.S. district, having a Sunday Mass attendance of approximately 1400.  For many years the Seminary has wished to visit the chapel, and at long last this became possible, due especially to the generosity of the many parishioners who volunteered their time and resources in various ways, whether by hosting the events or receiving the seminarians into their homes for the weekend.

The Message

The seminarians attended two Masses in the Post Falls chapel on Sunday the tenth of April.  Rev. Fr. le Roux preached at the Solemn Mass, stressing the call to holiness and self-giving inherent in the Christian life, and promising the young men that no greater happiness can be found than that which comes from the total and joyful gift of self to God.  He addressed a brief but powerful exhortation to the fathers of families, entreating them to exercise an affectionate but firm authority over their children, since to err on either extreme—to be lax or overbearing—gravely imperils the delicate shoots of a budding vocation, and even distorts the child’s conception of God, whom we are taught to call our Father.

Contact with the Parishioners

The rest of the day was spent in a pleasant variety of activities: first, a game of ice hockey between the seminarians and the high school boys of Immaculate Conception Academy; then Vespers, a wine and cheese social, and finally a presentation on the New Seminary Project given by Fr. Reuter.  A large portion of the parish attended the different events, creating an atmosphere of enthusiasm and good cheer.


The Seminary would like to thank those whose generosity made the visit possible.  May Christ our Lord bless them for their instrumentality in promoting the growth of priestly vocations; and may He, the “Prince of pastors” (1 Pet. 5:4), deign to make the visit truly fruitful, raising up worthy shepherds to govern the flock, according to the prophecy: “I will give you pastors according to my own heart, and they shall feed you with knowledge and doctrine” (Jer. 3:15).  For “as the shepherd visiteth his flock in the day when he shall be in the midst of his sheep that were scattered, so will I visit my sheep, and will deliver them out of all the places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day,” saith the Lord our God (Ez. 34:12).