Superior General Visits the Seminary

Source: St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary

His Excellency Bishop Bernard Fellay made his canonical visit to St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary from January 29 to February 13. Canon law (canon 1357, 1917 Code) directs the diocesan bishop to visit his seminary frequently in person, to watch carefully over the training of the students, and to make himself aware of their character, piety, vocation, and academic progress. In the Society of St. Pius X, the Superior General fulfills these directives by visiting each of the Society’s six seminaries once a year and meeting personally with the seminarians, brothers, and professors. By doing so, he is able to gain a many-sided view of the seminary's life as well as to begin to know better those who are being formed. The seminary community profits from his counsels and even from his corrections if necessary.

This year, Bishop Fellay’s visit was especially long and eventful. In addition to spending many hours visiting with the members of the community, His Excellency blessed the cassocks of 12 young men and gave the clerical tonsure to seven others on February 2. During the first week of his visit, he gave a conference each evening to inform the professors, seminarians, and brothers concerning the current state of affairs in Rome. During the second week of the visit, 77 priests from the United States’ District arrived at the Seminary for their annual priests’ meeting. Bishop Fellay used the opportunity to speak personally with the priests and to give them a three-hour conference about the situation in the Church today.

The visit ended on February 13 with Bishop Fellay’s canonical blessing: a special blessing, to which is attached a plenary indulgence, given at the end of a canonical visit.