Winona Has Been Bought!

Source: District of the USA

Extract of the Letter to Friends and Benefactors of St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary, October 1, 1987.

More good news: The seminary in Minnesota has been bought, and it now belongs to the Society of St. Pius X. In just under two months you have contributed to our Building Fund a sum of $402,008, enabling us to purchase Winona without a mortgage. That is a remarkable achievement.
Even more precious in God’s eyes will be the sacrifice many of you must have made. After all, the Lord of Lords might have inspired one or two souls well endowed with this world’s goods to put up the entire sum. Instead He sent St. Joseph to knock on many doors. After all, He wants many souls to store their treasure in Heaven. To all of you, many thanks.

I cannot help quoting from another visitor’s reaction to the Winona building:

Words fail me in trying to tell you my impression of the magnificence of the place, the holy atmosphere, and how perfect this will be for the Society… We came away from there so thrilled to see how the Church is going to be able to continue through the Society and the good priests who will come from this seminary. Surely anyone going there can see the Hand of God in this whole affair, from the day the first shovel of dirt was turned, and how He has enabled the Society of St. Pius X to inherit the legacy that was left by the Dominicans who built this place high on the bluff overlooking the river valley.
What a place! What a view! What an opportunity for the Society! There are just not enough words in my poor vocabulary to describe my enthusiasm—for the future of the Church, for the future of the Society, and for the future of the Catholic people who cling to Tradition and their Catholic faith. I hope that the Archbishop will be able to see what is there on the high ground overlooking the valley and far off to the east and the lands of Wisconsin. Just imagine how thrilled he would be!
What a find! You should have no problems at all raising the necessary funds to get this place running again, and you should keep telling everyone who can help what a good find it is. It would seem to me that to duplicate at today’s costs what you have bought, would take at least twenty times the amount. It is almost unbelievable that this most perfect place can become the Society’s seminary, and your words, 'a jewel in the crown of the worldwide Society of St. Pius X,' tell it all."

Mark you, to get the repairs going without delay, we have had to borrow temporarily, so if you made a pledge, or if that envelope you meant to send is still there, please send it in. For a start, roof repairs are costing some $30,000 and replacement of the boilers another $60,000.

But repairs are forging ahead! If any of you would like to help on a voluntary basis, even just one month at a time, we will pay for your travel. For the moment there is nowhere convenient to lodge the ladies, but if you are male, single and skilled (or willing to learn a skill), there will be no lack of work for several months—ring Mr. Peter Sardegna (who is in charge of works). What a joy to take part in re-building on Stockton Hill, please God, a Fortress of the Faith!...

Fr. Richard Williamson