March 2021- Easter Letter
Christ has sanctified all things, including our daily food. His presence in the new mural in the Refectory reminds us to ask the Father not only for our daily bread which we consume, but more importantly to ask for the daily bread of His Divine Love in the Eucharist. As a place of formation for the priesthood, the seminary life is properly ordered around the Sacrifice of the Mass; thus, even as we take common food, we are always preparing our bodies and souls to receive the Divine Food.
He shall make sacrifice of a lamb, a yearling, without blemish.
March 20, 2021.
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
Over the winter, the exquisite mural portrayed on this Easter card was installed in the refectory at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary. It is a copy of one of Fra. Angelico’s Last Supper frescoes at the Dominican Friary in San Marco, Italy. In the old religious houses three places are more significant than the others: the chapel, the library, and the refectory. Thus, it was important that we find a beautiful painting to point out the solemnity of the place.
For we know that Christ has sanctified all things, including our daily food. His presence in this image reminds us to ask the Father not only for our daily bread which we consume, but more importantly to ask for the daily bread of His Divine Love in the Eucharist. As we consume our necessary sustenance, the image provides meditation on the discourses Christ had with His Apostles at the Last Supper. He spoke with them of His Passion soon to come, letting us understand the connection of this Last Supper with the institution of the Holy Priesthood and the Sacrifice of the Mass wherein the priest offers the same Sacrifice. Christ, the lamb without blemish, pours out His last drop of Blood for us, offering us His own Body and Blood to be our food. It seems that He uses these last discourses to pour out also His Divine Wisdom before His Passion. In this pouring out, He expresses His deep love for His children giving them the new commandment: That you love one another, as I have loved you. We consider the moment when He raised a hymn of thanksgiving to the Father in the sacred words which are offered daily by the priest at Holy Mass. As a place of formation for the priesthood, the seminary life is properly ordered around the Sacrifice of the Mass; thus, even as we take common food, we are always preparing our bodies and souls to receive the Divine Food.
On our farm we are diligently working to provide the corporal food necessary for our bodies. As you know, we have many young men here to feed! We have recently purchased more cows to bring our herd up to a level where it can support the entire community. Within a couple of years, we hope to be able to supply all of our own chicken, pork, and beef. We are also looking into the purchase of a larger freezer to allow for the future possibility of marketing some of our grass-fed beef to help raise funds for the Seminary. Beekeeping has been taken up once again, this time in Virginia! The bees should help our developing orchard and eventually supply us with our own honey. Many fruit trees have been planted, yet the soil suffers the negative effects of having been used as logging country for a long period of time. Pine trees seem to be the favorite crop in this locale. We continue to harvest the many pines on the property as we replant with hardwoods. In the last few weeks, the seminarians have planted over 100 oak trees at the entrance driveway, around the soccer field and near the pond. These will provide needed shade and beauty on the Seminary grounds. Most of the trees planted were yearlings, so perhaps in twenty years or so, there will be numerous places for our guests to picnic while visiting.
Like Christ, we too desire to give thanks to the Father for all the benefits we have received. These benefits have been numerous: our beautiful new home, the many young men and priests who serve here, the land which provides for us, and especially for the Traditional Catholic Faith handed onto us by our founder, Archbishop Lefebvre. Your continued gifts sustain us in all of these benefits and allow us to focus on the mission of forming holy priests after the Divine Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In gratitude for your sacrifices, we humbly remember you and your intentions in our daily prayers.
In Christo Sacerdote et Maria,
Rev. Fr. Yves le Roux