October 2012 - Some News and New Arrivals

At the end of too long a silence, we would like to inform you of some events that have marked the Seminary’s life these last months so that, sharing in our joys, you may also share our concerns which, we hasten to say, do not weaken at all our hope; quite the contrary!

Dear friends and benefactors,

At the end of too long a silence, we would like to inform you of some events that have marked the Seminary’s life these last months so that, sharing in our joys, you may also share our concerns which, we hasten to say, do not weaken at all our hope; quite the contrary!

We would also like this letter to be the occasion of assuring you of our daily prayers for all your intentions. Indeed, the harshness of this world without God is felt more keenly every day and, consequently, we know how much the daily difficulties can test the soul. At the seminary, we do not live in the safety of an ivory tower, from which we would complacently rest, far from the vicissitudes of this world. Never hesitate to leave your prayer intentions at the following e-mail address, [email protected] . Communicating them to the community members will then be our duty and joy. We hope that these modest prayers will help you to carry your burden, which is sometimes heavy; even if we know well that we do not carry it alone, since in fact the cross identifies us with Christ. Even if it is true that the seminary must be a place of silence and recollection, so that young souls eager for God may find Him, your sorrows and your concerns are also ours and we carry them in prayer.

In addition, knowing how much we are indebted to you for your prayers, your sacrifices and your offerings, we think that it is right to keep you informed about our very simple life, of our own joys, sorrows and concerns. If you allow us, we will together make a review of these last months and talk, as in a familiar chat by the fireside, of what happens in our life, so that you may be close to us and that your prayers and support may, in their turn, enable us to diligently fulfill our task. We have the honor and the joy of forming the young souls entrusted to us by Providence, by Christ Himself, so that tomorrow they may communicate to your souls the love of God by abundantly distributing the necessary grace.

Last June, on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, we had also the great joy of seeing eight young Levites receive the eminent grace of the priesthood, while twelve other seminarians received the diaconate in the same ceremony. The following day and the Sunday after, we had the pleasure of being near these young priests at the altar, before seeing them fly away to the four corners of the world: to Australia, the Dominican Republic or even the United States!

The calm having returned to the seminary, we received in August our brother priests for a priestly retreat; it took place during the hottest week of the summer, but the fire of charity was stronger than that which the sun poured upon us! Deo gratias.

We also had, this summer, to carry out an expensive but essential work on the exterior of our seminary building. It was built in the Fifties, when the war had ended and everyone thought that money would run forever. In consequence, it was built a little too quickly and today suffers from this post-war optimism! Thus, the stones which cover the structure were becoming detached from the walls and the joints that linked one another had to be urgently remade. We did only what was most urgently needed, but the bill nonetheless was very high ($ 65,000). We could not delay this work due to the state of decay, and also because we do not want to pass down a ruin to our confreres when we depart for Virginia.

But before telling you about our building site in Virginia, we must still give you some news… of our chicken-coop here in Winona! The Brother in charge of our chickens has a quite tender heart: he loves to see his charges playing about freely on our property, to the dismay of the Master of Novices, Fr. Dean, who is in charge of our kitchen garden, and to the greater dismay of the seminarian in charge of our grounds. Both of these regretted the considerable damage done to their respective kingdoms. Back from the vacations, it was necessary to restore order and oblige the brother to lock up our hens in a protective enclosure. But let us clarify that this enclosure is not a prison but simply our orchard in which they are safe from predators, among which must be counted our German shepherd, who thinks of the chickens as walking snacks…

Now, let us move to the east, to Virginia, more precisely to Buckingham County, in order to give you some news about the work and finances of our new seminary. The county has agreed to change the name of the street on which our property is located. It is now officially called Archbishop Lefebvre Avenue. On this very day we have begun to lay the foundations. We will work by stages in order to be able to manage the costs. These stages, however, will follow one another at an intense pace since we have legally only five years to complete all the construction. We hope to be able to move our seminary by the summer of 2014. We thus count much on your generosity to allow us to complete this ambitious but necessary project, which will be a beautiful testimony of Catholic faith in this world of suffocating indifferentism.

We invite you to watch the video that we will put up on October 20th, on You Tube but also at this Internet address, newseminaryproject.org. It will give you an idea of what we intend to do and the reasons of our approach. It will also enable you to take an active part in this so necessary work: the formation of the priests of tomorrow. Do not hesitate, moreover, to consult often this Internet address devoted to this project, as we will regularly update our site to allow you to follow closely the work.

It is certain that we must ask you to assist us in this beautiful task because we must face the expected financial deadlines. We understand well that the economy does not invite us to a great optimism, nor to great expenses, and it certainly does not encourage generous donations. But we also know that you understand that our construction is on a much higher level, that it infinitely exceeds these questions of optimism or pessimism because it is, above all, a testimony of hope. We believe that, in spite of the apparent debacle of our times, Christ will overcome His enemies and that He will do it by the mediation of priests living of His Love. Help us to form them by your prayers and your financial assistance.

Without you, we cannot do it.

Lastly, we would like to entrust to your prayers the new arrivals of this year. On the first Saturday of the month we have had the joy of receiving fourteen new candidates to the priesthood and three new postulant brothers. The Novitiate of the Brothers, of three years duration, which, as you know, takes place at the seminary, will this year be made up of a professed Brother, three novices and the three postulants.

Surrounded by all these graces and the hope that they bring us, we hope to have been able to make you share, in all simplicity, in the most recent events of our life so that you will have the kindness of keeping us in your prayers. We keep you in ours, so that within the present storms you remain peaceful, because as Catholics we have the grace to know in Whom we believe. “Scio Cui credidi” as St. Paul said.

In Christo sacerdote et Maria,

Fr. Yves le Roux