The following excertps come from the account of Michael Matt, editor of The Remnant:
On October 13, 2011, it was our pleasure to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Seminary of St. Thomas Aquinas in Buckingham, Virginia. Located just down the road from historic Appomattox, ... this new seminary will stand for years to come as a stone marker of the civil war that has been raging inside the Catholic Church for well over a half century.
Despite rainy conditions and a sea of mud, a hundred or so faithful and dozens of priests were on hand in Buckingham to witness the historic turning of the soil by 13 SSPX priests and adherents, marking the first step in the construction of the largest Catholic seminary built in the U.S. in nearly a century.
“The symbolism of this groundbreaking,” noted seminary rector, Father Yves le Roux, during his brief remarks, “reminds us of how man must rise from the earth to the heavens, from the ground to God Himself.”
Indeed, a seminary is a place where heaven reaches down to earth, and a door opens to the countless young men who will enter those walls in pursuit of the service of Christ the King, only to return to the world and bring the Catholic Sacraments to whole generations of would-be lost sheep.
No matter where one comes down on the issue of the canonical standing of the SSPX at this moment, the erection of this grand seminary, located on an eleven-hundred-acre campus in Virginia, must be regarded as an occasion for celebration. Even as Superior General Bishop Bernard Fellay in Rome continues the doctrinal discussion on behalf of Catholic Tradition and traditionalists worldwide, the SSPX’s army of priests and religious continues to take on large numbers of new recruits in preparation for the day when Catholic Tradition will once again be recognized by Rome as the last hope of the Church in the modern world, and the rift between Tradition and the Vatican will be healed at last.
Whether one attends the traditional Mass at a diocesan-approved center or with the Fraternity of St. Peter or the Institute of Christ the King—we must not withhold our prayers for the successful construction of this new seminary and for the eventual success of the doctrinal talks between the SSPX and the Vatican. These matters directly concern not only every traditional Catholic, but also the whole Church, and we must remember them in our daily prayer intentions from this day forward.