On the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin, February 2, 2023, the St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary, located in Dillwyn, Virginia, saw the taking of the first steps of the young Levites towards the altar of God.
It is indeed a tradition to confer the clerical tonsure on the feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin, which also commemorates the presentation of the child Jesus in the Temple. The cassock is frequently given on this day, but in fact it can be donned on any other date.
Bishop Bernard Fellay celebrated the Pontifical Mass for the feast of the Purification, during which he blessed the cassocks of those who will wear them from now on, and he conferred the clerical tonsure.
This last ceremony, which is not a sacrament but a sacramental, is important because it introduces the one who receives it into the clergy: he becomes a cleric, that is to say “separated,” set apart for the service of God. Henceforth, God is “his heritage,” his share here below. The clerk wants to consecrate himself to His service, even if the gesture is not final.
During this double ceremony, 26 seminarians received the cassock, all of American nationality.
16 seminarians received the clerical tonsure, during which the bishop takes five locks of hair to show the separation from the world of clerics who want to serve God.
Among them were 13 Americans, 1 Nigerian, 1 Singaporean, and 1 Chinese.
May God lift up this promise of a beautiful priestly harvest.