DIOCESE HONOURS NEW BLESSED
BY MARK ZIMMERMANN
CARDINAL Donald Wuerl of Washington, DC has announced that the new archdiocesan seminary opening in autumn will be named after Blessed Pope John Paul II.
The seminary, which will be located in north-east Washington will serve as a college-level pre-theology house of formation, with seminarians attending classes at the Catholic University of America nearby.
Cardinal Wuerl said the seminary will be blessed on October 22, the feast day of Blessed John Paul II and the anniversary of his installation as pope in 1978. Plans for the seminary were announced in October 2010, and the permits necessary to complete the renovation of the structure that will house the seminary were recently finalised.
Seminarians for the archdiocese will begin their formation through the new seminary in August and renovation of the building is scheduled to be completed in October.
At present 67 men are studying for the priesthood of the Archdiocese of Washington, including 29 in college and pre-theology studies. Renovation work is under way at the new seminary, which formerly housed archdiocesan offices for Carroll Publishing and the Office of Youth Ministry, which are now in Silver Spring, Maryland.
The new seminary will initially have space for 30 men who will attend Catholic University while receiving their priestly formation at the seminary. Before ordination they will complete an additional four years of theology studies at seminaries such as Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg, Maryland, Pontifical North American College in Rome and Theological College in Washington.
In his homily at the archdiocesan Chrism Mass Cardinal Wuerl said Pope John Paul is a special role model for today’s priests, as a teacher, “through his ministry of personal presence... and his insight into and vision supporting the new evangelisation.
“May this Chrism Mass be for all of us, not only a renewal of our priestly commitment and a renewal of our love for Christ, but a reminder of how John Paul II is, for each of us, a model,” he said.
“All of us can teach. All of us can be present to the people entrusted to our care, and each of us can be an agent of the new evangelisation.”