Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 25, 2002
Seminary celebrates 75 years
By RENATO GANDIA
WCR Staff Writer
On the solemnity of its namesake, St. Joseph Seminary launched its 75th anniversary celebration with a Mass and a solemn Vespers, March 19.
"This year-long celebration provides us a great way to learn from our patron, who is a man of faith," Sulpician Father Lionel Gendron told close to 150 people, who attended the vespers.
"As St. Joseph is a man of faith, we are called to be a people of faith," said the acting rector.
Gendron emphasized how the seminary is not only under the care of St. Joseph but also that the patron of the universal Church is the model of faith in the seminary and everywhere.
Before the Vespers, retired Archbishop Joseph MacNeil presided in a concelebrated Mass.
"St. Joseph Seminary has been extremely important for the Archdiocese of Edmonton," MacNeil said.
"It has provided a great group of priests, theologians, Scripture scholars, who gave their lives for the Edmonton Archdiocese."
In an interview after evening prayer, Gendron said, "As the Vatican II puts it, the seminary is the heart of the diocese."
"It's from the seminary that the new blood flows to the whole Church in the diocese."
During its 75 years, the seminary has prepared more than 500 priests for Western Canada, most of whom were ordained for Edmonton Archdiocese.
The main celebration of the seminary's 75th anniversary will be held Sept. 24-26.
St. Joseph now serves dioceses from the Pacific to the Atlantic.
Because the seminary is now considered a regional institution, the major responsibility for staffing, finance and other business goes through the Board of Regents composed of the Western Canadian bishops.
Calgary's Deacon Mario Basque said he gained a good network of friends and colleagues all over Western Canada.
John Garden, a seminarian from the Prince George Diocese, is grateful for the different programs at the seminary.
"It has taught me about the gift of priesthood and lay vocations, the importance of human formation and what it is to become a healthy human being."
For Garden it is essential that priests for Western Canada should be formed in the region.