Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of November 26, 2007
St. Albert Catholics wave goodbye to nearby Newman
By ALICIA AMBROSIO
WCR Staff Writer
St. Albert Catholics hoping to have Newman Theological College and St. Joseph Seminary move to their city are disappointed the institutions will move near to downtown Edmonton.
But one St. Albert pastor said the move will end up being better for the Church in Western Canada.
Father Mitchell Fidyka of Holy Family Parish in St. Albert said because St. Joseph Seminary is currently located so close to his parish, he has been able to get seminarians to help out.
Although he will miss having the seminarians close at hand, he sees the move as an excellent opportunity for the college and seminary.
It will be a "good opportunity to create something bigger and better, not just for Edmonton but for the Church in the West," Fidyka said.
Jacquie Hansen is a Catholic school trustee who sat on a committee of St. Albert residents lobbying to have the college and seminary move into that city.
Hansen said she is disappointed but understands why the archdiocese decided to move to the Pastoral Centre grounds near downtown.
"At the time that we started pitching our idea to have Newman stay here, land prices started skyrocketing," she said.
Hansen also said that the committee's "big vision" was to move toward building a Catholic university around Newman College.
Committee members and the general public felt that a Catholic university would be a good fit for St. Albert, she said. With the decision to move the college the dream of a Catholic university has been "tucked away."
"If Newman stayed, we would have pursued it. We won't pursue it in the short term. Newman would have to be the nucleus of that," said Hansen.
Similarly a representative of the City of St. Albert told the WCR the city is disappointed but understands the decision from an economic point of view.
"We view ourselves as 'home' to Newman," the representative said.
The two institutions lie just inside the city of Edmonton, immediately outside the boundaries of St. Albert.
A former student of Newman College, Maria Kruszewski said, "It's sad to see the place going."
However, she said she believes the seminarians at St. Joseph's will benefit from being "snuggled right into the middle of a community."