Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 30, 2008
Seminary construction gets serious
Dignitaries gather to turn sod
By RAMON GONZALEZ
The process, whose purpose is to proclaim to everyone that there is nothing more beautiful than knowing Jesus Christ, is to take place in new ways, with new methods and with new language.
"This is one way in which we are to proclaim the beauty of our faith in the language of architecture," Smith said. "These will indeed be beautiful structures. And our prayer today is that their beauty will be appreciated and understood as a reflection of the far deeper beauty of the Gospel."
Mayor Stephen Mandel said the city is pleased construction of the seminary and college is starting because the extension of Anthony Henday Drive "can't get very far down the road" until the institutions move from their current location on St. Albert Trail.
"We are really pleased that this magnificent building is going to be overlooking our river valley," he said. "Both St. Joseph's Seminary and Newman Theological College will play a very important part in how we look at our river valley and how all of us will be able to enjoy this wonderful site."
Architect Donna Clare of Cohos Evamy said the design of the new seminary embodies both the history and the future of the Church.
"The design evokes the history and tradition of monastic buildings with their cloisters, courtyards, stained glass and gardens," Clare said. "At the same time it's open and forward thinking - the embodiment of a contemporary and vital institution with strong ties to our community."
Clare also said the seminary is designed as "a sustainable and enduring place, appropriate and respectful of our community and a symbol of faith and a life of prayer."
Speaking on behalf of Newman Theological College, Kevin Feehan, the institution's chancellor, said the new college "will become the seat of graduate level Roman Catholic theological studies for Western Canada for the 21st century."
"It is on this site that seminarians, religious and laypersons will study for the degrees of master of divinity, master of theology, master of theological studies and master of religious education in an attempt to grasp a right understanding of the main issues of belief and behaviour in response to the needs and problems, questions and challenges of our contemporary world."
After the liturgy, Smith led people in procession through the construction project for the sod-turning part of the ceremony.
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