Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
September 6, 2010
Seminarian enjoys peace and quiet of St. Joseph
Twenty-nine seminarians move into new digs while construction continues
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON - Construction of the new Newman Theological College and St. Joseph Seminary is progressing on schedule.
Father Shayne Craig, seminary rector and college president, said that everybody has been working hard on getting this project completed on time. A priority now is preparing for the blessing ceremony Sept. 14, an invitation-only event which is the anniversary of the original 1927 blessing.
Craig announced in July that college classes would continue in the fall at its temporary location in Sherwood Park before being moved to the new location Sept. 30. The two buildings are on the site of the Catholic Pastoral Centre, overlooking the river valley in central Edmonton.
Faculty and staff will set up their new offices by Oct. 3 with the college in full operation the next day. Craig thanked those affected by the delays for their patience, resilience and support.
Stained glass windows from the old seminary chapel were re-installed. Old-fashioned laundry chutes from the old seminary are now hung on the walls for decorative purposes.
Restorations were completed of the St. Joseph and Jesus statues.
A total of 29 seminarians are registered this year, but the new building will accommodate 60 and has the capacity to expand to house 90 seminarians.
Kris Schmidt, a third-year seminarian for the Edmonton Archdiocese, lived at the seminary near St. Albert and, following its demolition, stayed at the temporary residence last year.
He has witnessed the transition from the initial planning stages and viewing the blueprints of the new buildings to living in the seminary.
The deadline for completion of construction seemed to change daily, but now Schmidt is confident that everything will be done on time.
"Father Shayne told me that they're pretty adamant they will be done by Sept. 13. The formation team was adamant that we were moving in today (Aug. 26) and there were no exceptions," he said.
"We need to start our school year, and we need to have time for our retreat before school starts, so we need to be in our rooms. Apparently some rooms have little tweaks here and there to finish off, just little things they have to install yet, but everything upstairs is livable."
The new seminary is modern and the arrangement of rooms is more systematized than in the old seminary.
"The old place seemed a little bit scattered sometimes. It didn't have a lot of continuity and structure to it, and this one does," explained Schmidt.
"Everything is focused towards that chapel. It's the centre. Every one of our windows, we can see the chapel. Even our rooms in our old place, we were spread out. Here, we're all close, all along the same hallway."
The view from his room is of the chapel and the courtyard below.
HAVEN OF PEACE
"Being turned to the inside allows for a little bit more calm. When I faced outside, I could see the traffic every morning when I got up.
"Here, I wake up to a peaceful garden every morning. It will perhaps give a little more sense of calm and peace. I am looking forward to fostering that life of prayer," he said.
The rooms themselves exceeded his expectations. His room has its own bathroom with shower. The closet is a fair size. There is ample space for a bed, desk and bookshelf.
St. Joseph Seminary is the only major Catholic seminary in Canada between Mission, B.C., and London, Ont.
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