The chapel for St. Joseph Seminary appeared to be a long way from completion in this Sept. 3 photo.
EDMONTON - Plans for events to mark the opening of St. Joseph Seminary and Newman Theological College have been postponed due to the pace of construction on the institutions.
The blessing of the seminary and its chapel were set for Sept. 14 with about 20 bishops among those expected to attend, Lorraine Turchansky, communications officer for the Edmonton Archdiocese, told the WCR Sept. 7.
But while contractors for the project have assured the archdiocese the seminary will be ready for the blessing, "we're not confident in those assurances," Turchansky said.
"We see this as a really important event in the life of the Church in this diocese and in Canada," she said. The ceremonies need to be carried out with a high level of dignity.
For the blessing to occur, the altar must be in place, she said. People involved in the event also need to rehearse in the venues.
"It's disappointing. There's no question about that," Turchansky said. "But the archbishop is really determined that it's going to be done right."
A WCR visit to the seminary and college on Sept. 3 found construction in high gear throughout the site. The seminary chapel had neither pews nor an altar and building materials were evident everywhere.
Other events to be postponed were a reception for staff, media event, Sept. 13 dinner, barbecue for builders, donors event, open house for consecrated women and deacons, open house for the public and Nov. 1 blessing of the college.
No dates have been set for when those postponed events will be held, Turchansky said. "Once we're confident the facilities are completed to our satisfaction, we will send out a revised list (of dates)."
Despite the delay, the archdiocese remains confident that the seminary and college will be buildings of the highest quality, "buildings that will be a legacy for us," she said.
"When (the opening) does happen, it will be beautiful. It will be a time for a great celebration."