February 23, 2015
ALISTAIR BURNS
THE B. C. CATHOLIC

VANCOUVER – Two months into the Year of Consecrated Life, the Archdiocese of Vancouver has opened a new seminary.

All seven seminarians at Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary Redemptoris Mater (Mother of the Redeemer) are members of the Neocatechumenal Way, a global Church movement founded in Spain in 1964 that embraces families and vocations.

Archbishop Michael Miller said he made the decision to open the seminary after prayer, reflection, and "the encouragement of Pope Francis."

Priesthood candidates will be prepared for service in the archdiocese and for missionary work in Asian nations, Miller said.

The archdiocese initiated the seminary in Blessed Sacrament Parish in March 2014. Father Gilbert Nunez was appointed rector in July.

The seven seminarians are from all over the world, including three Italians as well as men from Costa Rica, Ivory Coast, Rwanda and the United States.

Father Bryan Duggan, associate vocations director for the Archdiocese of Vancouver, said they are joyful men who have "given themselves so completely to the mission of evangelization."

The seven are being taught at the Seminary of Christ the King in Mission, and they learn the non-academic aspects of their vocation in a house of formation next to Blessed Sacrament Church.

Their studies include preparation for missionary work. "Some are learning Mandarin," to spread the Good News in China, Duggan said.

He also pointed out a crucial difference between the Seminary of Christ the King and Redemptoris Mater.

The group of seven spend the "same number of years of study," six to eight years, but they also have what Duggan termed a "year of itinerancy," a sort of "missionary internship."