Saturday, December 27, 2008

Big News from Boston

St. John's seminary in Boston, once on the road to closure, has gotten a huge reprieve in the form of a surge in enrollment. Per the Globe:

Enrollment at St. John's Seminary has doubled over the last two years, a stunning turnabout for an institution that seemed to be spiraling toward closure in the wake of the clergy sexual abuse crisis.

The stone hall in Brighton, where two generations ago hundreds of young men prepared for the priesthood, is still strikingly quiet, but the pews of the Romanesque chapel are now about one-third full, as fresh-faced young men from around the world help to revive a 125-year-old institution that teetered on the brink of extinction just a few years ago.

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley, who resisted calls from priests to close the Catholic seminary when he arrived as archbishop of Boston five years ago, has made preserving St. John's a top priority for his administration, and has cajoled bishops from New England and beyond to send young men to Boston to prepare for the priesthood. This fall there are 87 men studying theology at St. John's, up from 42 two years ago.

I'm not sold on the Neocatechumenal Way, which is a source for some of these guys, but this is a postive sign no matter what, I think. I hear that seminaries are seeing increased enrollment everywhere. I haven't seen numbers to that effect, but every time the subject comes up, that's what people say. The reaction from the Pope's visits around the world seem to bear witness to an increased interest in the Church by younger folk. Considering the rapport JPII had built with the youth, that's saying a lot. Hopefully, we will see more concrete stories like this in the new year.

2 comments:

Joaquin said...

No matter what your opinion of the NCW, its true that the numbers of seminarians is increasing from among them, and there is another positive aspect of priest coming from the NCW and Redemptoris Mater houses; it's that that the priests which are formed there (unlike some of seminarians which will leave to other dioceses)will become institutionalized for Boston, thus providing the pastoral presence so needed in Boston.

Throwback said...

I don't really know what I think about them. I know they've been instructed to change their liturgical practices by the CDW. If they are obedient and do so, then I am unaware of anything else to say about them (save for the current issues in Japan of which I think I am too uninformed to offer an opinion). Do you know if they have complied with the CDW instruction?