Vocations decline shuts seminary residence
Adelaide's St Francis Xavier Seminary will not house seminarians next year.
The Southern Cross reports that while the seminary building will not be closed, the decision has been taken to move the two remaining seminarians into parish residences and to continue their theological formation and studies at the Catholic Theological College.
With the pending ordination in the next few months of three seminarians, the bishops of Adelaide and Port Pirie have decided that having the remaining two seminarians living at the seminary would be "an insufficient number … to constitute a workable formation community".
A high-level team headed by Vicar General Fr David Cappo has been created to ensure the seminary can resume its in-residence formation role at short notice - possibly as early as 2002 - and the Adelaide archdiocese has launched a fresh push to encourage vocations.
The formation team will work closely with the Vincentians, who are to withdraw from running Adelaide's seminary program, to provide key Adelaide diocesan clergy to staff seminary positions in 2002 to 2003.
Apart from the general climate of declining vocations to the priesthood, the seminary's numbers have been affected by the loss of interstate seminarians, particularly after the opening of the Western Australian seminary.