Editor credits Pell for seminary numbers increase

The current number of students at Sydney's Good Shepherd Seminary is double the number of five years ago when Archbishop George Pell was transferred from Melbourne to Sydney, and a similar increase had earlier occurred in Melbourne following Archbishop Pell's reforms at Corpus Christi Seminary there.

The link between the relative prosperity of the seminaries and the presence of Cardinal George Pell was made in the June issue of AD2000 by the journal's editor Michael Gilchrist.

Gilchrist says that the number of students at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd in Sydney has continued to increase this year with 44 seminarians enrolled along with another three studying in Rome.

In Sydney, there are also 18 students at the recently established Redemptoris Mater Seminary run by the Neocatechumenate.

Of those at the Good Shepherd Seminary, three are from Adelaide, two each from Lismore and Canberra-Goulburn, and one each from Wollongong and Broome. There are also three training for dioceses in Burma and two for Uganda.

The remainder, numbering 30, are for the Sydney Archdiocese, plus those in Rome and at the Redemptoris Mater Seminary.

According to AD2000, the St Charles Seminary in Perth had 20 students for 2006. The Neocatechumenate's Redemptoris Mater Seminary had 20 students for 2006. Since 1997 a total of 20 priests have been ordained from this seminary with two more expected during 2006.

In Melbourne, numbers have also increased, with ten new seminarians entering in 2005 - all for the Melbourne Archdiocese.

Wagga Wagga's Vianney College has twelve students in residence, one for Armidale, and 11 for the Wagga Wagga Diocese.

However, Brisbane's Holy Spirit Seminary, which caters for Queensland's five dioceses, had just three students in residence in 2006, plus two others on pastoral placement. No new students entered in 2004 or in 2005, and only one entered this year for the whole of Queensland.

Within the Sydney metropolitan area the Diocese of Parramatta makes its own arrangements for training seminarians. The Broken Bay Diocese normally sends students to the Good Shepherd Seminary, but there were none there in 2006.

Gilchrist attributes Sydney's success at attracting more students for the priesthood "to Cardinal Pell's high profile leadership as well as a successful vocations program run by auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher."

Meanwhile, Brisbane's vocations to the priesthood and religious life will be promoted this weekend at the Careers and Employment Expo at the Brisbane Convention Centre.

The Archdiocese of Brisbane's vocations promotions officer Mark Lysaght said this was the first time vocations to the priesthood and religious life would compete against others in a recruitment sense.

Mr Lysaght said volunteers would use DVD and PowerPoint presentations to show some of the roles religious and priests fill. He said some members of religious orders and priests would be at the expo to talk first-hand about their vocation.

Representatives from Holy Spirit Seminary, St Paul's Theological College, Rosies and NET (National Evangelisation Team) Ministries will also attend the expo.

Sydney seminary's growth continues (AD2000 June 2006)
Holy careers push (Catholic Leader 4/6/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Seminary of the Good Shepherd
Corpus Christi College
Holy Spirit Seminary Queensland
Catholic Vocations (Archdiocese of Melbourne)

1 Jun 2006