Monday, May 5, 2008

Palabra Nueva on new seminary

Among the issues raised by Pope John Paul II with the Cuban government during his 1998 trip was the construction of a new seminary for the training of Cuban priests.

John Paul II went so far as to bless the cornerstone of this future seminary in his open-air mass in Havana.

For years, this inscribed cornerstone sat on display in a hallway of the offices of the Archdiocese of Havana, and for years it seemed it would sit there forever.

At least it seemed that way to outsiders like me who missed the news in 2005 that a project to build a new seminary was being launched. In a ceremony that year, Cardinal Ortega placed the cornerstone at a site east of Havana, and construction began.

Inside the offices of the Archiocese, there is now an architect’s scale model of the new Seminario Arquidiocesano San Carlos y San Ambrosio, which is being built on 22 hectares of rural land, enough for the seminary’s buildings, sports fields, and agriculture. A story in Palabra Nueva describes the project’s history and its progress to date. I’m told it will be done in time for seminarians to begin studying there late next year.

The current seminary building, built in the 18th century and connected to Havana’s cathedral, will become a cultural center named after Felix Varela, with a library and archdiocesan museum.

Meantime, Pope Benedict XVI last week took up another item on his predecessor’s agenda from 1998: “normal access to the media” for the Cuban Catholic church.


Anonymous said...

great, that means by sometime around 2020 the regime will get around to allowing the Church "normal access to the media"

Anonymous said...

Do you have pictures of this construction?

Phil Peters said...

sorry, I don't have photos