I think Father Ramolla has spelled out the positives quite adequately in his bulletin. It is available online at: http://www.albertthegreat.org/bulletins/SAG%20Bulletin%2008-21-11.pdf
I'd like to point out that I am not a parishioner of Saint Albert the Great, I have never attended Mass there, nor do I know Father Ramolla at all. But I think this is a worthwhile endeavor. I wish the traditional Bishops would work together rather than against each other. None of them have ordinary jurisdiction over a See and a priest seeking ordination from one bishop is not an affront to others.
I may very well become a financial supporter of this seminary even as I continue my meager support to the CMRI seminary and the SSPX seminary (though the latter is entirely dependent upon the future actions of the SSPX).An Announcement from Father Ramolla
My dear people of St. Albert the Great Church:
As many of you will no doubt remember, my dismissal from St. Gertrude the Great Church and School in 2009 followed several months of intense effort to reform the spirit of those institutions, to restore in them the spirit of charity and zeal for souls whose lack had been the cause of so much heartache and anxiety on the part of the faithful. The shocking events that followed our efforts to promote the spirit of the Divine Good Shepherd at St. Gertrude’s, however, served to eclipse somewhat the similar difficulties that were being experienced at the same time by the seminarians of Most Holy Trinity Seminary in Brooksville, Florida.
At a time when priests are in such demand throughout a world that seems to be on the high road to hell, seminarians were being driven from Most Holy Trinity in alarming numbers without fulfilling the vocation that brought them there. Interviews with these seminarians, and even those who chose to stay, raised an even more alarming picture of ill treatment, abuse of authority, and a startling lack of spiritual and theological formation. This confirmed for me my own severe misgivings about the seminary we were all being encouraged to support, and as the stories not only continued after my dismissal, but became actually even worse, I resolved that never could St. Albert’s ever entrust a precious vocation to the priesthood to that house of shame. The seed was thus planted in my head that the need would probably arise for a new seminary to be one day established.
One of the clearest messages that Father Hall and myself have tried to convey to you, my dear faithful of St. Albert’s, is the need for us to be willing to cooperate with Divine Providence. When the Finger of God points the way forward, we are compelled by something greater than “mere” trust in God, the spiritual welfare of our people, or even the overriding desire to save our souls. This compulsion to serve God by following his Holy Will is emphatically the single most important reason for our existence, whether as a parish, as a priest, or as any creature of God. We were put here in this world for the sole reason of knowing, loving and serving God. And we serve God by doing His Divine Will.
And thus it came to pass that during this very summer, Divine Providence clearly showed us here at St. Albert’s what was to be our next step. In the month of June I received a visit from a young man from Oklahoma. At the time it didn’t seem to be a very unusual visit, just one more young man who had been studying for the priesthood, and who had been sent home for insufficient reasons. A man who yearned to be a priest, and who had now made the long trip to St. Albert’s to see if I could help him fulfill his calling to the sacred priesthood. After thoughtful consideration, it was clear to me that I had a responsibility before God to help this young seminarian, and so I looked into the possibility of establishing some kind of curriculum in order to provide him with adequate training and spiritual formation. The driving force behind this decision was to en-sure that not one more vocation to the holy priesthood should be lost.
Without any encouragement on my part, word spread that Father Ramolla was “opening a seminary”, and indeed, you your-selves may have heard rumors to this effect over the last few months. This perception, however exaggerated in nature, led rapidly to other inquiries arriving on our doorstep. A second American seminarian now applied to join us after leaving his current house of formation in Omaha, Nebraska. When word reached the authorities there, they acted very quickly to anticipate any other potential defections by dismissing two other seminarians. These were the two seminarians you have often seen here, both last Christmas and again during these last few months of their summer break, and who are now back home in Europe. With the number of orphaned seminarians already raised to four (with more inquiries still coming in), and with a feeling of heavy responsibility to-wards them and their vocations, it was now crystal clear that the only morally correct way forward was to establish a house of formation for the purpose of training young men for the priesthood.
And so, I can announce to you officially, my dear faithful, the launching within our parish of St. Athanasius Seminary, the doors of which, God willing, will open on September 15, Feast of the Seven Sorrows of our Blessed Mother.Benefits of having a seminary at St. Albert’s
Why do we want to open a seminary anyway? As I have explained, our over-riding aim is to serve God by fulfilling his holy Will. Reflect up-on the following: that vocations come from God, who would not give a vocation without a means of fulfilling it. We have been asked for help by young men who believe they do have a vocation but have no other means of fulfilling it. Is it not therefore our duty to cooperate with God’s will by providing the means for these men to fulfill their vocation?
The addition of a small seminary to our parish, not to mention the presence and edifying lifestyle of our seminarians, should have a very positive and beneficial effect, especially on our young children, who will have role models parents can safely use. In addition to their studies, the seminarians will be expected to play a significant role in our parish life, teaching catechism, forming altar servers, helping out with youth activities, and generally providing an important contribution to our operations, spiritual and otherwise. This will be an integral part of their seminary training, reinforcing in them continually the notion that the life of a priest is a life of service to his parishioners.
A seminary will help us secure the future of St. Albert the Great and its satellite missions by providing us with future priests, ready to service our chapels and establish new ones as the need arises. Even the short-term benefits are obvious here, as we are a growing parish with only one resident priest at the moment. My pastoral duties are quite overwhelm-ing at times, and it is obvious that we need more help in order to continue to grow and flourish at the same rate.
One other unseen yet valuable benefit to be derived from this seminary in our midst would be the impact we hope to have eventually on the traditional Catholic world in general. By providing it with well-educated, morally sound, and above all holy priests, we hope to repair some of the damage done to souls, especially those of the young, wrought on them by certain badly formed clergy in the past. It will always be our firm intention to learn the lessons from this past, and to take all steps necessary never to repeat any of the shameful history that has so sadly tainted the response of God’s people to the modernist infiltration of the Church and the general apostasy that followed. Financial Support of the Seminary
St. Athanasius Seminary will be support-ed financially from three primary sources. The first of course is tuition, and seminarians whose families can afford to support them will be required to pay their way. Secondly, we shall be actively seeking the support of a more worldwide base, which would have of course a far more vested interest in the success of our seminary than in our parish alone. This source of funding is expected to increase especially after we begin to send out new priests to bring the Mass and sacraments to people everywhere. Finally, we envisage a system of sponsorship whereby a family can “adopt” a particular seminarian, helping financially with his tuition, as well as providing moral and spiritual support by prayer and other means. This means of support is of course open to all our parishioners as a way of helping our new seminary. We are very reluctant to place new financial bur-dens on the parish, especially before we have firmed up our purchase of our property, and your participation in the sponsorship program or any financial support you give to the seminary is to be entirely voluntary. For now, our faculty will also be working on a volunteer basis, and we will be making every effort to keep down all expenses to a minimum.
Finally, I would like to ask for your prayers for the success of this important undertaking. It is not a responsibility we have assumed lightly, and I am convinced that it will be only with the help of your generous and fervent prayers that it will succeed. The plight of our four seminarians is in your hands. I am reminded of another seminarian almost two centuries ago, a seminarian not well endowed with brains or educationally gifted. And yet this young man, Jean Marie Vianney, managed somehow not only to get through seminary in spite of all obstacles, but to become the only parish priest ever canonized, and indeed the Patron Saint of parish priests everywhere. Was it perhaps for this reason that the only saint to whose tomb both Father Hall and myself were brought by Divine Providence since our respective ordinations is that of the holy Curé of Ars?
Yes, everything happens for a reason, my dear faithful, and I hope you will see clearly the reasons for this next step in the life of our parish. Questions will no doubt occur to you in the coming days, and I invite you to address them to me. Meanwhile, I ask you again to pray to St. John Vianney, St. Athanasius, and the Sorrowful Virgin to send us priests, to send us holy priests, and to send us many holy priests.