For the Life of the Church

The Need

Saint Meinrad celebrated the 150th anniversary of its educational apostolate in 2011. The Seminary and School of Theology's program of priesthood formation, begun in earnest in 1861, has remained the core of the school's mission and the heart of its service to the Catholic Church.

Over the years and as the Church's needs have changed, other programs have been initiated. When the need for well-educated permanent deacons and lay ministers became apparent, so did the need for programs that could provide a holistic approach to formation: intellectual, spiritual, pastoral and human.

With years of experience and success in priesthood formation, Saint Meinrad expanded its mission to embrace the education and formation of these future Church leaders as well. Now, 12 years into the 21st century, the Seminary and School of Theology continues to expand its work of serving the Church - and, by definition, its outreach to the people of God.

Growth in the Seminary and School of Theology

St Bede The NeedNot surprisingly, programs within the Seminary and School of Theology are now seeking to use the same rooms at the same time. Space has become a premium, as schedules overlap and programs vie for a finite number of guest rooms, classrooms and meeting places.

Seminary Program: During the last five years, enrollment in Saint Meinrad's seminary program has been steadily growing. Housing set aside for seminarians has reached capacity and seminarians have begun using rooms originally intended for other programs. With more than 140 seminarians enrolled, more rooms are needed and some classrooms will be at or beyond capacity.

Lay Degree Program: Interest in the Lay Degree Programs is on the rise. It's not unusual for up to 80 lay students to come to the Hill for a weekend course, most of them needing overnight accommodations. Currently, the housing crunch has meant that many of the lay students must be housed off campus in facilities six miles away.

Institute for Priests and Presbyterates (IPP): In the five years since it was established, programs have been offered for newly ordained priests, new pastors and priests seeking training to become mentors, among others. The IPP is expanding its programming with the World Priest program, which assists international priests as they transition to serving in the United States, and the Stoking the Fire priest sabbatical. However, the new programs are limited by the available facilities and overnight accommodations.

Permanent Deacon Formation Program: While much of the program takes place in the dioceses, each class of deacon candidates comes to the Saint Meinrad campus for a week of intensive homily training. Each year, three or four groups of 20 to 25 deacon candidates each use the classrooms, practice chapels, homily taping rooms and guest rooms for a week. Currently, the program is serving 15 dioceses. Saint Meinrad is unable to expand the program into other dioceses without additional space for the homily instruction.

"One Bread, One Cup" Program:  Every summer, 20-25 college students come to campus for a six-week internship that coincides with the three week-long "One Bread, One Cup" conferences. During each conference, 100 to 150 high school youth and their adult leaders are in attendance. For each conference, guest rooms, classrooms, conference and chapel space, and dining facilities are needed.

Office of Group Accommodations (OGA): The OGA and its staff host outside groups who are visiting the campus or holding programs and retreats here. OGA staff arranges for the necessary meeting and dining space and overnight accommodations, occasionally assisting with programming, tours and special services. The OGA's work allows any idle space in the School to be used by groups from off the Hill. During 2010-11, the OGA hosted 102 groups, totaling 3,393 people.