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
Not 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
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
"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.