New Buildings as a Sign of Growth

For the last twenty years, the Church in Việt Nam has witnessed a great flourishing in the area of priestly formation. The number of seminarians has grown unceasingly each year. The Major Seminary of Hue, in the center of the country, was placed under the direction of the Sulpicians in 1962, and then again in 1994 at its reopening. It finds itself right in the middle of this blessing, which also brings with it a certain number of challenges.

The community of the Major Seminary of Hue, beginning of school year 2014-2015

The first difficulty is the lack of competent formators. Fortunately, in the Society of Saint Sulpice, we have the joy of welcoming a new, younger generation of Vietnamese Sulpicians who have been able to take charge of formation, to the relief of their older colleagues.

Another challenge has been the size and condition of the buildings. From 2009 on, the Seminary in Hue has been receiving many new seminarians each year from three dioceses: Kontum, Đà Nẵng, and Hue. The old, dilapidated buildings, constructed in the 1960s, are already in bad shape and no longer serve the needs of the approximately 240 seminarians who remain for eight years of formation. This is why, on August 28, 2013, Mgr François Xavier Lê Văn Hồng, Archbishop of Hue, blessed the first construction stones of two new buildings, the cost of which are estimated to come to about one million U.S. dollars. The construction project falls under the supervision of the current rector, Father Joseph Ho Thu, PSS.

Archbishop Lê Văn Hồng and Father Thu, blessing the first stones on 28 August 2013

Thanks to generous contributions from the three dioceses of Hue, Đà Nẵng, and Kontum, those of many Sulpician confreres, the aid of the three Sulpician provinces of France, Canada, and the USA, the help of the Society’s Generalate, and the contributions of many Catholics from around the world, the project is expected to come to full fruition around the beginning of the next school year, 2015-2016.

At present, the new main building is nearly done. The ground floor contains a refectory for around 300-400 people, a kitchen, and a pantry. The two upper floors contain classrooms, a computer lab, a small chapel, and private rooms for the fourth-year theologians, as well as dorm rooms for third-year theologians. Construction of the smaller building for the seminary workers, consisting of four Sisters of Saint Paul of Chartres, and eleven lay people, is underway. Afterwards, construction to enlarge the present main chapel will follow.

The Society of the Priests of Saint Sulpice thanks all who have helped in this wonderful project, a sign of growth and hope in Vietnam!

Vincent Trần Minh Thực, PSS
Formator, Major Seminary of Hue


Construction of the new building

The large building almost completed