January 4-9, 2014 the Superior General of the Sulpicians, Father Ronald D. WITHERUP, pss made a canonical visit to Saint Joseph’s Seminary in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
The seminary building is a beautiful new facility, which opened in 2010, having replaced an older building that was bought by the provincial government to make way for a new highway. The formation staff consists of seven priests, led by the Rector, Father Stephen HERO, the Rector, a priest of the Archdiocese of Edmonton. Six formators are Sulpicians, including one from the United States Province, Father Van Nam Kim, who teaches dogmatic theology.
Saint Joseph’s, which is owned by the Archdiocese of Edmonton and run by the Canadian Province of Sulpicians, is a university-model seminary. Formation occurs in-house, while academic courses are taken at the adjacent Newman Theological College. Philosophy seminarians take their courses at one of two nearby universities. This year there are 46 seminarians who come from 13 dioceses, most of them, from Western Canada. In essence, St. Joseph’s functions like a regional seminary. The multicultural dimension of the seminary population was also evident, with some seminarians from Vietnam, the Philippines, Nigeria, Poland, and the Czech Republic.
During the visit, Father Witherup also met with Archbishop Richard SMITH, past President of the Canadian Catholic Conference of Bishops. He expressed great satisfaction with the quality of priestly formation at St. Joseph’s.
Despite the customary winter weather (one day was -38 Celsius!), the visitation was a warm and hospitable event.
A few photos follow.