June 7 Corpus Christi Collection benefits St. Mary’s Seminary

May 12, 2015

HOUSTON — The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston continues to prepare the men who will shepherd the city’s rapidly growing 1.4 million Catholics at St. Mary’s Seminary in Memorial. On the weekend of the Feast of Corpus Christi (June 6 to 7), the local faithful will have the opportunity to directly support Archdiocesan seminarians with the Corpus Christi Collection.

This effort provides funds to operate the Seminary and facilitate formation for 79 seminarians studying at St. Mary’s, according to Father Trung Nguyen, rector of the institution which is celebrating its 60th year in Memorial.

“The seminary is a peaceful environment that lends itself to a prayerful place for meditation and spiritual formation, which is essential to the formation of a seminarian,” said Father Nguyen who is also a graduate of the seminary. “The seminary is unique in that the seminarians live here, study here and worship here. The campus is arranged so the living spaces, academic classes and spiritual spaces are separate but also easy to get from one to the other. The architecture was well thought out to allow our seminarians space for thoughtful contemplation and also for social gatherings.”

The seminary also houses the Archdiocese’s permanent diaconate program and the University of St. Thomas School of Theology, he said.

“The current seminary on Memorial Drive was built in 1954 and it is an aging facility which requires constant maintenance,” Father Nguyen said. “We need the parishes’ support to continue the effective operation of our seminary. Our seminarians come from all walks of life and want to give back to the community and do so as part of their formation process. There are several statues of Mary, who is Queen of the Clergy, which adorn our campus. Our chapel, which is the heart and soul of our campus, is full of beautiful symbolism and architecture.”

Former rector Monsignor Chester L. Borski sees the seminary as a witness of Catholic faith to Houston’s diverse cultures and workplaces.
St. Mary’s “reflects the dynamic nature of the Church in this area of the world,” said Monsignor Borski.

Now pastor of St. Martha Church in Kingwood, Monsignor Borski said “those young men who are blessed to study at St. Mary Seminary will develop lifelong friends and mentors whom they will cherish as they enter into priestly ministry after ordination.”

Current seminarian Matthew Suniga agrees. “I am humbled each time I remember that the seminary continues to exist because of the men and women who contribute to the annual Corpus Christi collection,” he said. “Those who contribute to the Corpus Christi collection are more than donors, they’re partners in the great mission of forming future pastors for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. My brother seminarians and I are grateful for their generous giving.”

Father Nguyen said it was fitting that the collection takes place on Corpus Christi Sunday because “the center of our faith is the Eucharist, the Body of Christ.”