by MICHAEL OTTO
AUCKLAND — The national diocesan seminary is expected to be at full capacity next year with an influx of students for the priesthood, NZ Catholic understands.
Holy Cross Seminary is understood to have given notice to the remaining tenants renting units on the property to vacate in the near future.
There are 10 units in the site, each capable of housing three students. One unit is used as guest quarters.
The nearby Ponsonby presbytery, which can house three students or more, is also an option for student accommodation.
NZ Catholic understands that although indications for student numbers for 2012 are very good, some prospective seminarians are still working through the admissions process. Final numbers will only be known when seminarians actually arrive next year.
New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference delegate for Holy Cross Seminary Bishop Patrick Dunn said the bishops would be delighted to see seminary numbers increase.
“It seems that Auckland may, at this stage, have five new entrants for 2012,” Bishop Dunn said.
Most of the new Auckland seminarians are in their late 20s, and all are New Zealand citizens, Bishop Dunn said.
“The very interesting thing for me is that for most of them the call to the priesthood has been in their hearts from about age 10, and most have seen their careers to this point as being preparatory for eventual entry into the seminary,” he said.
“World Youth Days in Sydney and Madrid have been influential, and so too has the Hearts
Aflame Summer School.”
Two seminarians will be on pastoral placement in parishes next year, NZ Catholic understands.
Holy Cross Seminary was officially opened in 1999, after the diocesan seminary had relocated from Holy Cross
College in Mosgiel in 1997.