by MICHAEL OTTO
AUCKLAND — They came, they saw and they had a jolly good time at Holy Cross Seminary’s first open day on its Vermont St, Ponsonby, site.
A glorious afternoon on Good Shepherd Sunday, May 11, saw a steady trickle of visitors accompanied through the seminary’s public areas.
Staff and students were on hand to guide people and to answer questions.
Student president Glenn Brennan said it was good having people check out the facility.
People wanted to know how the seminarians lived, and were also interested in historical aspects, Mr Brennan said.The Auckland seminary, which opened in April 1999, displays the photographs
of seminarians and staff , as well as the ordination cards of those ordained, since Holy Cross College opened in Mosgiel in 1900 right through to today.
At the open day, students put on a sausage sizzle to feed their guests. One of the visitors was Helen Horan of Mangere Bridge, who came with her husband, Alan, and other family members.
Mrs Horan said the open day was a “lovely experience”.
She was surprised at how young many of the current seminarians are, but was impressed at their enthusiasm.Christensen, 9, of Westmere, had a great day, Mrs Horan said.
“Oliver has really enjoyed it. He has been riding skateboards,”
Seminary formation director Fr Stephen Lowe said the open
day was held because quite a few Auckland parishioners don’t appear
to know that the seminary is in their city.
Or, if they did, they had only a hazy idea where it is.
That was what some seminary priest staff discovered after saying
supply Masses around Auckland, Fr Lowe said.
“So we thought it would be quite a nice idea to open up the
seminary for people to come along and have a look, especially on
Good Shepherd Sunday.”
“[But] as much as we want people to see the buildings and some
of the features and treasures of the seminary, it is about meeting
the seminarians and seeing and hearing what is happening here.”
Fr Lowe said visitors were interested to know about the programmes
the seminary runs, as distinct from the academic work at nearby Good Shepherd College.
He said it was good that people could see what they are praying for
and supporting financially in the Good Shepherd Sunday collection.
After the open day finished, visitors were invited to join seminary
staff and students in a holy hour.