Open Day

Redemptoris Mater Seminary Chapel

Open Day – Archdiocesan Redemptoris Mater Missionary Seminary, Morley

Article and photo courtesy of The Record

Maintaining a strong sense of community is an important focus for Morley’s Archdiocesan Redemptoris Mater Missionary Seminary, with an open day last year revealing that there is still much interest from neighbours in its mission and activities.

More than 100 people visited the seminary late last year for afternoon tea and a tour of the building – including the Reliquary of St Mary MacKillop – followed by Vespers and Benediction.

Rector Fr Michael Moore said he was pleased to see several new faces at the open day, as it showed that local people wanted to know more about the community and its building, which is currently being renovated.

“Of the 100 who turned up, around 70 were unknown to us, but seemed interested in finding out about our work,” he said.

Fr Michael said the seminary benefits from its proximity to historic Jewish and Italian communities in Mt Lawley, Menora and Noranda, and has a good relationship with the Perth Hebrew Synagogue.

Within the building – which was first constructed as a hospital in the 1960s – one room gives a nod to this community, being known as the ‘Yeshiva’, a place of study and discussion in the Jewish faith.

Here, seminarians read and reflect on the word of God, a contemplation that is reflected in the room’s four stained glass windows: three have ‘word’ written in English, Greek, Latin and Aramaic, while a fourth bears the word ‘Mary’, indicating that the Virgin Mary brought the word to the world through the birth of Jesus.

The Seminary Chapel is designed to emphasise the two aspects of the renewal brought about by the Second Vatican council – one being the rediscovery of the process of Christian initiation which requires a catechumenate and the second aspect is that the Christian community is the body of Christ.

As well as its grounding in history, the seminary continues to look ahead to exciting developments in 2016, including renovation work on the kitchen and dining room which is set for completion after Easter.

The Seminary community is also preparing for the ordination of three of its deacons – Deacon Rodrigo de Costa Ponte, Giovanni Raffaele and David Adan Ramirez Nieves at St Mary’s Cathedral on March 4.

Fr Michael said it was great to see the deacons inviting family members from around the world to attend the ceremony.

To continue the seminary’s cycle of activity, it is expected to add to the 16-strong community with three new members from Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Malaysia later this year, while the current seminarians continue their studies at Notre Dame University and undertake missionary work in Darwin, Broome and Papua New Guinea.