Skip to comments.Chicago shutters Quigley, one of nation's last Catholic seminaries
Posted on 06/03/2007 8:07:36 AM PDT by Gamecock
CHICAGO -- For more than a century, Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary has quietly prepared teenage boys for the priesthood, largely unchanged as the city transformed around it from gritty industrial center to gleaming modern metropolis.
But another kind of change finally caught up with Quigley.
The 102-year-old seminary -- housed in a Gothic-style building that looks like it belongs on a square in Europe instead of in a tony Chicago shopping district -- will close its doors for good in two weeks because of a shrinking student body that has seen just one graduate ordained in the last 17 years.
It's the latest reminder that Catholic preparatory seminaries have all but vanished in the United States, and highlights the Church's struggle to find men willing to dedicate themselves to the priesthood.
"This is more or less the final nail in the coffin of the preparatory seminary," said R. Scott Appleby, a historian at the University of Notre Dame who has written extensively about the church.
"Historians of the Catholic Church will point to the closing of Quigley ... as a final landmark in a trend that has been building now for almost 50 years," he said.
As recently as the late 1960s, there were 122 high school seminaries in the U.S. with a combined student body of nearly 16,000, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University.
Quigley, which counts New York Cardinal Edward Egan and Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory among its alumni, was bursting with about 1,300 students in the 1950s; it had just 183 at the beginning of this school year. When church officials announced in September that the school would close, they said it would be $1 million in debt by June.
Its closure will leave just seven preparatory seminaries with a combined enrollment of about 500 students in the U.S.
The decline of high school seminaries illustrates a dramatic shift in the way the church finds priests -- and how it's had to scramble to do so.
Parishes increasingly are being served by priests from foreign countries, in large part because fewer American men are becoming priests. At the same time, the average age of new priests is older, with many men waiting until their 30s, 40s and beyond.
When 13 priests were ordained last month in Chicago, all but one was from another country; nine were in their 30s. The lone American was a 42-year-old former advertising executive.
Lesson from big business;
You’re late to this party:
Already posted -
Did you bother to check to see if this was already posted. Alex Murphy beat you to it and it led to an interesting discussion. This is a minor/prepatory seminary, not a major one.
Then why did you post it a second time if you did check?
Because a) a FR search didn't turn up the first one, as the title's different, and b) I didn't ping him to the first one, so he's excused for not knowing about it.
In the meantime, I've posted a wholly new and different article on the same event. Let's see if anyone takes issue with that one, and why.
My bad then, I figured gamecock was on your ping list. That’s all.
When did you see me using a pinglist?
I guess that’s a good list, I guess I thought you somehow contacted the rest of the “Anathema Ping List”, lol. Good new one you posted.
Why do you think?
Perhaps I couldn’t find it here because it was posted under a different title???
Thanks for the ping. Maybe you are not aware... my name IS Quigley :>)