Renovatio: New Seminary Building and Capital Campaign

In order to sustain and expand the works of the Oratory, we have kickstarted a major fundraising campaign with a twofold goal. First, to provide needed renovation and reconstruction of our Seminary. Second, to build an endowment that will enable us to meet the challenges and ensure the expansion of our Oratorian pastoral and intellectual apostolates.

St. Philip’s Seminary Renovation

At St Philip’s Seminary our goal is to form seminarians for the Church who have developed ways of understanding and articulating the faith, drawing upon a wide range of the intellectual and cultural resources available to the Catholic tradition. Courses based in the classical Christian synthesis of Aquinas are complemented by explorations of the history of philosophy, literary studies, the philosophical background to twentieth century Catholic theology and by seminars examining specific texts and topics in greater depth. Besides intellectual formation our seminarians also receive spiritual and human formation—through retreats, regular conferences and spiritual direction, their involvement in our parish work and, more widely, the personal relationships built up by daily familiar interaction.

Our seminarians have come to us from dioceses in Ontario, from further afield in Canada, from Dioceses and religious congregations in the US and throughout the world, as well as students from other Oratorian communities in America, Europe, South Africa and Australia. Over the last thirty years, more than 530 students have passed though our classrooms, and 190 have been ordained to the priesthood. Fees for studying at St Philip’s are kept deliberately low, so that in effect every student attends on scholarship.

The new building that we are planning will provide enhanced space for living and working. In particular it will provide the following key facilities:

  • 16 bedrooms, replacing the present 6
  • bathrooms
  • 2 purpose-built classrooms
  • chapel
  • sacristy

Oratorian Mission

As we undertake to consolidate our seminary plant, we also aim to provide a firm financial foundation for every aspect of our Oratorian mission. Our annual appeal has provided critical operating support, but an expanded endowment will not only provide security to the ‘status quo’, but furnish resources for further creative development of the Oratorian mission to which we are committed. An enhanced endowment will generate consistent investment income to sustain the works of the Oratory, most importantly, for the:

  • education of Oratorian novices and continuing intellectual development of our priests
  • upkeep of buildings and utilities
  • salaries and benefits of Seminary and Oratory employees
  • ongoing enrichment of the Oratory’s liturgical music program, already widely regarded as one of the finest in Toronto

More Renovatio news can be read here.

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