By Most Rev. Richard W. Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Grace amidst Disappointment

This week I had to make a very disappointing, yet necessary, decision to postpone the dedication of our new St. Joseph Seminary. I and so many people were looking forward to this event with great anticipation, not only because of the historical importance of this moment but also because we have been witnessing for quite some time the construction of two very beautiful buildings (the seminary and Newman Theological College) and we have been most anxious to see them completed. Truth to tell, the moment of dedication, when it does take place, will remain of great historical import for our Archdiocese and we shall not miss the joy of witnessing some stunning architecture, whose beauty will be in keeping with that of the Gospel. Nevertheless, the date of Sept. 14th was set over a year ago and it is an understatement to say that we are both surprised and disappointed that we are in a position of delay.

My thanks go out to the rector, Fr. Shayne Craig, the formation team and the seminarians for the great grace with which they are accepting this development and living the difficulties that inevitably accompany a transition to a new home, especially when timelines are longer than promised.

A question that naturally arises is: when will the dedication, in fact, take place? I have taken the position that a new date is not to be set until I and my steering committee are satisifed that all is in perfect readiness. We are very close to that point, but we should not put ourselves in the position of risking a second postponement if, for some unexpected reason, a new date cannot be met.

For your information, the letter I have written to the Archdiocese follows: