Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
Bishop White Seminary opens new school year with full house
the Inland Register
(From the Oct. 1, 2009 edition of the Inland Register)
Bishop White has a full house this year. Pictured with the seminarians are, in front, from left, Father Darrin Connall, Bishop William Skylstad, Msgr. Robert Pearson, and Father Kenny St. Hilaire (IR photo courtesy of Bishop White Seminary)
The doors to Bishop White Seminary opened this semester to welcome 20 seminarians for the new academic year.
“We are completely full,” said Father Darrin Connall, Rector of Bishop White. “It is true that we could double up more of the dorm rooms but the public areas of the seminary building, including the chapel and dining room, cannot accommodate more seminarians – it is a nice problem to have.” In addition to the 10 men studying for the Diocese of Spokane, students come to Bishop White from four additional dioceses throughout the region.
Three priests also live and work at the seminary:
Father Darrin Connall begins his 10th year as Rector and Director of Seminarians for the diocese.
Father Kenny St. Hilaire recently completed his Licentiate in spirituality and is serving in his second year as House Spiritual Director. Father St. Hilaire also serves the people of St. Patrick and St. Francis parishes as Parochial Vicar.
Msgr. Robert Pearson holds the position of Senior Priest in Residence and serves as one of the seminary spiritual directors. He is a former Rector of Bishop White Seminary and currently serves the diocese as Vicar for Priests.
Ten other diocesan and Jesuit priests serve the seminary as spiritual directors and formation advisors: Msgrs. Frank Bach and Kevin Codd; Fathers Victor Blazovich, Joachim Hiên, Brian Mee, Eugene Tracy, and Robert Turner; and Jesuit Fathers Robert Lyons, Michael Maher, and Kevin Waters.
“The strength of our seminary program depends in large part on the generosity, wisdom and experience of these priests,” said Father Connall. “I am grateful for their willingness to serve.”
A unique focal point of the formation program this year concerns the commemoration of the “Year for Priests” as declared by Pope Benedict XVI. The seminarians conclude evening prayer each day with time to mention the names of specific priests for whom they pray. A Day of Recollection for the seminary community is scheduled for Oct. 19 at Immaculate Heart Retreat Center. This time of reflection and prayer will use the themes identified by our Holy Father in his letter which opened this special year focusing on the sanctification of priests.