St Oliver Plunkett’s Parish Harris Park

Historic Kenilworth House new home for Holy Spirit Seminary


Holy Spirit Seminary News Story
Photography: Alphonsus Fok

From Catholic Outlook June 2013

By Virginia Knight

The Holy Spirit Seminary is on the move. With priestly vocations on the rise in the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta, the seminary has outgrown its current home and from August 2013 the facility will be located in historic Kenilworth House at Harris Park.

Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP blessed the new premises on Sunday 26 May when he hosted a Vocation Reflection Afternoon for young men inquiring about priesthood.

Kenilworth House was built in the Victorian Italianate style in the 1880s by Jack McCreedie. “A wealthy merchant and amateur astronomer, he went to great lengths to keep the good Lord out of here, even declaring in his will that no portion of it could ever be associated with the Church of Rome and its popish pomps,” Bishop Anthony said. “Yet here we are.”

Holy Spirit Seminary News Story
Photography: Alphonsus Fok

After McCreedie’s death, it was acquired by a group of Catholics led by the parish priest of Granville. Rev Dr PJ Sheehy then invited the Sisters of Mercy to inhabit the precinct, so they might have an outpost of their Parramatta convent, and could establish a school and novitiate.

A hall was soon erected that became Blessed Oliver Plunkett church and school. The first Mass was celebrated on Christmas Day 1929. Kenilworth was purchased by the Diocese in 2011.

“I am very proud of our seminarians, their Rector and formators,” Bishop Anthony said. “I think they have built a genuinely fraternal community that is serious about and effective in spiritual, human, intellectual and pastoral formation.

“This is also a real community of prayer. It is a healthy place for young men to grow up in faith and virtue while discerning their vocation. There is a strong sense of priestly identity in this seminary and I think it is bearing real fruit.”

Kenilworth House will provide the public areas of the seminary: offices, chapel, lecture rooms, library, kitchen and dining room. However, for the next two years our seminarians will occupy temporary housing nearby until new purpose-built accommodation can be completed; providing separate ensuite bedrooms, kitchenette, laundry and recreation facilities.

Read the original article in full at the Catholic Outlook site

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