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Seminary Expansion Offers New Opportunities

By Eileen Connelly, OSU 

Growth at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary & School of Theology (MTSM) has led to increased opportunities for programming, prayer, and community building. 

Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr blessed and dedicated the new Fenwick Hall on October 13, 2019. Named for the first bishop of Cincinnati, the residence facility has 31 rooms for either seminarians or overnight guests. It is the first new building at the seminary since 1959, and is considered a practical necessity to address current and future growth. 

Renovations to the Marian Courtyard were completed in August 2020, and include a new statue of the Blessed Mother under the title of The Immaculate Conception, patroness of the seminary. “Our goal was to create a space veFr. Keller's outdoor class - fr. tonyry much like a European piazza or square, a space that easily lends itself to hosting events and socializing, as well as study and reflection,” said Father Anthony Brausch, president and rector of the seminary. “Having the statue of Our Lady present in the midst of all of this creates just the right atmosphere and focus.” 

The expanded facilities made it possible for the seminary to launch summer programming for the continuing formation of priests this year. “We hosted multi-day and week-long events in June for: priests ordained at least one year and not yet pastors; priests who have been pastors for at least one year and in their first pastorate; and priests interested in continuing theological education,” noted Father Brausch. “The participants were able to stay in the Fenwick building, and the conference rooms were used for the presentations.” 

To round out the weeks of June, MTSM hosted a retreat group of 30 priests and lay people. In July, the Sacred Music Institute, directed by Mary Catherine Levri, director of music at the seminary, held a three-day conference with 40 overnight participants who made use of the Fenwick building and piazza for fellowship and discussions. 

“In sum, the new facilities have provided us with the opportunity to offer summer programming in beautiful, integrated venues: accommodations, refectory, outdoor spaces, and the chapel,” Father Brausch said. “The reaction to the campus and the facilities has been overwhelmingly positive from both those who live and study here and the one-time visitors.” 


Father Brausch expressed his gratitude for those who supported the expansion projects, saying, “The contributions to the One Faith, One Hope, One Love campaign made it possible to conceive and plan for the future of the seminary with a great degree of confidence. It allowed us to think of not only what we needed to do to maintain the institution and its work, but to enhance its effectiveness and impact.”




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