Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, has opened a new Irish missionary seminary, the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Dundalk, Co Louth, in the Archdiocese of Armagh.
There are currently sixteen seminarians studying for the priesthood in the seminary and the young men come from eight countries: Croatia, England, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Scotland, Spain and the USA. The seminarians receive their formation in Dundalk and travel to Maynooth for their philosophical and theological studies.
At the blessing of the newly renovated first phase of the seminary Archbishop Eamon Martin said, “Today I pray God’s blessing and I give thanks for everyone who has helped in some way has made this possible. I am convinced that the Lord is with this, because already we can see it bearing fruit and I hope and pray that it will continue and that we will all be faithful to what the Lord wants of us.
“As we mark the feast day of Saint Columbanus, let us reflect on this saint who was a great Irish missionary, and who was one of a whole body of Irish men and women who left this country and went out into Europe and brought the Gospel at a time when it was difficult and dark and alien to the faith but, with the help of God, these pioneering faith-filled missionaries succeeded and began a new chapter in the life of the Christian faith in Europe.”
Archbishop Martin concluded, “Now we are beginning something similar for Ireland and for Europe, the New Evangelisation, under the protection of the holy Saints Columbanus and Patrick and, of course, Mary, the Star of the New Evangelisation.”
Present at the ceremony was Father Maciej Zacharek, originally from Poland, who was the first seminarian to be ordained to the priesthood from the local seminary in 2014. Now he is serving in Our Lady of Lourdes parish, Drogheda.
The seminarians from Redemptoris Mater, when ordained, will be incardinated into the Archdiocese of Armagh and serve in the parishes of the Archdiocese, they may also be available to serve as missionaries for the New Evangelisation in other parts of Ireland and internationally.
The seminary is located in the former De la Salle brothers’ residence in De la Salle Terrace, Dundalk. It functions largely due to donations from individuals, those wishing to donate can find details on their website www.redmatarmagh.org/help-us
Notes for Editors
- This official opening took place on 23 November 2016.
- Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary is an institution of the Archdiocese of Armagh, located in Dundalk. It is reliant on voluntary donations and legacies to continue its work. The Seminary was founded in 2012 by Cardinal Séan Brady, Archbishop Emeritus of Armagh, to form priests for the New Evangelisation who are both diocesan and missionary. These vocations come from the Neocatechumenal Way and will be ordained as priests of the Archdiocese of Armagh.