History of Holy Spirit SeminaryDiocese of Parramatta Seminary
The Diocese of Parramatta was established in 1986 with Most Reverend Bede Heather appointed by Pope Saint John Paul II to be the first Bishop of Parramatta.
It has always been understood that a diocese takes great care to be active in the preparation of its own priests.From 1986 the students for the priesthood for Parramatta Diocese did their training in the seminary of the Archdiocese of Sydney while undertaking pastoral work in our own diocese, not very far away.
In 1993/4 a House of Priestly Formation was started in Werrington whilst another house, known as Holy Spirit Centre, was established in the suburb of St. Marys, near Penrith, in Sydney’s Greater West by Very Rev Chris de Souza. Fr. Chris is now Vicar General of the Diocese of Parramatta and Vice Rector of the Seminary.
At first, new students for the Priesthood were resident in the house in Werrington until 1995 when the house at St Marys was completed. Following a year’s course to introduce them to priestly life in the diocese a Propaedeutic Programme, recommended in the Apostolic Exhortation “Pastores Dabo Vobis” (I will give you shepherds) given by Pope Saint John Paul II, was implemented as year one of seminary formation.
As time went on the house became the permanent residence for the student priests of the diocese with Rev Walter Fogarty appointed Rector in 2003. Academic studies were at this stage completed at the Catholic Institute Sydney (CIS) but would later go on to include in house formation and courses at the University of Notre Dame, Australia (UNDA).
In February 2008 the number of candidates for the Priesthood in this diocese had swelled to eleven and therefore Bishop Kevin Manning formally established the house as a seminary and appointed Very Rev John Hogan as Rector. The establishing of the seminary has been a significant event in the life of the diocese, especially among the priests, who can easily identify with the diocesan seminarians and offer prayerful support for those who will be working alongside them in the future.
As the number of seminarians entering each year increased it become apparent that a new place was required to accommodate the fast growing seminary population. In 2013 Holy Spirit Seminary relocated from Edgar Street, St Marys, to heritage listed ‘Kenilworth House’ in Harris Park with a temporary residence close by in Rosehill. This new location offered more room, improved travel time to and from places of study and brought the seminary to a closer location to the Cathedral and Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP.
In 2014 plans to build a new seminary residence on site were approved.
|Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP|
Bishop of Parramatta
Most Rev Bede Heather 8 April 1986 - 10 July 1997
Most Rev Kevin Manning 10 July 1997 - 8 January 2010
Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP 8 January 2010 - Present
|Very Rev John Hogan|
Holy Spirit Seminary Rector
Very Rev Chris de Souza VG EV 1994 - 2003
Rev Walter Fogarty 2003 - 2008
Very Rev John Hogan 2008 - Present