Thursday, 29 July 2010

Rot sets in at the Seminary

In the 1980's I did most of my seminary formation at St Cuthbert's College, Ushaw in Durham. By then the Junior Seminary had been closed for some years and was at that time being used as a training facility for some sort of youth opportunities programme. Only once did I manage to gain entrance in there and was more than a little surprised to see how much had been left intact - altar cloths still on side altars, for example, while the main chapel was being used for brick-laying practice. It is actually physically joined to the Senior Seminary buildings. I came across these photos at this link:

taken by someone who had simply gained access to what is now a derelict building. What a shocker it is! This fine chapel with its decoration, statues and many other items used for the devotion and prayers of hundreds of seminarians just left to rot. A seminary in the latter stages of decay - how apt a metaphor!
As Venerable Pope Pius XII once said:
"I hear all around me innovators who wish to dismantle the Sacred Chapel, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject her ornaments, and make her feel remorse for her historical past."

1 comment:

1569 Rising said...


I was a student at Ushaw 1958 - 1963, the first 2 years in the Junior House, many hours in St Aloysius Chapel. I was shocked and horrified when these pictures first emerged on Fr Brown's Forest Murmurs site.

A few of us members of the LMS in H&N have approached the College President Mgr Marsland, with a view to rescuing the fine Hoffman statue of Our Lady and the Child Jesus, haveing found a church on Tyneside that would give it an honoured home. Our proosal will be put to the College's governing body in September.

Rescuing may be difficult - it is large, and probably extremely heavy, and would involve specialist techniques, but at least we are doing something.

I am, actually, very angry indeed at the thoughtless (or deliberate) neglect of this fine building.