THE BOMBAY SEMINARY: Come and See – The Parel Life

 Life in the Parel Seminary began before cock-crow. At the stroke of the bell at 5:25 am, the Seminarians were to be on their knees, offering the day to God – ‘Hoc Signum, Surgamus et Offeramus’ they would say which can be translated as ‘This is the call of the great King!’

 The Seminarians would then dress briskly and head to the Chapel to recite their morning prayers in common. This was followed by Meditation before the Blessed Sacrament. The Holy Eucharist was then celebrated after which Fr Rector would greet the brothers – ‘Dominus Vobiscum’ meaning ‘The Lord be with you’.

Morning Prayer was succeeded by a quick breakfast and some private study time. At around 9 am the seminarians would proceed to their respective classrooms for lectures. Classes were held from 9:10 am up until 12:40 pm. Likewise, the Parel Seminarian had to devote three hours of private study every day. Exams were conducted twice a year in oral and written format.

The strenuous mornings concluded with the Examination of Conscience at 12:55 pm followed by lunch and the much deserved forty-minute nap at 2 pm. The afternoons were spent in personal study, choir practices, or gardening. Tea was served at 4:10 pm.

The Parel Seminarian looked forward to his evenings of compulsory games. Volley-ball received absolute preference followed by Cricket, Football, and Hockey. The monsoons promoted participation in indoor activities and games including Table-Tennis and/or Carom.

Post games, the seminarians indulged in a spiritual reviver through Silence or Spiritual Reading. This was followed by private or group Study, Supper, House-meetings, and/or Recreations. Examination of Conscience and Night Prayers were the last requisites before retiring for the day.

Thus the life of the Parel Seminarian revolved around the three S’s of a vocation – Sanctitas, Sanitas, and Sapientia meaning ‘Holiness, Health and Wisdom’. It prepared the seminarians for the journey ahead. They had miles to go and promises to keep!

Stay tuned as we continue to time travel and virtually explore the Parel Seminary!

Please feel free to share this story with others and your story of the Seminary with us! You will get regular updates at this blog site on this exhibition.

© – Archdiocesan Heritage Museum

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