THE BOMBAY SEMINARY: INAUGURATION IMPRESSIONS
The inauguration of the Diocesan Seminary on October 5, 1960, was ‘the culmination of many hopes and the fulfillment of many dreams’ as indicated by the Cardinal Prefect Gregory Peter Agagianian. The frustration and the disappointments of ‘the long road’ seemed to fade as the noble edifice glistened with lights at the press of the button. The modern reader can simply string together the impressions of the event to relive the moments. Here are a few exhilarating accounts:
‘One cannot give higher praise to the Inauguration Ceremony than by saying that it was entirely worthy of the edifice. The grand setting, with its tasteful adornment of flowers and lights, the distinguished gatherings, which for once fully deserved that adjective, for what diocese in the world can boast of the presence of four Cardinals, the Internuncio, and the majority of the National Hierarchy at such a function, the vast audience of priests, religious and lay folk, most of whom had made the long journey from the city, the admirable order observed by all throughout, so that not a single accident marred the occasion – all these contributed to make the ceremony, as the Cardinal Prefect of Propaganda, said in his address, a notable achievement in itself. ’
Roper, S. J. (The Inauguration Souvenir, 1960)
‘I have seen in different parts of the world very large crowds and gatherings, but that of last Wednesday stands apart. The multitude of people assembled at Goregaon, their silence and orderly behavior, the harmony of their colorful dresses, the artistic elegance of the dais and the dignity and rank of those occupying it, the majesty of the building by the side, and, to add grace to the show, the beauty of the green hills around, was a sight that gave pleasure to the eyes and joy to the heart. Contemplating it one was reminded of that multitude of God’s friends described by St. John in the Apocalypsis. And the organizers of the function deserve the warmest congratulations. ’
Conget, S.J; Rector, St. Xavier’s High School; Anand, Kaira, Dt. India. (The Inauguration Souvenir, 1960)
‘…all roads and paths were leading to the spacious grounds where a large continent from Bassein, in their brightly colored sarees, were already assembling soon after 3 o’clock. After a tour of the fine building, I went up on the roof and looked down on what by then had become a vast concourse of people, with thousands more pouring in like a vast flood. The order maintained was indeed most remarkable…During the three-hour ceremony, an amazing silence prevailed and every word of the Cardinal’s moving address could be clearly heard. It was a perfect evening, with a slight breeze, just enough to sway the trees encircling the auditorium and set the myriad lights twinkling in the dusk. Seldom indeed, can a more impressive and colorful scene been beheld by mortal eyes. ’
Miss Bliss (The Inauguration Souvenir, 1960)
To the modern reader, in reminiscence, this glorious day can only be experienced through words. But what is lacking in words will always resonate through deeds as hundreds of vocations nurture and flourish in the Bombay Seminary and in the Archdiocese.
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