Hope and Home were finally on-site for the Bombay Seminary at Bandra. The Examiner tried to bolster up the Seminary through explanations and advertisements that encouraged vocations.
In 1860 the resourceful Fr Leo Meurin S.J. was appointed Rector. He opened a ‘minor seminary’ at Bandra for boys who wished to test their vocation to the priesthood. The minor seminarians lived with the boarders and orphans of the School but were privileged to wear the clerical dress! The ‘major seminary’ trained young men, more mature in years. The major Seminary was housed in St. Peter’s Church building.
However two years later, in October 1862, Fr Meurin was called upon to develop St. Xavier’s School, opened by Mr. Furtado at Cavel. As he shifted his quarters from Bandra to Cavel, the Bombay Seminary (only major) followed suit. Thus Cavel was soon to be crowded by cassocked clerics. Unfortunately, this move ended prematurely. The School at Cavel was very much in its infancy and lacked the arrangements needed for a full-fledged Seminary.
A solution to the situation seemed plausible. In June 1866, the Jesuits turned their eyes to one of their most famous institutions – St Mary’s at Mazagaon. Both the major and minor seminary moved into these new quarters surrounded by coconut groves. Initially, the Seminarians were put up in the ‘out-house of the new buildings’. The staff composed of Fr Willy, Rector, and Professor of Latin; Fr Peterson, Minister, and Professor and Fr Leiter, Procurator, and Professor of Theology.
When the larger building of St. Mary’s along Nesbit Road was completed in 1867 the greater part of the old stone building was reserved for the Seminarians and was now called ‘The Seminary’. However, the gypsy life of the Seminary continued. After three years the Jesuits were once again on a house-hunt. Can you guess the next famous institution that served to embrace the Bombay Seminary? Comment below!
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