The storeys of the Bombay Seminary are engulfed with stories, each marked by perplexing patience, long labyrinths, bewildering events, and unending hopes. Finally, in 1936 the undeterred spirit and apostolic zeal of Archbishop Lima brought to fruition the long nourished faith of the Archdiocese.
The Archbishop called Father Conget, the new Jesuit Superior, and asked him if the Society was willing to run the Seminary. Father Conget in turn consulted his General who heartily agreed but suggested that a formal agreement be drawn between the Archdiocese and the Society.
On the other hand, the Nuns informed the Archbishop that they would be ready to vacate the Parel premises by the end of 1935. The sisters left on December 15, 1935, and handed over the keys to the Archbishop on December 31, 1935.
Next, Fr. Chrysanto Zurbitu S.J. was appointed Chaplain of the Parel Chapel on January 1, 1936. While serving as a visiting priest of King Edward Memorial Hospital, Fr Zurbitu also supervised the structural alterations as required to convert the convent and school into a seminary.
At last, the much-awaited announcement was declared in the pages of the Examiner. Dated February 22, 1936, it read ‘The Diocesan Seminary of Bombay had been located at Parel. The entrance date (for future candidates) will be announced in due time.’
By and by drafts for the formal agreement were made, details about the studies, staff, and students were chalked out, and discipline was discussed. The Diocesan Council decided that the students should be admitted into the institution only after acquiring the Bombay Matriculation Certificate. And thus, on June 13, 1936, on the feast of St. Anthony, the ‘proper’ Bombay Seminary was formally and finally inaugurated.
In the presence of a distinguished gathering of priests, four members of the Seminary staff, four seminarians (of the six on the roll), Archbishop Lima celebrated ‘Low Mass’ at 8 am in the Parel Chapel. Then in the study hall of the seminary, he delivered a glorious discourse and discussed his vision for the Bombay Seminary. The zealous words of the Archbishop continue to resound through the storeys of the Bombay Seminary. We shall hearken to its echoes in the next article. Stay tuned!
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