Andrew Mitchell MP has visited St. Mary\'s Seminary College, on Chester Road in Sutton Coldfield to meet with Monsignor Mark Crisp and tour the College.
St Mary’s College is the home of the Catholic Seminary of the Archdiocese of Birmingham serving the dioceses and religious orders of England and Wales. On 19 September of last year Pope Benedict XVI travelled to Oscott College where he met with the Bishops of England, Scotland and Wales. It was the first time a Pope has visited a seminary on British soil.
Mr Mitchell was greeted by Monsignor Mark Crisp who showed Sutton’s MP around the College. Andrew heard how formation for priesthood normally takes 6 years, during which time, seminarians live at the College in a community of formation focussed upon priestly living, prayer and study.
Mr Mitchell agreed that the College buildings and grounds provided an excellent environment for quiet and reflection, whilst being surrounded by city parishes and many other pastoral opportunities for those in formation.
Andrew Mitchell heard how the seminary is an “educational ecclesial community” in which there are four areas of formation: human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral. The intellectual curriculum comprises two years of formation in philosophy, followed by four years of theology. The first three years of the academic programme are validated by the University of Birmingham as a BA in Fundamental Catholic Theology.
Andrew Mitchell MP said, “It was really interesting to visit St Mary’s Seminary which is just on the border of my constituency. Many people may not be aware of the seminary’s location in Oscott. However, the high regard in which the College is held by the Catholic Church was reflected in the fact that it was included in Pope Benedict’s itinerary when he visited the UK last year.”
Photo: Andrew Mitchell MP and Monsignor Mark Crisp at St Mary’s Seminary College in Oscott.