For the past year, The Archdiocese of St Louis housed its seminarians and priests at the SSM Convent, on the campus of SSM Hospital. The building, one of the few authentic Italianate structures in St Louis, is an exact copy of a Romanesque Franciscan building in Italy. (St Francis is one of Italy's beloved saints for his love of animals).
Yesterday, while I was supping my morning coffee at The In and Out Market, a couple of scholastics walked in to get their coffee. I asked how the renovation of the Archdiocese Seminary was going in Shrewsbury, and they responded that they were moving back. Most of the renovations have been completed. Because this was semester break, some of them were going to visit family and some were moving from SSM Convent back to the Seminary.
While the sighting of groups of priests is very common in The Vatican, it was a reassuring sight this summer and Fall as well as a testament to the rich religious heritage of St Louis. We will miss the fifty or so men who were good neighbors while here. They added a nice presence to the community whether they were attending classes nearby or walking with their breviaries.