Archbishop William Goh with the seminary community. Seated from left: Br Gabriel Wong, Msgr Ambrose Vaz, Archbishop William Goh, Frs Valerian Cheong and John Bosco. Standing from left: Seminarians Shaun Lim, Simon Ho, Vincent Thomas, Nicholas Lye, Andrew Lin, Brennan Tay, Andre Tan, Justin Yip, Dexter Chua and Clarence Yue.
The St Francis Xavier Major Seminary has moved to its temporary premises at the Church of St Teresa, 510 Kampung Bahru.

The official move was made on Nov 30, 2015.

It was decided after careful considerations on the part of Archbishop William Goh and his team of advisors. The future formation of the seminarians and more efficient utilisation of Church resources for the archdiocese were some of the considerations.

The seminary year for 2016 officially began on Jan 15. This year also saw three new additions to the seminary community. Bringing the total number to 11 seminarians.

Classes are now held in the day at the classrooms of the Church of St Teresa and in the premises of the Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore (CTIS) at night. Seminarians, novices and postulants now attend classes alongside laypeople.

The St Francis Xavier Major Seminary in Punggol. The seminary has relocated temporarily to the Church of St Teresa.

The anticipated move to the seminary’s eventual home, within the premises of St Joseph Church (Bukit Timah), is expected to take place in two to three years’ time.

The annual thanksgiving Mass was celebrated at the Punggol premises for the last time on Nov 27, marking a significant milestone in the history of the seminary.

The seminarians said that they were sad to leave their Punggol premises, more so for those who have called it home for the last six to seven years. For Msgr Ambrose Vaz, rector of St Francis Xavier Major Seminary, it has been his home for about 20 years.

While there was uncertainty about the venture into unchartered territory, the seminarians also shared that they are excited to be  part of a new chapter and phase in the history of the seminary. 

By Br Clarence Yue
Br Clarence is a seminarian.