In a final tribute to their 118 years of service at St. Patrick’s Seminary & University in Menlo Park, the Society of St. Sulpice, Province of the United States, the Sulpicians, hosted a farewell celebration May 13, with a prayer service and luncheon to officially end their history of staffing the school.
More than 500 alumni, friends and supporters of the seminary attended the event. The celebrant for the prayer service was Sulpician Father Gladstone Stevens, outgoing president-rector of the seminary. Homilist was Sulpician U.S. Provincial Superior Very Rev. John C. Kemper.
Father Kemper noted the major impact the Sulpicians played in the life of the Catholic Church in Northern California and the Pacific Rim over the more than 100 years of staffing the seminary.
“At St. Patrick’s we have educated church leaders, both priests and bishops in the Sulpician tradition,” Father Kemper said in an announcement. “We are proud of these leaders and of our contribution in the region. But now, due to circumstances beyond our control, the Society of St. Sulpice must bid St. Patrick’s Seminary… Adieu! We wish God’s blessing upon the new faculty and administration as they begin to build on the 118-year foundation built by generations of dedicated Sulpicians.”
The Sulpicians informed Archbishop Cordileone on Oct. 21, 2016, that they would cease to be part of St. Patrick’s as of June 30, 2017.
In a statement on Oct. 22, the archdiocese said, “We sincerely thank the Sulpicians for their very long service to the archdiocese and to those other dioceses served by the seminary. Before being informed of this decision, the Board of Trustees had intended to begin discussions that might lead to new seminary administrative models with the society. We regret that we did not have the opportunity to explore the possibility of forming a new collaborative model with the Sulpicians.”
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