An exterior view of the newly completed Learning Center. Pilot photo/Mark Labbe
WESTON -- Culminating months of planning and work, Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary dedicated their new Learning Center during a ceremony presided by Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley, April 27.
Over 200 guests, including faculty, seminarians, alumni, and donors to the center, attended the ceremony, which celebrated the recent completion of the two floor, 10,000 square foot center.
The center will serve as a new library, research center, and study space for the seminary, allowing the current library, which was built in 1964, to be converted into office space for professors. This, in turn, will free up more rooms for seminarians.
Father William Palardy, rector of the seminary, offered a welcome and thanked attendees for their support.
"This building is much more than just a library. While it certainly provides much needed study space and research space for our faculty and seminarians, it's also really a very significant sign of our preparation of the future, a sign of our vitality and strength," he said.
He was followed by Cardinal O'Malley, who highlighted the importance of new library by citing the value of books.
"It is God who inspires in the human spirit the desire to record and preserve through books and other means the discoveries of the human mind that open the way to truth... Through reading truth becomes the guide for living," he said.
"It is therefore fitting that your work in conserving and circulating books as a form of spreading divine truth should have the support of God's blessing," he concluded.
The cardinal then blessed the inside of the building, before mingling with the attendees.
Seminarian John Maksym, a former judge for the Navy and Marine Corps, was one of the attendees at the ceremony. He told The Pilot he believes the new Learning Center will positively impact the seminary's future.
"It's a dramatic improvement over what the seminary had, and I think it's the threshold to an incredibly positive future," he said.
"Technologically and facilities wise, the seminary has entered into the 21st century... I think we're heading in the right direction," he continued.
Another seminarian who attended the ceremony, Lambert Nieme, said the center will be a "very nice place to study," and noted he will use it frequently.
"It's a wonderful place. (I'm) happy to have it," he said.