January 9, 2018


The Seminarians of Holy Spirit Seminary have not all returned from their Christmas Break, but those who have - are fully back in the program. They begin each day in the beautiful seminary chapel with prayer and meditation that includes a reading from the Synaxarion (lives of the Saints) and a sung Divine Liturgy. They use various melodies from the Kyivan tradition and the gentleness and harmony of their singing immediately sets a prayerful atmosphere. They have breakfast in common in the dining room below the chapel, but each prepares something for himself. Then they are off to the classes that they take at the city's institutions of higher learning. The two most common universities that they have attended over the years were Saint Paul University and the Dominican University College. For some courses or other specialized studies, some have attend Ottawa University as well. St Paul University was a natural choice as it was home to the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies (MASI) which offered the seminarians courses in Eastern Christian theology. MASI has since moved to Toronto, but St. Paul's still offers courses in Eastern Christian Theology. The Dominican institution, among other subjects, has an excellent program for philosophy studies which is also required for one preparing for priestly ministry.

Holy Spirit Seminary in Ottawa - which will be celebrating its 40th anniversary in only two years - has been located for most of its existence at a former monastery on Baseline Road. It is also interesting to note that for most of the years that the seminary has been operational, it is clergy from the Archeparchy of Winnipeg have served as Rector. This includes the late Fr. Joseph Andrijishyn - the first Rector who served for the first 13 years after the Seminary opened in 1981. Since then, among other Rectors, Winnipeg's Fr. Andrew Wach served in that capacity for a number of years and now Fr. Michael Winn who is the present Rector and has served in that position since 2009. Other clergy from Winnipeg have served in other capacities like Spiritual Director and Instructors of various kinds.

For the seminary to function at full capacity and successfully fulfil its mandate, it is essential that all the faithful from around the country consistently offer their support by ongoing prayer and by taking an interest in what is happening at the seminary and with the seminarians that step forward to explore a priestly vocation. Also important is to continue generously supporting the seminary at least when the annual specially designated collection envelope shows up in the parish envelope box. And finally there is always a need for more candidates. There is room for more seminarians. We should not hesitate to encourage our sons and grandsons to consider opening their hearts to the Lord and discerning if the Lord is not calling them to serve His People as His priest in their midst...

Presently the Archeparchy of Winnipeg has three young men in the Ottawa seminary program... Andriy Andriyeshyn, Jay Korban and Alex Pankiw. Be so kind as to keep them and all seminarians in your prayer.

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