McGivney Hall Will Be a Home for Young Catholic Men Throughout the Northwest as They Discern the Priesthood
The Built on Rock Campaign to remodel McGivney Hall, the new building that will house young men discerning the priesthood, has raised about one-third of the $3.6 million needed. The main phase of the campaign is being held this winter and will seek funds not just within the Diocese of Spokane but across the Northwest.
McGivney Hall will be the home of Cor Christi Pre-Seminary, a new program that will meet new Vatican requirements for a “propaedeutic year,” or preparatory year, which will help young men mature in their faith before beginning seminary.
At Bishop White Seminary, the program has already begun in earnest, even though the new building is not complete. First-year seminarians have formed a small Cor Christi cohort with their own schedule, meetings, and group activities. “There’s already a distinct esprit de corps among these young men,” said Father Daniel Barnett, rector of Bishop White Seminary and the main architect behind Cor Christi.
So far, major donors have pledged about $1.2 million to the project. Several receptions are planned for this winter, with Bishop Thomas Daly and Father Barnett meeting with people who are eager to contribute to the formation of our future priests.
A major component of the campaign has been the support of “vocation allies,” or organizations that make priestly vocations part of their mission. Notably, the Knights of Columbus have risen to the challenge.
Leaders like former State Deputy George Czerwonka of Knights Council 683 have been particularly instrumental in organizing meetings and a gala dinner to support the project. The Serra Clubs of Spokane, Tri-Cities, and Northern Idaho, and the Catholic Daughters of America, have also been extremely supportive.
Father Barnett is also seeking financial support from bishops throughout the region. Because men from the entire Western U.S. will be studying in Spokane, many dioceses have a vested interest in the project.
The keys to the whole campaign are individual Catholics who desire healthy, holy, well-formed priests, and thus will make generous pledges to the project. The hope is that at least $1 million of the total $3.6 million will come from the general phase of the campaign, which launched this month. Pledges can be made at bishopwhitesem.org.
Over the past year, the Diocese of Spokane has emerged as a leader in responding to the requirements of the propaedeutic year. As bishops throughout the world prepare programs for young men, our diocese is well-positioned to showcase a vibrant model for forming future priests.
About McGivney Hall
McGivney Hall is one block from Bishop White Seminary and will function as a distinctly separate house of formation, with its own resident priest formators and staff. Originally built as a convent, the construction is solid, the layout is excellent and the utilities are in good shape. However, the last updates appear to have been in the 1980s. After asbestos is abated, the kitchen and bathrooms will require total renovation, and most rooms need cosmetic updates. The chapel, re-named by Bishop Daly as “St. Vincent de Paul Chapel,” will need an aesthetic overhaul. In general, the building has “good bones” but needs significant work.
Built on Rock Campaign
So far, the Built on Rock Campaign has raised about one-third of the $3.6 million needed for the purchase of the building, extensive renovation and programmatic costs for the new Cor Christi program.
New Student Quarters
There are 20 student rooms that are set up in the “old convent” style, each with a private sink. Most rooms do not need extensive renovation other than painting and fixture updating. After renovations, McGivney Hall will be a simple but suitable home for men in the Cor Christi Pre-Seminary program.
What is Cor Christi?
Cor Christi is a pre-seminary program to help young men grow in spiritual and human maturity as they further discern the priesthood. More than ever before, bishops and vocation directors are insisting that their men be formed first as Catholic gentlemen — normal, relatable men who one day will function well in ordinary parishes. The aim of the new propaedeutic phase is to address any human shortcomings and ensure that men have an authentic, living relationship with Jesus Christ before they progress into seminary. The new program will include a “media fast” and a renewed emphasis on self-knowledge, self-discipline and growth in virtue.
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