10 Samoan seminarians withdrawn from Guam Seminary

Up to 10 people from Samoa and American Samoa studying for the priesthood at a Redemptoris Mater Seminary (RMS) in Guam have been withdrawn.

Six are from the Archdiocese of Samoa in Apia, and two are from the Diocese of Samoa in Pago Pago.

However, the number will reach 10 if two other RMS seminarians from American Samoa that are currently on mission outside Guam do not return to Guam.

Father Jeffrey San Nicolas, the delegate of the administrator for the Archdiocese of Agana, said the number of seminarians that were pulled out represented about 24 percent of the population at the seminary.

He said there are now 31 seminarians at RMS, down from 41.

“They left in early July. Their bishop decided to pull them out,” San Nicolas said of the Samoan seminarians. “It is a dramatic, shocking situation.”

The RMS  is a Neocatechumenal seminary.

It forms priesthood candidates ot only for Guam, but for the wider pacific region and other parts of the world

The Neocatechumenal Way is an organisation within the Catholic Church that was formed in Madrid, Spain, in 1964 by Kiko Argueello and Carmen Hernandez.

Archbishop Apuron and the rector of RMS, Fr. Pius Sammut, are both members of the Neocatechumenal Way.

One of the four ad hoc committees that Archbishop Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, apostolic administrator of Agana formed in June is now assessing the status, not only of the RMS in Yona, but also the St. John Paul the Great Archdiocesan Seminary also in Guam.

Hon said the assessment of both seminaries includes “studying their formation programmes, their personnel and other matters involved in the formation of the clergy for the Archdiocese.”

“The Archdiocese is in the process of studying the RMS along with our second seminary, understanding that this is a matter of great importance and concern in our Church on Guam.”


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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