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Minor Seminary in Guatemala Graduates 14 Students
Father Adrian Ruyan Coroy, rector of the minor seminary in Sololá, Guatemala, (Seminario Menor Señor San José), gratefully reports that 14 students completed their studies on Oct. 16, graduating with high school degrees. They will continue their training at the major seminary in January 2022.
The seminary program in Sololá has been a blessing for the people of the area since it began in 1961. At that time, a shortage of priests in Sololá prompted the Spokane Diocese to send three priests to pastor five parishes. Six more priests from Spokane would be assigned to work in the highlands of Guatemala in years following.
Last May, 60 years after the founding of the major seminary, four seminarians were ordained to the priesthood and 10 seminarians were ordained to be deacons. The diocese of Sololá has more priests than any other diocese in Guatemala, with one priest for every 7,000 Catholics. Priests, like Father Manuel Nicasio in Ixtahuacan, serve many communities, traveling miles to reach their parishioners in the mountain communities. The retirement of Father David Baronti in 2017 marked the first time since the beginning of the relationship between the diocese of Spokane and Sololá that Spokane has had no priests in the Guatemala mission.
The minor seminary was opened in 1993 to offer education for young men in grades ten and eleven, preparing them for the major seminary. This year, there were 35 seminarians at the minor seminary. Students have experienced remote and in-person learning in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The minor seminary focuses on teaching values and living a sacred life in the Catholic Church. The curriculum includes Spanish, three Mayan languages, and religion, along with other courses required by the department of education. Students also participate in community service and help with duties at the seminary.
Remodeling of the 28-year-old seminary building has been ongoing for the last several years. This work has included replacing floors, windows, dormitory beds and closets, and remodeling the kitchen. The next project, when funds permit, is to remodel the bathrooms and showers.
Father Adrian said he is grateful for support from Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Spokane, and from the Guatemala Commission. In a recent report, Father Adrian said, “I would like to thank you on behalf of all of the seminarians and teachers…for your unconditional support for our seminary. May God bless you abundantly.”
The Guatemala Commission is seeking additional support for the minor seminary. The commission currently sends the seminary $315 monthly out of unrestricted funds. If your parish would like more information about the seminary, please call Donna Connell, at (509) 924-1346 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Caption: Pictured with rector Fr. Adrian Ruyan Coroy (center front) are seminarians graduating from the minor seminary program in Oct. 2021.