Thursday, April 7, 2016

St. Albert the Great College in the 1960's Part 1 of 2

1 comment:

  1. How impressive, and also how sad. This was probably filmed either immediately before, or during what turned out to be the disasterous Second Vatican Council....known by everyone as Vatican II. The classroom here looks packed. I am sure the college is either closed, or very much depeleted today.
    My cousin joined another great religious Order in the Catholic Church, the Augustinians (OSA), as a member of the Augustinian Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova, based in Villanova Pa, home of our great champion Villanova University basketball tear, winners in USA 2016 college championships.
    Back when my cousin joined the Augustinians, in the Summer of 1964, Vatican II was going on in Rome. He joined as a postulant with a class of about 65 other young men, whn made their postulancy and novitiate in New York (the OSA's once had a beautiful novitiate in New York State).
    Their main seminary was also located on the beautiful campus of Villanova University. It was called Saint Mary's Seminary, and housed about 200 seminarians studying philosophy. The Augustinians also had a very well respected Theological seminary on the campus of Catholic U in Washington DC where another 100+ seminarians at theology level studied. They were all usualy ordained as a special treat at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception when it was their time to be ordained priests.
    When my cousin joined the Saint Thomas of Villanova Provice of the Augustinians (which encompassed the East coast of the USA from Mass. down to Washington, with also a prep school and college in Florida and a few parishes in Cuba. There were 455 priests assigned to the Province when my cousin joined, as well as 30 brothers, and about 400 young men invarious stages of formation(postulants,novices, and seminarians).
    My cousin stayed in the seminary for about 5 1/2 years(all thru novitiate,college, and first year of theology. He left in 1969. By then, vocations and priests of the province began to decline since the reforms(deforms) of Vatican II were making themselves felt in the Church.
    Today, the once great Augustinan Order world wide has declined from about 4,700 in 1962, to about 2,400 today. The Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova has collapsed. From about 450 priests and 30 brothers and over 400 men in training in 1962-64, they have gone to about 130 aged priests(60 are retired, and living in a wing of their monastery on the campus of Villanova which has been turned basically into a full scale nursing home), 8 brothers, and about 15 men in formation(novices, postulants and seminarians). Nearly all their parishes in the Philadelphia Archdiocese are gone (they had about 7), and given over to diosecean priests to run. At Villanova, there are only about 3-4 Augustinians on the teaching staff (over 50 before Vatican II).
    It is impressive to see these old videos, but also tremendously sad when one considers what has happened to the Catholic Church since Vatican II and the destruction of the Faith that followed...continuing today with the agenda of the present papacy.