Friday, October 08, 2010

Ushaw College to close in June 2011

I`ve just had an email with a press release announcing the closure of Ushaw college in 2011. I`m very sad to hear the news as it is a place of great importance in the history of the Catholic Church in England and especially the North East. It drove me mad at times when I was there but I find it hard to think that it will no longer exist. I wonder what will happen to the site?

A quotation from the press release:
In recent years, Ushaw College has developed to blend heritage with advancement while maintaining its core function of the formation of priests to help renew and continue the work of the Roman Catholic Church in the region. Currently, there are 26 seminarians in formation at St Cuthbert’s Seminary and once they have completed this year’s studies, it is proposed that they will transfer to another seminary.

Archbishop Patrick Kelly, Chair of Trustees said: “This is one of the most difficult proposals that we as Trustees have had to make, not least because of the excellence of the formation our students are receiving.”

Monsignor John Marsland, President of the College, expressed his sorrow at the proposal: “Ushaw has a long history within the Roman Catholic Church and words cannot express how sad we are that we are considering such a drastic step.

“We have long tried to find a development partner and it would be nice to believe that a partner will still come forward with a viable business plan but unfortunately time is running out and we have to face the reality of the situation we are in.”

20 comments:

FrankE said...

I wonder if the LMS would be prepared to be a "business partner" to Ushaw...

Pastor in Valle said...

Sad news, Father. The staff here at Wonersh knew nothing of this and seem to be rather shocked. Now both Ware and Ushaw are no more, and Allen Hall in question, a long and noble tradition from Douai seems threatened.

1569 Rising said...

I am stunned. I have no doubt the Trustees have explored all avenues, but this news is really too sad for words.

I am really distressed, so much history, so many memories, so many treasures - My God!!

Terry Middleton, Ushaw 1958 - 1963

1569 Rising said...

A thought, Father:

Is it the SEMINARY that is closing? In other words, is the conference centre to remain, because if so, the buildings remain, and surely Catholic organisations, Orders etc could utilise the place. Of course, too late to save the money spent on the Yoof Village!

Am I drowning whilst grasping at straws?

Cardinal Merry del Val said...

Pope Benedict XVI elected 2005.

Ushaw to close 2011.

Further comment unnecessary.

Sadie Vacantist said...

It should have happened 10 years ago. Who will buy it now?

Seeker said...

Much as I think it is a very fine establishment, and has done a great deal in the past, it is a huge facility to be so little used. The effort at turning it into a conference and training centre was valiant, but either the skills or the demand were not there. It makes sense to retrench and use the resources more wisely.

Et Expecto said...

In reply to FrankE, I don't think that, under its present constitution, the LMS could be the "business partner". However, that is not to say that the that there could not be a future plan that involved the traditional movement within the Church. Some ideas are already forming.

I would be interested in contact details of anyone interested.

Paul Waddington
Treasurer, Latin Mass Society.

Ben said...

This news was long feared, but it is still very sad. Following so soon on the closure of Scotus College, this now means that there is no seminary for secular priests north of Birmingham. It makes it just that little bit harder for young men here (the north of Scotland) to contemplate a vocation when they need to make a three day round trip just to see a operational seminary. I hope Ushaw will continue in use as a Catholic college/hall of residence for students at Durham University, thus to maintain the presence of the Church in these historic and beautiful buildings.

David Lindsay said...

Under John Paul II, there was a seventy-two per cent increase in ordinations worldwide, in countries with edifying liturgy and other accurate catechesis. Such priests cannot arrive here too soon as missionaries.

Anonymous said...

Ah Patrick Kelly. The same bishop who closed and sold St Joseph's College, Upholland (the last junior seminary) which now lies rotting in Lancashire because the developer has neither the funds nor the planning permission to redevelop the listed buildings into apartments. I fear Ushaw will decline in a similar direction. For pictures of things to come see the images from Derelict Places.

Rubricarius said...

Sad, very sad. A world long gone.

Father G said...

It is a sad event to be sure, especially since this seminary is the legacy of the Douai Martyrs and spawned a number of Bishops, Archbishops and Cardinals. Yet what can we expect if the voices which criticised the education given in our schools via deficient RE syllabus's are correct? Indeed, it is undeniable that around 95% of our youngsters leave school and immeditaly lapse if they have not already done so. Similarly, I can think of around 20 priests from around my time at Ushaw -the late 80's and early 90's- who have left the priesthood. Something must have gone very badly -and very sadly- wrong in the last fifty years. Solid education (solid formation since information forms) and God-centred liturgy must surely be the answer -along with prayer, fasting and sacrifice.

Durham visitor said...

That is sad. I have very happy memories of visiting Ushaw a long time ago. I hope they don't do anything too awful with it.

all_4_gzus said...

Maybe the seminarians could move to Minsteracres, which itself seems perilously close to closure, and could therefore do with a boost? It's less convenient for Durham Uni, but has a lovely church and grounds, and seems about the right size for a seminary. Minsteracres could still be used for retreats outside of term time.

Pete said...

I lived there for the best part of 21 years and my parents still live and work at Ushaw. For those who are interested, i hav created a campaign page on facebook. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-Ushaw-College-From-Closure/171060129574904

Anonymous said...

Why should anyone be sad that Ushaw is to close? It ceased to be a RC Seminary when it stopped teaching RC doctrine. After the infamous Vatican II, the modernist liberals took root there and ruthlessly persecuted anyone who did not conform to their ideology. Not surprisingly Vocations declined and the ineffectual, liberal English Bishops, striving not to upset our post-Christian Society, stood idle and did nothing. 'As you sow. so shall you reap'.

Fr Michael Brown said...

Probably Schismatic Anonymous, I was at Ushaw for five years and can't say I enjoyed it. However it is sad that Ushaw is closing because it is a living link with Douai and because there was a rescue plan organised by the LMS`s Paul Waddington which appears to have been ignored.

Danny said...

No dear Fr Brown, just a disillusioned loyal son of the Church, not a schismatic, although I have great sympathy with those who have been forced into schism,
Men like Fr Brown just don't get it and never will! Look around you, wake up and look at the casualties of Vatican II, the unecessary PASTORAL Council, which now includes Ushaw College. There were many who suffered at the hands of the nasty liberals at Ushaw, and the seeds of the present chrisis were sown by these wicked men, blind guides and never kept in check by the ineffectual, for the most part unintelligent English Bishops. 21st March 2011 (the final St Cuthbert's Mass/Grand Week) was easily foretold! Christoper Walsh et al, destroying the Church from within. I know, I witnessed some of it.

Fr Michael Brown said...

Danny, I think I do get it. If you say Vatican II was in error then you have given up on the indefectiblilty of the Church and may as well become a Protestant. Pope Benedict has said taht just becase a counil is valid does not mean to say it has to be effective.The wrong interpretation of Vat II has wreaked enormous damage. The only way forward is to interpret it in the light of Tradition. Whatever the outcome of the talks with the SSPX the most useful thing that will emerge is an authentic interpretation of the Council. We may find that it really had very little to say of any great significance.