Fr. Denis Robinson, OSB, president-rector of Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology, today announced that on-campus classes have been suspended for the rest of the spring semester, as part of Saint Meinrad’s effort to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Resident seminarians will return home to their dioceses and religious communities.
Here is the text of his statement:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As everyone is aware, the rise in outbreak of the COVID-19 virus is affecting people around our nation, as well as around the world. While we have few cases in our southern Indiana community, that may be changing in the near future. I believe at this time it is prudent for our residential community to return to their dioceses and religious communities.
Because of the wide distribution of seminarians in various communities, we will not be resuming formation activities after Easter. In other words, the seminary formation year is complete. Students will be completing coursework by way of electronic delivery and email, according to the design of individual faculty members. All academic work will be completed.
This is a difficult decision, especially as it affects the quality of formation that we are able to offer our seminarians. This morning, I announced that seminarians may begin to leave campus beginning on Wednesday, March 18. I have asked that all who are leaving make their plans to return to their dioceses or religious communities by Friday, March 20.
I am also aware that, for some of our seminarians, it is impossible or impractical that they return to dioceses, religious communities or even to their homes. Seminarians who, for any reason, will not be able to leave campus or would prefer to remain at Saint Meinrad for a time will be able to do so. Meals and liturgical celebrations will be available for them, as will the support of the formation staff.
Seminarians who remain at Saint Meinrad will continue to be under the current restrictions of movement outside the community that we are observing. As rector, I am committed to making sure that no seminarian is left without support and encouragement in this time of crisis.
We here at Saint Meinrad remain united to our dioceses and religious communities in prayerful support during this difficult time. Please know of the prayers of the Saint Meinrad community for your local communities. If there is a positive outcome to this crisis, let us hope that it will be in the vast outpouring of charity and love on the part of many in our community. I have stressed with our seminarians that, as they leave Saint Meinrad, they go as ambassadors and servants of the Church. I know these men, and I know their quality.
Very Rev. Denis Robinson, OSB
Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology