18 July 2011

More Changes at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary

The following letter from Kenrick-Glennon Rector Fr. John Horn, SJ, announces more changes at the seminary. Of particular note are the losses of Fr. Samuel Weber, OSB, formerly Director of the Institute of Sacred Music for the Archdiocese, and also Dr. Ryan Madison, one of the excellent young philosophy professors at the college:

Dear Members of the Administration, Faculty, Support Staff and Seminarians,

Amid all of the transitions at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, now at St. Mary's, and amid all of the particular delights that summer-time brings, the desires of our hearts are called in Psalm 27:4-6 to sing and pray, "One thing I ask of the Lord, this I seek...to dwell in the Lord's house all the days of my life, to gaze on the Lord's beauty...singing and chanting praise to the Lord."

This beauty has been seen and tasted in recent days as the new administrative staff has been gathering to prayerfully plan for the coming year. I am grateful to Bishop Edward Rice, Fr. Donald Henke, Fr. Thomas McDermott, O.P., Fr. James Swift, C.M., Fr. Paul Rothschild, and Dr. John Gresham. Their generosity and shared wisdom in our meetings has engendered, in the Holy Spirit, a real unity in Jesus' Heart and that is beautiful.

As many of you know several personnel developments have transpired in recent days:

* Miss Mary Ann Aubin has been named the new Director of the Library after years of serving as the Kenrick Seminary Registrar. Her graduate study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (MLS), and her ardent desire to serve in this particular capacity, promises to bless the seminary community.

* Mrs. Catherine Hayek has happily agreed to increase her hours of service to two days a week as Registrar for Glennon College, as well as coordinate matters that deal with immigration and foreign student affairs.

* Mrs. Joanne Criscione, M.S.W. has been named the new Assistant Coordinator for Human Formation Services. She comes to us with a rich backround in personal growth counseling grounded in the Catholic tradition. She was highly recommended by Dr. Susanne Harvath because of her love for the Church and priesthood, and because of her ability to integrate personal growth counseling with Christian faith, contemplative prayer and discernment.

* Fr. Samuel Weber, O.S.B. who has blessed us with the beauty of teaching Gregorian chant departs amid family needs to care for his sister Diane who is suffering in the final stages of Lupus. I learned just a week ago that his Archabbot, Archabbot Justin, is providing a situation where Fr. Samuel's other sister Marie can serve as a housekeeper while Fr. Samuel serves in parish ministry. Together they can then more easily attend to the health needs of their sister Diane. We bless Fr. Samuel, in a grateful return blessing, for all of the good that has come from his labors with us at the seminary. We promise him our intercessory prayers for his new parish assignment and for the needs of his family.

* Dr. Ryan Madison has accepted a new position of leadership at the University of St. Thomas near Fort Worth, Texas. About 2 weeks ago the news was received that he has been named Academic Dean, Tutor and Teacher. We offer our heartfelt congratulations and assure him and his family of our prayers of gratitude for all of his many contributions to the seminary community.

As we sing and pray with Psalm 27, as we gaze upon the beauty of the Lord, with single-minded desires to seek after Him and to dwell in His house all our days, there is always the blessedness of sorrow. All change carries each of our hearts into tasting some type of sorrow. It may be the sorrow of change that comes from advancement and success. It may be the sorrow of change that is related to loss amid suffering family sickness. In faith, together as believers, we want to acknowledge this blessed sorrow, so as to receive the truth and beauty that is flowing from Jesus' Heart. We receive anew Jesus' words, "Blessed are the sorrowing for they shall be consoled" (Matthew 5:5). And, we have the assurance in Jesus' Spirit, "...Behold I make all things new" (Revelation 21:5). This is true for each of us personally as well as for the seminary and the Church at large. Let's pray for each other, to be able to taste more of Jesus' consoling love and care, amid any sorrow that accompanies these changes.

I ask that the needs that currently face us, the need for assistance in the Kenrick Registrar's office, and the need for a Latin teacher be commended to prayer. There are already some promising possibilities. If you have any ideas please call me with those suggestions.

With Archbishop Carlson's blessing some wonderful adjunct teachers have been hired for the courses that were slated to be taught by Dr. Madison. You will recognize several of the names:

* Metaphysics --- Dr. Lawrence Feingold

* Epistemology --- Fr. David Skillman

* Ancient Philosophy and Philosophical Anthropology --- Miss Beth Rath (a doctoral student at SLU)

* Medieval Philosophy and Philosophy of Nature --- Mr. Brian Cross (a doctoral student at SLU)

We give thanks for the talent, generosity and availability of these wonderful teachers.

It is important to note that Fr. James Swift, C.M., our new Director of Worship, and Mary Beth Wittry, our seminary Director of Sacred Music, have been engaged in creative planning for music at the seminary. I am confident of their leadership. Dr. Horst Buchholz, the Director of Music at the Cathedral-Basilia of St. Louis, who Mary Beth works with regularly, can be tapped as a rich resource as assistance is needed.

It is a special joy to share the news that Archbishop Carlson has approved the purchasing of a new electronic organ to enhance our worship in the new location. This will be used for music into the future until funds can be raised to restore the seminary pipe organ. Bids are being obtained for the restoration of the pipe organ.

I wish to especially thank Randy Rathert and Jim Kalkbrenner for their labors that continue a smooth transition and assure a readiness for the new school year. A special thanks is given to Anne Walter and Dr. Sebastian Mahfood for their long hours of service, bringing our technology up to par for the everyday needs of the seminary community. The entire support staff, maintenance, housekeeping, kitchen and administrative staff have walked the extra mile in recent weeks. I am very grateful for this generosity. Thank you!

A friendship is to be celebrated as a result of Bishop Rice having called his friend, Dennis Golden, the president of Fontbonne University. A gift was received, the gracious gift of Fontbonne's hospitality. Beginning last week we need only present a Kenrick-Glennon I.D. to gain access to Fontbonne's weight room and indoor track. We are grateful for this good neighborly hospitality. Thank you Bishop Rice!

In the coming weeks more details will be supplied to ease the transition back to Kenrick-Glennon at St. Mary's.

Be assured of my prayers as I also request yours. Together in faith we will taste and see the goodness of the Lord. Let's continue, in the grace of single-minded hearts, "... to seek to gaze upon the Lord's beauty... offering sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and chanting praise to the Lord" (Psalm 27). The year ahead promises to amaze us with gratitude.

In the Sacred Heart,

Fr. John Horn, S.J.


Kenrick-Glennon Seminary


dulac90 said...

The University of St. Thomas near Fort Worth, Texas? Perhaps he means The College of Saint Thomas More in Fort Worth, TX.

Sounds like an solid development for a small, Catholic liberal arts college. Worth keeping an eye on.

Anonymous said...

What is happening? I had been praying that the seeming pattern at the Seminary was just chance, but its becoming all too obvious... Two more holy men who love the extraordinary form: gone. Sancta Virgo vírginum - Ora pro nobis.

Athelstane said...

Whatever else is true, Dr. Feingold is a solid addition to the faculty.

YoungCatholicSTL said...

While I think Anonymous at 22:46 is right to be alarmed at the number of solid EF-favorable professors leaving the seminary, I don't think the most recent news is as bad as it seems.

First, neither professor has been fired (whether or not they were subtlely forced out remains an open question). Fr. Weber appears to be leaving because of health issues in his family, while Dr. Madison has taken a new job.

Second, a quick look at the new professors includes one name that really stands out to me: Brian Cross. I had Mr. Cross as my ethics professor at SLU a number of years ago. I can attest that he is a strong Catholic who I believe to be very open to tradition.

So in short, I agree we must stay vigilant and pray, but I don't think this recent announcement is necessarily a sign of things to come at the seminary.

John said...

Dear YoungCatholicsSTL

I'm glad that you have inside information that no one was fired. You must know each of them personally.

And now that there is no one at the seminary who says the EF, what are the things to come?

Indeed, you are young.

Dad29 said...

Let us pray that Fr. Weber's cross is light-to-bear for him, and especially for his suffering sister.

Ryan Madison said...

dulac90 is correct. It is The College of St. Thomas More in Fort Worth, TX.

YoungCatholicSTL said...


As I clearly stated, I do not know if these two profs were being subtley forced out, and my comment expressly left that possibility open. However, if you read the story Timman posted, it is clear they left for family and another job and were not fired. Maybe I'm splitting hairs but there is a difference.

As to no one at the seminary who says the EF, well you are once again incorrect. As Timman informed us not too long ago, Bishop Rice, an advocate of the EF, who has previously participated in novenas at de Sales, was recently appointed as bishop in residence at the seminary and is in charge of overseeing the college division. Maybe there are not as many EF friendly priests at the seminary as in the past, but somehow I don't see Bishop Rice just letting the EF disappear from the seminary.

All that said, I do appreciate your acknowledgement of my youth. With the gray hairs that seem to pop up each time I post a comment on this blog, it is nice to be reminded that I am still young enough to fully comprehend and remember the insightful musings of the Timman, something that seems to be lost on you.

Anonymous said...

My high school English teacher had a word for letters like this. That word was "wordy." For the love of all that is good, get it said man, then move on...

Anonymous said...

I apologize for my comment about a pattern at the seminary. I should not insinuate things I do not know. However, I am very sorry, whatever the reason, to see so many good priests and lay-men who love and/or celebrate the EF leaving the seminary. Of course, Archbishop Carlson, Fr. Horn, and all the priests, seminarians, and staff of Kenrick-Glennon are in my prayers. May God bless Fr. Weber, his sister, and Dr. Madison. Regina Apostolorum, Ora Pro Nobis.

-Anonymous from 22:46 above

mary said...

"-as I lay in that dark hour, I was aghast to realize that something within me, long sickening, had quietly died...I knew it all, the whole drab compass of marital disillusion; we had been through it together the army and I, from the first importunate courtship until now, when nothing remained to us except the chill bonds of law and duty and custom." -Charles Ryder from Brideshead Revisited.


thetimman said...


Very well played.

ollieplunkett said...


I'm glad that you have inside information that there is no one at the seminary who says the EF. You must know each of them personally.

John said...


Bishop Rice was suggested as an "advocate" of the EF but to my knowledge he has never celebrated it. Does anyone know otherwise?

This isn't rocket science. Just name one person at the seminary in its current configuration who has said the EF within the past 40 years.

ollieplunkett said...

There are a couple of new priests who have been appointed to the seminary. Unless you or others on this blog know each one of them personally and have inside information I don't think it can be said that there is no one at the seminary now who says the EF.

I do know that there remain priests and lay people at the seminary who support SP. Let's see what happens but it won't surprise me if the EF continues to be offered at the seminary.

Anonymous said...

Fr. John Horn, SJ
(SJ, a Jesuit)

Fr. Thomas McDermott, O.P.
(a Dominican)

Mrs. Joanne Criscione, M.S.W. has been named the new Assistant Coordinator for Human Formation Services… because of her ability to integrate personal growth counseling with Christian faith
(her ability to integrate personal growth counseling with Christian faith)

Fr. James Swift, C.M., our new Director of Worship
(Director of Worship)

And, we have the assurance in Jesus' Spirit, "...Behold I make all things new"

...and you wonder if they will teach the Seminarians the Traditional Mass? How about the TRUE Faith?!

Put a fork in it...it's dead!

...like Sister Rosalind
...Fr. Lockwood, etc.

Anonymous said...

Athelstane said "Whatever else is true, Dr. Feingold is a solid addition to the faculty." This is spot on and one of few encouraging aspects of all this.

It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out vocation-wise in the next 3 to 5.

TJ said...

For those of you who don't know (and this seems to be the majority), Dr. Feingold, et. al. HAVE NOT BEEN ADDED TO THE FACULTY. They are being asked to adjunct (look it up, or ask someone what it means). No one has been hired to replace Dr. Madison's full-time position.

And besides, these people have not been chosen for ideological reasons.


RJS said...

In case it has not been mentioned here before (I've been away) the Diocese of KC-SJ has now pulled out and will be sending the 7 guys formerly accepted to Kenrick-Glennon to PCJ in Columbus, OH instead.

Anonymous said...

There is no joy in any of this, but the Josephinum is rock solid (e.g. Msgr Morris). We pray for the remaining young men in formation at Kenrick under the current administration/leadership.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to say, but the Josephinum is moving toward the IPF too.

New Anonymous said...

Very disheartened to say that, two years later, the discussion (above)is moot. Most faculty from the “golden era” of KGS are gone. Summer, 2011, marked end of the era. The Archbishop and Fr. Horn, S.J. had their own plans which have turned out to be tremendously destructive to the seminary. (Was that the plan?) Any hope for recovery cannot begin until these two men (and their cohorts) have left the St. Louis Archdiocese. By then, KGS may be a memory. Prayers for an Archbishop who can “rebuild” the seminary, and much of the archdiocese.