Sacred Heart School of Theology has announced its intention to expand its name to “Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology,” effective Aug. 15, 2014.
“The expansion of our name more accurately reflects our identity and our longstanding mission in service to our Church,” said Msgr. Ross Shecterle, president-rector. The new name also meets an objective of the institution’s ongoing strategic plan.
Shecterle noted, “We have referred to ourselves as a seminary for decades, but the word was not a part of our formal name. This is a small but important change that allows us to be very clear about our primary mission.”
The word “seminary” typically refers to institutions entrusted with all four pillars of formation – human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral – typically for diocesan seminarians. The term “school of theology” describes institutions where certain aspects of formation are provided off-campus, typically by the houses of formation of seminarians belonging to religious orders. This distinction is highlighted in the document Formation for Presbyteral Ministry in Institutes of Religious Life (October, 2011) published by the Conference of Major Superiors of Men.
Sacred Heart works in both modes. About 75 percent of seminarians at Sacred Heart are diocesan. The rest are members of religious orders, and many of them receive their human, spiritual and pastoral formation at their own houses of formation in the Milwaukee area. Additionally Sacred Heart has lay students training for various forms of ecclesial lay ministry. Institutions providing such training are commonly referred to as schools of theology.
The name expansion was embraced by the Provincial Council of the Priests of the Sacred Heart and by the seminary’s Board of Directors earlier this year, and was made in consultation with the members of the administration team and faculty. Sacred Heart is an apostolate of the Priests of the Sacred Heart.
“We appreciate the continued support and prayers of our 30 plus sponsors as we continue to engage in the exciting and important mission of forming men to be priests of Jesus Christ, and forming lay leaders for service in today’s Church,” Shecterle said.