The archdiocesan major seminary in Olomouc can look back on a history of almost 230 years – though for close to 40 years this period was brutally interrupted by communist persecution. It was not until 1990, after the political upheavals in Eastern Europe, that the seminary was reopened – partly thanks to the help of ACN. The seminary had been ravaged and neglected by the communists for so long that it needed to be renovated from top to bottom.
One of the great Church personalities to have emerged from this particular seminary was Cardinal Frantisek Tomášek, renowned for his fearless resistance to the communist oppressors. He trained for the priesthood in Olomouc from 1918 to 1922, and in 1951 he was arrested by the communist regime and condemned to forced labor in a quarry. It was not until the end of the Stalinist era, in 1954, that he was finally released.
From 1965 to 1977, he served as apostolic administrator of the Prague Archdiocese, and from 1977 until 1991, he was Archbishop of Prague. One of the high points in his life was the moment when, at the age of 90, he was able to welcome Pope John Paul II to his country and accompany him on his visit there.
Today, there are 24 young men training at the major seminary of the Archdiocese in Olomouc, plus another 11 students who are currently attending the propedeutic pre-seminary, in preparation for entry to the major seminary. Seven students were also ordained to the diaconate this year, the last stage before ordination to the priesthood.
As it has in the past, ACN is again supporting the seminary and the formation of its 24 seminarians and 11 students at the pre-seminary. We have promised a contribution of $19,600.
Will you give to help us fulfill our promise to support these future priests in the Czech Republic?
Aid to the Church in Need commits to invest your funds where they will have the greatest impact for the Church that we serve. Funds donated to Aid to the Church in Need’s projects will be used towards the greatest need in our programs to help keep the Faith alive.