The Archbishop’s Seminary will be investing to raise the level of formation of priest by setting up the Mortimer & de Giorgio fund in honour of the late Arthur Stuart Mortimer and Roger de Giorgio architects of the Seminary in the 1950s.The Seminary already has the Solidarity Fund through which it can guarantee varied formative experiences for each seminarian abroad. Through the Mortimer & de Giorgio Fund the Seminary will ensure that the building offers a safe and adequate place for study and prayer. The first initiative towards this project will be “Celebrating Mercy: the Jubilee of Mercy Concert” which will be held on April 1, at the Divine Mercy Sanctuary, Naxxar at 7.30pm. The concert will be given by the St Paul Choral Society with the participation of Rosabelle Bianchi and Charles Buttigieg.
Completed in 1954 the building in Tal-Virtù, Rabat was until 1973 the home of the Mater Admirabilis Training College. 62 years later this building requires urgent maintenance especially in the seminarian’s residential quarters and the Main Chapel.
Various investments have been undertaken but now, all the original pipework needs to be changed and en suite facilities will be added in 33 rooms to be used by seminarians, three of which will be accessible for persons with special needs. Together tiling and finishing works an adequate drainage system will be put in place in order to attain higher health and safety standards.
“Our main aim, stressed Fr Jimmy Bonnici Rector of the Seminary, is to meet the current regulations with respect to health, accessibility and safety, and ensure that seminarians who live here for seven years get a room that, while marked by a spirit of simplicity, ensures they have the necessary requirements for study and reflection.
Apart from this the fund will sustain the necessary maintenance in the main chapel at the seminary. This will include repairs on cracks in the ceiling, restore parts of the facade, change the old electricy system to avoid any dangers that may ensue as well as repainting the whole chapel. Fr Bonnici held that this place is the heart of the seminary and thus it has to be upgraded adequatly for prayer, reflection and liturgy.
It is estimated that this first phase of maintenance and restructuring, intended to raise the formation of priests will cost €700,000.