Monterrey Seminary came into existence on December 19, 1792 through a decree issued by Andres Ambrosio de Llano y Valdes, Esq., the third bishop of Monterrey. It was established on the grounds of three juridical bases: the Roman, pursuant to the provisions of the Council of Trent; the Royal basis, pursuant to the Trust Right; and the diocesan basis, ratified by the 111th Mexican Council.
On 1917, the seminary was established where at the site where the basilica of Our Lady of el Roble is located nowadays, under the guidance of fathers Juan Jose Hinojosa (Servant of God), Pablo Cervantes Perusquia (Servant of God) and Fortino Gomez (Archbishop of Oaxaca). Later on, seminarians lived in Hidalgo Street.
In 1935, they moved to the temple of Saint Luis Gonzaga. Then, they stayed for a short period of time in various homes (fourteen different addresses), and then returned to Saint Luis Gonzaga prior to moving to the municipality of San Pedro in 1959, where the entire Seminary remained until 1995.
In 1983, the experience of the Introductory Course was taken to its own facilities in Allende, Nuevo Leon. Twelve years later, in 1995, the Major Seminary moved to Benito Juarez, Nuevo Leon.
Nowadays, the Major Seminary remains in San Pedro, and the Introductory Course is in the municipality of Allende, Nuevo Leon.
SAINT TEOPHIMUS: OUR SEMINARY’S PATRON SAINT
Throughout its history, Monterrey Seminary has had several saint patrons. In its early stages, our saint patrons were Saint Anthony of Padua and Virgin Mary under the advocation of the Assumption. Today, our Seminar’s saint patron is Saint Teophimus Martyr.
The remains of Saint Teophimus arrived at the seminary in 1924. It was in times of His Excellency Jose Juan de Jesus Herrera y Piña, when father Rafael Plancarte Ygartua, priest of La Purísima parish, obtained the remains of Saint Teophimus for the seminary. Saint Teophimus’ remains had been guarded by the Turquine Sisters in Rome.
Seminarians viewed Saint Teophimus as example to be followed. Saint Teophimus figure encouraged then through the hard times of religious persecution in Mexico. He awakened in them devotion for a life dedicated and sealed in Christ with their blood. Ever since, Saint Teophimus has been our Seminary’s main patron saint, together with Saint Joseph.
Today, the remains of Saint Teophimus are venerated in the chapel of the rectory, in the Major Seminary. His festival is celebrated on November 5 and it is commemorated with several events that involve the formative community, the presbytery, families and benefactors.
OUR SEMINARY TODAY
In the summer of 2005, His Excellency Francisco Robles Ortega, archbishop of our dioceses, decided to assume the rectory of our seminary and appointed priest Gerardo J. Cardenas Rodriguez as vice-rector.
For the next six years, and until February 2012, His Excellency Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega, closely followed-up on the renovation of the formative structures of de seminary. Some of the most significant reforms were:
- Preparation of formative journeys, with clear and well-oriented objectives, goals and activities to strengthen the formation of new priest gradually and integrally.
- Promotion of life plans where students state their commitment and their central role in their own formation, duly accompanied.
- Laying out the divisions (living quarters) by academic groups to strengthen knowledge, integration and fraternity among classmates in the same generation.
- Creating an atmosphere of trust, openness and responsibility between the formative faculty and students and among students.
- Recognition of philosophical and theological studies as a bachelor program by the Education Secretariat.
In October 2012, Pope Benedict XVI appointed His Excellency Rogelio Cabrera Lopez as archbishop of Monterrey. He presides over our seminar since December 5, 2012.
In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI appointed His Excellency Rogelio Cabrera Lopez new Archbishop of Monterrey and he has presided our Seminary ever since.
In June 2013, Monsignor Hilario Gonzalez Garcia (who is now Bishop of Linares) was appointed Rector of our Seminary, a position he held until 2015.
In December 2015, our Archbishop appointed Priest Juan Carlos Arcq Guzman Rector of our seminary, and he has been our Rector up to date.
We are inspired by Pope Francisco: “I dream of a missionary option that is able to transform everything, so that the customs, styles, hours, language and the whole ecclesiastic structure become an adequate channel for the evangelization of our contemporary world rather than for self-preservation. The structural reformation that pastoral conversion calls for may only be understood this way: to try to make them all more missionary (EG 27).
As well as by the words and advice of our Archbishop: “We must walk in this agreement of intention. Synod: those who journey together, we all get together in order to dialog and find agreement. The synodic nature is not just a horizontal arrangement because we have a central guideline that is to discover God’s will through the signs we have: the Word of God, Teaching and Tradition. We also have authorities that are responsible for leading. A shepherd may go in front, in the middle or behind… that allows him to have objectivity. We want to move forward with you with high ideals, not just for maintenance, but to be far reaching. Today, we all assume this feedback view; you allow the formative body to see their limitations because they are also being formed. The fact that the formative body and the seminarians now share their views is not detrimental of the respect and value of leadership (Monsignor Rogelio Cabrera Lopez, 1st Seminary Assembly).
These words encourage us to embark on a process of study and renewal of our Seminary, together with the joyful hope of the New Ratio fundamentalis institutuionis sacerdotalis, which will provide the necessary insight to assume a priestly formation that meets the great challenges of this new millennium.