REDEMPTORIS MATER SEMINARY
The Redemptoris Mater seminaries were born above all thanks to the courage, the prophetical vision and the enthusiasm of Pope John Paul II. The idea to establish these seminaries started in Rome, the diocese of the Holy Father, to establish a seminary with these characteristics: an international seminary, i.e. with vocations coming from different nations, that be missionary, i.e. that upon ordination, the priests are available to go wherever the ordinary sends them. In 1988, the first Statutes of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary were approved by Cardinal Poletti, Vicar of the Holy Father in Rome.
These seminaries have vocations that come forth from the Neocatechumenal Way. When it comes to the studies, the seminarians in these seminaries have the same educational formation as the other diocesan seminarians, following the directives of the nations where they are erected.
The characteristics of the “Redemptoris Mater” Seminaries, which possess their own statutes and a rule of life approved by the respective bishops who have erected them according to the rules issued by the Holy See, can be grouped around 4 fundamental inspirations: the Neocatechumenal Way, diocesan character, missionary and international character.
They are diocesan i.e. the authority belongs to the bishop. Once the seminarians are ordained Presbyters, the ordinary can place them to minister in his own diocese, or when a brother bishop, seeing the needs in his own diocese asks the ordinary of the seminary for help, then he would send eventually priests to this other bishop to this other diocese. They are governed according to the present norms for the formation and incardination of the diocesan clergy. They are missionary and international in character because the seminarians come from different countries and continents, both as a concrete sign of the missionary character and of their readiness to be sent anywhere in the world.
Yet the most significant aspect of these Seminaries lies in their relationship to the Neocatechumenal Way, as a Way of maturing towards an adult faith: this Way prepares and awakens vocations in many young people before they enter the seminary. It accompanies them during their time of formation; once ordained as presbyters it continues to sustain them in their permanent formation.
Once there is the ordination and incardination, the Neocatechumenal Way has no authority over the priest, which is at this very moment a priest under the authority of the ordinary.
To this day 125 Redemptoris Mater Seminaries have been opened in 5 continents, and more than 2000 priests have been ordained.
The Redemptoris Mater Seminary of the Diocese of Dallas was born on the feast of the Immaculate Conception December 8, 2004 after the signing of the Decree of erection by the then Bishop of Dallas, Bishop Charles V. Grahmann in the Cathedral Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In its first days, the seminary was located at Immaculate Conception Church, Grand Prairie, Texas until a more permanent location was found. After two years, the seminary moved into a building on the campus of the sisters of Our Lady of Charity on Cockrell Hill Road, where it continues to be situated until today. After fifteen years, ten priests and one deacon have been ordained for the Diocese of Dallas, and are currently serving the Diocese in different capacities.