This is another SJV history, as told to us in the 1969 Disciple year book. That year marked the 10 year anniversary of our school. By this year, all the buildings were finished and the school was running at its peak. I think you'll be able to recognize many of the buildings. Externally they look as they did in the 60's. Internally, most spaces have been converted to classrooms. The buildings that were designed to house a couple hundred seminarians now serve 1300 students of St. Brendan High School.
May 28, 1959
It was announced today by Bishop Coleman F. Carrol that a Diocesan Minor Seminary would be erected in South Miami. The institution was placed under the Patronage of Saint John Vianney. It was also announced that the Vincentian Fathers had agreed to staff this new Seminary.
In the Papal Document establishing the Diocese of Miami, Pope Pius XII issued only one specific directive: the founding of a minor seminary. With dedication, interest and talent, Bishop Carroll quickly initiated this project which would assure his new flock of an adequate number of spiritual leaders. Realizing the immensity of such a task, he asked the faithful for their continued support and they responded generously.
June 7, 1959
The most Reverend Coleman F. Carroll, Bishop of Miami, Officially broke ground today for the newly established Saint John Vianney Minor Seminary.
As the first spadeful of earth was turned, a new hope rose for the Diocese. From this simple but significant action the "Miracle of Saint John Vianney" began.
September 7, 1959
More than 7,500 members of the faithful witnessed the dedication of Saint John Vianney Seminary. Bishop Carroll sang a Pontifical Mass of Thanksgiving on an outdoor altar especially constructed for the occasion.
This historic gathering of people from all over South Florida, greatly expressed their interest and love for their new Seminary. From the beginning they generously contributed to its support realizing the necessity and importance of a home-grown clergy. Without their loving concern, the "Miracle of Saint John Vianney" would never have begun.
September 8, 1999
At Three O'clock, some sixty-four candidates for the priesthood arrived at their new home. Father Young, the Rector, and Father Day greeted the seminarians.
These first young men set out on their long journey of growing in the love of Christ. It wasn't an easy decision for them to leave their homes and families, to adopt a new home and a new family. With only four priests and sixty-four students, the Seminary saw its first beginnings.
December 8, 1959
Construction of new faculty residence at Seminary nears completion.
Within the period of one year, the student enrollment doubled and the curriculum lengthened to include the first year of college. This demanded a second building erected to serve as living quarters for the Junior College. With all the major facilities, except a refectory, the young seminarians began to experience a more settled spirit and feeling of permanency.
September 5, 1960
College interior (presently Administration Building) is blessed by Msgr. William Barry who officiated at the dedication ceremonies. Assisting Msgr. Barry is Fr. Paul Day, Assistant Rector of the Seminary which opened just twelve months ago.
November 15, 1961
New addition of Refectory and Science labs nears completion
As the seminary began its third year in the fall of 1961, the enrollment tripled its original number and the curriculum reached its full development as a High School and Junior College program. But as the needs of the seminary grew, so did the generosity of the people of the Diocese. With the completion of the Dining Hall and of Biology and Chemistry laboratories on the second floor, the seminary was now physically self-contained.
Not only were the necessary needs of the seminary cared for, but a few luxuries were added as well. The addition of a pool was greatly appreciated by all the seminarians.
December 25, 1962
College building dedicated today by Bishop Coleman F. Carroll. New building will also serve as a retreat house for the Knights of Columbus. Open house followed the ceremonies.
From left to right: Fathers John Young, Bernard Reilly, John Fisher, John McDonnell, Fredrick Gaulin, Paul Day, Albert Perron, Michael Farren Henry Bradbury, Vincent Trunk, Michael Kennedy, Martin Peterson, John Buckley.
A history of any institution would be incomplete without some mention of its past faculty. This is especially turn of a seminary. For a seminary faculty is not only responsible for the academic growth of the students, but the physical and spiritual growth as well. These thirteen men, who comprised the faculty of 1962, offered leadership and direction to the young men that entered the seminary. Their dedication, perseverance, and patience in a time of growth, helped build the seminary into what it is today.
The building program kept apace with the completion of the College Building. Today after less than ten years, the Junior College Department is well on its way toward becoming a well recognized institution in the state.
September 6, 1964
Ground was broken today for a permanent seminary chapel. Bishop Coleman F. Carroll Officiated at the Ceremonies with Father John Young, C.M. Rector and Mrs. Maytag assisting.
The very heart and center of a seminary is its Chapel - a fitting place where future priests can be formed into the image of Christ. On January 16, 1966, the crowning glory of Saint John Vianney Seminary, the Chapel of Saint Raphael, was solemnly dedicated by Lawrence Cardinal Shehan, Archbishop of Baltimore.
The Chapel became a reality through the interest and love of Mrs. Maytag. McCahill in gratitude for the gifts of faith.
February 20, 1967
High School Freshman and Sophomores complete task of moving into their new building.
With the completion of the High School Building and the Gym-Pool Complex the construction phase of the development of Saint John Vianney Seminary came to an end. But the true story of the seminary lies not in the buildings, but in people...
A lot has happened over the past ten years - building by building, a place to train young men for the highest callings has been constructed. Bishop Carroll called it the "Miracle of Saint John Vianney." But the real miracle is found in the young men who have come to follow Christ an who in turn animate these mere external facades with their own internal Spirit.
In many ways this Spirit is a product of both a timeless heritage and an eventful decade. For we have been called by the Father to follow a Man who lived many, many decades ago in a time and a place very different from our own, but whose message is as timeless as the dawn - "Love one another."
Nor did the men and events of the past decade pass without leaving their mark: There was a Vatican Council II called by Pope John and continued by Pope Paul. The full impact of this Council led by these two men of wisdom, simplicity and marked holiness, has yet to make itself felt. Yet there are some men who have left their full impact: Men like Martin Luther King, John and Robert Kennedy have taught us how important it is to be followers of that "Man of Love" in a world so torn with strife and hate.
If this mass of concrete, steel, asphalt and turf, shaped and patterned after its own times, has served no other purpose than to help us to love - then it can be called a success. And indeed it can; for it has helped us not only to love, but to live - to live in a community giving witness to Christ by the Spirit it formed.
No words, no pictures can capture this Spirit. Yet its presence and effect can be seen today in the memories of Yesterday, and tomorrow in the dreams of Today.