The Diocesan Seminary

Fot. Marian Paluszkiewicz

In the Diocese of Vilnius there is a diocesan seminary. It was founded in 1582 on the strength of the Foundation Decree issued in Vilnius on 11th January 1582. The institution was founded by Bishop, and later Cardinal (1556-1600), Jerzy Radziwiłł. He wanted to implement the decisions of the Council of Trent as quickly as possible.

That year, Bishop Jerzy Radziwiłł bought a building on the Bishop street, next to the Bishop’s Palace and a residential house for seminary students. Since 1774 the seminary was located in the former Carmelite’s monastery at St. George’s Church and it served as a theological faculty of the Vilnius University. The university professors were at the same time the seminary lecturers. At the beginning the seminary was  run by the priests from the Society of Jesus, later by the monks from The Apostolic Union of Secular Priests, the priests from Congregation of the Mission and finally, by the diocesan clergy. After 1919 Rev. Jan Uszyło (1869-1950) served as a rector and Karol Lubianiec (1866-1942), who was later murdered by the Nazis in 1942 in Vileyka, served as a vice-rector. Some of the seminary professors were: Rev. Zygmunt Lewicki, who specialized in history, Christian art and German language; Rev. Stanisław Miłkowski – patrologia; Rev. Adam Sawicki (later appointed as Bishop) – dogmatic theology, homiletics and pedagogics; Rev. Adam Cichoński – the Bible; Rev. Józef Reszeć – philosophy.

The Papal Seminary

It was founded in 1582 in Vilnius during Bishop’s Jerzy Radziwiłł rule. Antonio Possewino (1534-1611), a papal legate was its founder. The Pope Gregory XIII (1502-1585) donated 1000 ducats for the seminary and later, successive Popes sent 2000 ducats every year for its maintenance. The seminary was run by Jesuit priests and it was intended for the seminary students from the Unitate Churches. At the beginning they were seminary students of the Latin liturgical rite and the Basilians. The Pope Benedict XIV recommended that only seminary students from the Unitates Churches from the Archdiocese of Vilnius, Diocese of Chełm, Włodzimierz, Pińsk, Połock and Smoleńsk should be placed in the seminary. The institution was located next to the diocesan seminary, on the Bishop Street, which was later renamed the University Street. The seminary was called “Papal Seminary.” After the dissolution of the Society of Jesus, the seminary was run by the Bazilians and it survived until the closure of the Vilnius University. The Papal Seminary ceased to exist in 1830.

The Main Seminary

The Main Vilnius Seminary was founded in 1803 by Bishop Hieronim Strojnowski. After many efforts, in 1803,  Strojnowski managed to persuade the tsar Alexander I to issue a decree on the strength of which certain seminary students were to be educated in the seminary. They were seminary students from the Mogilev, Vilnius, Lutsk, Samogitia, Kamieniec, Minsk diocesan seminaries and from Unitate seminaries. The lecturers in the Main Seminar, which was located in the former Franciscan monastery, were mainly the professors from Vilnius University. The seminary students attended lectures on theology, history and law, the Bible, Latin and Polish literature, natural history, botanic, physics, hygiene, Greek and Hebrew language. Moreover, Russian and German or French were obligatory subjects. Walenty Znamierowski was the first rector who started the Main Seminary in 1807 in the former Franciscan monastery. After his death in 1810 Benedykt Kłągiewicz took over the position of a rector. In 1828 Krągiewicz joined the Main Seminary with diocesan seminary. The last rector was Rev. Markiewicz. In 1833 the seminary was closed and the Roman Catholic Theological Academy was opened in place of it. The theological faculty of the closed Vilnius University was the beginning of the Academy. On 11th February 1832 the Academy opened and Rev. Prof. Alojzy Osiński, who later became a suffragan bishop, was the first rector. He served as rector until 1839. The next rector was Antoni Fijałkowski who later became the archbishop of Mogilev. Skidełł, Anioł Dowgird, Leon Borowski, Łobojko, Kukolnik were some of the Academy’s professors. In August 1842 the Academy was moved to Petersburg.

Source: http://kurierwilenski.lt/2012/10/26/seminarium-duchowne-diecezjalne/

Tłumaczenie Monika Rak w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Monika Rak the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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