Tuesday, November 28, 2017


7101 Brownsboro Road
Louisville, Kentucky


First class to enter St. Thomas Seminary - 1952
I was 8 years old at that time, but only 6 years away from entering St. Thomas Seminary myself.

Opened in 1952 and torn down in 1970, the aerial picture at the very top was taken before the free-standing gym, permanent chapel and an additional top floor was added. I attended that institution from 1958-1964 - four years of high school and two years of college. 

Going to the seminary, and staying, was my own personal decision. I can still remember going through those doors in the picture above for the first time, having very little idea of what I was getting into. I just knew it was something I wanted to do. I was not encouraged to go nor forced to stay. In fact, significant adults in my life discouraged me from going and I was always having to prove myself to be able to stay. 

They had plenty of students in those days, so "weeding guys out" and getting sent home was always a looming possibility. In fact, the head of the seminary called me a "hopeless case" in my sophomore year of high school and was dead-set on sending me home until I cried for another chance.

I would describe my years there as difficult, even painful, but a necessary part of becoming who I am today. I would say, coming from a small country town, I was in "culture shock" for all six of the years I spent there. Like all minor seminaries of its time, it was run like a military academy for teenage boys. I would say that I "survived" it and I never went back, once I left. Oddly enough, I have dreams about it. I dream about going back and seeing it run down with vines growing all over it. In my dreams, I am always seeing possibilities for renovating it and re-opening it! I am sure a psychologist would have a field day figuring that out!

I did not really become comfortable in my own skin as a seminarian until after being at Saint Meinrad Seminary for a couple of years.

Two years away from going to the seminary - 1956.

First year of high school at St. Thomas - 1958. That is the seminary in the background. This photo was taken among the trees in the left side of the seminary in the aerial photo at the top.

First year of college at St. Thomas in the chemistry lab - 1963. Yes, we always wore ties except during "recreation" time.

My second year of college graduation from St. Thomas - 1964


 I survived Saint Thomas Seminary, but Saint Thomas Seminary itself didn't survive! 

It was torn down in 1970 - oddly enough the year I was ordained! 

The property is now a commercial upscale housing development called "The Woods of St. Thomas." There is no trace of the old seminary left. It was all torn down - seminary building, chapel and gym. It may be gone, but it is certainly not forgotten. Some of the guys have fond memories. Me? Very few! 

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