A HISTORY OF ST. VINCENT’S SEMINARY
The Latin Archdiocese of Trivandrum was established as a diocese on 1st July 1937. Since then our students were sent to St. Raphael Seminary, Quilon for priestly formation. It was a long cherished dream of the diocese to have a Seminary of its own. That dream came true on 17th May 1958 when Rt. Rev. Dr. Vincent Derrière blessed and inaugurated a Minor Seminary, which functioned both as an Apostolic School and as a Juniorate house. The first Rector was Very Rev. Fr. John Koyilparambil and the first prefect was Rev. Fr. A. George.
In 1970, a pass in the Pre-Degree Examination was prescribed as the minimum qualification for admission to Major Seminary. Hence our students began to attend classes for Pre-Degree course at St. Xavier’s College, Thumba, having their stay at St. Andrew’s parochial house. Since ST Xavier’s college could not accommodate all our seminarians, from June 1978 onwards, our students were sent to St Mary’s parallel college at Pattom, where they were trained along with the seminarians of the Malankara Archdiocese of Trivandrum. From 1981 to 1893 our students were again admitted in ST Xavier’s college for their Pre-Degree Course
With a view to impart better intellectual formations to the students it was decided to have a parallel college in the seminary itself. On 11th June 1983, Rt. Rev. Dr. A.P. Jacob OFM Cap inaugurated the desired parallel college for the seminarians. Rt. Rev. Msgr. Mark Netto and Very.Rev.Fr. Martin Fernandez served as the Rectors during the years.
As the number of seminarians increased, and better facilities were required, Bishop Jacob took the initiative to construct a new Minor Seminary at Kazhakoottam, being away from the din and turmoil of the city life, the new campus with greater tranquility and wider area, was found to be an ideal spot for priestly formation. The seminary at Kazhakoottam was blessed on Saturday, 17th May 1986 by Rt. Rev. Dr. A.P. Jacob, and Very Rev. Fr. Soosapakiam served as the Rector, and Rev. Fr. P. Sylvester, as the prefect in the new Seminary.
On December 3rd 1989, Very. Rev. Fr. Soosapakiam was elected as the co-adjutor bishop of the diocese of Trivandrum and Very. Rev. Fr. George Paul was appointed as the new rector of the Seminary.
The degree course was started in 1991, to enable the seminarians to become graduates, before they proceed to Major Seminary. And therefore, the degree students were admitted in Sadhana Diocesan Seminary at Monvila, on 26th July 1993. From 1997 to 1998 onwards only the Juniors were accommodated in Sadhana, and all others in St. Vincent’s Seminary. Later on, after the completion of one year course at Sadhana, Juniors have been sent to the St. Joseph’s Higher Secondary School in Trivandrum for their Plus Two courses, having their residence at St. Joseph’s H.S.S Campus; and they join the St. Vincent’s Community for their Degree Course as the regular students in St. Xavier’s College at Thumba. Very. Rev. Fr. E. Wilfred served as the Rector from 1997-2003. From 2003 to 2015 the Juniors were accommodated in Vianney Bhavan at Shasthavattom.
Very Rev. Fr. Thomas Netto served as the Rector from 2003 to 2010, Very Rev. FR. Augustine John served as Rector from 2010 to 2013 and Very Rev. Fr. R.Christhudas served as Rector from 2013 to 2016. On February 2nd 2016 Very Rev. Fr. R.Christhudas was elected as the Auxiliary Bishop of Latin Archdiocese of Trivandrum and hence Very Rev. Fr. Christil Rozario was appointed as the new Rector of the Seminary. Rev. Fr. P. Jerome Rose, Rev. Fr. Christhudas Philip and Rev. Fr. Assisi John serve as the Prefects in the Seminary.
Now Juniorate, Plus Two and Degree Sections are given formation in the new building of St. Vincent’s Seminary at Karamoodu, Mangalapuram. The new building was blessed and inaugurated by His Grace Archbishop Soosapakiam and the Auxiliary Bishop Christhudas on 31st May 2016.