Monday, June 24, 2002

I have remarked several times on the pages of this blog that the Midwest countryside is littered with the ruins of Catholic religious life in the United States. Well "ruins" is not always what one encounters on the backroads. Take for instance this former Catholic seminary in Plymouth, MI which is now a golf and convention center.

The former St. John's seminary is now a meeting and convention center equipped to handle more than 2,000 people in 25 rooms, which include ballrooms, corporate boardrooms, a chapel, bridal suite and glass atrium. Some features of the center include:

* The Grotto: The building's former lower chapel was renovated into a 2,445-square-foot cocktail area.

* The Atrium: Newly constructed from top to bottom, the 4,712-square-foot atrium, with its huge glass ceiling, can accommodate up to 600 dining guests.

* The Judea Ballroom: The seminary's former library can handle up to 300 guests.

Where the body and blood of Christ were once served, now cocktails are the drink of the day.

In 1988, St. John's Provincial Seminary was closed; and the graduate theology program and library were moved to Sacred Heart. With both a college and a graduate program, the seminary was granted university status and became a "Major" Seminary.

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