‘Faith for the Future’ renovation complete

Teak Phillips | teakphillips@archstl.org
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Msgr. Gregory Mikesh first experienced present-day Kenrick-Glennon Seminary almost 50 years ago, in 1967, as a freshman at then-Cardinal Glennon College.

He "moved across the valley" to Kenrick Seminary, now Cardinal Rigali Center, for theological studies in 1971, then taught at neighboring St. Louis Prep Seminary, now the city of Shrewsbury administrative offices, after being ordained in 1974.

So, Msgr. Mikesh knows a thing or two about the facility before the "Faith for the Future" capital campaign transformed Kenrick-Glennon Seminary over the past five years.

His take?

"A wonderful renovation project," said Msgr. Mikesh, the seminary vice-rector since 2012. "There were very prudent decisions made for the long term as we expect to be here a very long time."

The Faith for the Future campaign was a smashing success, eclipsing the goal of $50 million with $62.5 million in pledges. The total collected was $57 million, with $43.5 million of that going toward new construction or infrastructure upgrades. Another $9 million went into the Kenrick-Glennon endowment; future contributions will go there as well. The remainder went to administrative expenses and fees.

The Kenrick-Glennon facility dates to 1931, when it opened as the first St. Louis Preparatory Seminary, for the last two years of high school and four years of college. It later was home to four years of high school and two years of college before becoming standalone Cardinal Glennon College in 1959. The college and seminary then evolved into the current Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.

The infrastructure upgrades — new heating and cooling, new electrical wiring, new plumbing and thermal windows — brought the facility into the 21st century, with new construction added to benefit seminarians and faculty for years to come. A three-story wing was built for faculty, and the former powerhouse was redeveloped into the Father Emil Kapuan Student Center, with two student lounges and an exercise facility. Father Kapuan, killed in the Korean War, is a graduate of Kenrick Seminary.

"Previously the faculty offices were disbursed on different floors of the building; now all are in one place," Msgr. Mikesh said, adding, "We did not have facilities like (the student center) prior to the renovation project."

Transitional Deacon Scott Scheiderer, who entered the seminary pre-renovation, described the changes as a "huge difference. We are incredibly blessed with all of the renovations."

The renovations and building projects required the seminary to relocate for a year and a half, from the start of the 2011-12 school year through Christmas 2012. The seminarians lived in the Franciscan Sisters of Mary convent behind St. Mary's Hospital, with classes at the former CBC high school across Clayton Road. Kenrick-Glennon students moved back to Shrewsbury for the second semester of the 2012-13 school year.

"Coming back you realized the incredible blessing of having so many of the faithful so willing to give of themselves in support of the seminary," said Scheiderer, who is scheduled to be ordained in May. "It's so encouraging."

The majority of the building projects and renovations were finished when the seminary moved back, but several have been completed since then — namely, the renovation of the Chapel of St. Joseph, including a new organ installed this past semester. All have added to the beauty and functionality of Kenrick-Glennon, with "sincere gratitude to the people of the archdiocese for their generosity and support of the seminary," Msgr. Mikesh said. 

Faith for the Future

St. Louis-area Catholics opened their hearts and generously contributed to the Faith for the Future capital campaign benefiting Kenrick-Glennon Seminary. Here's a rundown of contributions and the resulting seminary improvements.

The gifts

Campaign goal: $50 million

Total gifts: 36,697

Total pledged: $62.5 million

*Cash received: $57 million

The Projects

Capital improvements: $43.5 million

— Construction, faculty office wing

— New HVAC system

— New plumbing/electrical wiring

— Rehab the old powerhouse building into Father Emil Kapaun Student Center, with two lounges and exercise facilities.

— Renovations to Chapel of St. Joseph, including a new organ.

— Prairie grass/flowers

— Miscellaneous renovations/upgrades

*Endowment: $9 million

Campaign expenses/administration: $4.5 million

* Future pledge payments and contributions will be added to the endowment. 

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