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“I am the way, and the truth, and the life;
no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John, 14: 6).
The gospel of John records Christ’s first call to men to become His disciples and the important role they will play in both leading and serving mankind. For more than 100 years, St. Mary’s Seminary has helped thousands of young men discern their personal call to the priesthood. If we are to continue to prepare them to serve, we need to make the most effective use of the facilities at St. Mary’s.
An in-depth review of the campus has revealed the underutilization of the 24,000 square foot Borski Athletic Center. Accordingly, with great thought to the future, we have launched a $5 million capital campaign to redesign the Center to meet the needs of our growing seminary.
Currently, faculty and staff are helping 75 seminarians on their individual journeys to discover a deeper relationship with Christ and their love of service to His people. Deacons who respond to the call are also trained on the St. Mary’s campus. They spend their evenings in prayer and study so they may join others in their vocations to support priests and parishes across the Archdiocese. At present, there are 83 candidates in the Diaconate program.
It is our responsibility to provide them a community in which self-discovery and personal commitment lead to an appreciation of the global mission of the Church. After years of study at St. Mary’s, they graduate prepared to become God’s disciples to spread the spirit of His words through pastoral leadership and ministry at the parish level.
While the exterior of the building will remain largely the same, repurposing of the interior will include the addition of two new classrooms, two faculty offices, a large lecture hall built to seat 100 and a larger, more efficient exercise space. The Center will maintain the multipurpose gym and large meeting and reception facility which can seat 400 people at tables. The redesign will also increase St. Mary’s effectiveness in its role as the home of the University of St. Thomas School of Theology.
These new renovations will strengthen our ability to fulfill our commitment to preparing seminarians and deacons personally, spiritually and academically to both lead and serve future generations of Catholics.
As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. (John, 17:18-19)
Borski Athletic Center Renovation at St. Mary’s Seminary
The 24,000 square foot Borski Athletic Center anchors the west end of the St. Mary’s Seminary campus. Built in 1966, the architects selected a strong exterior skin to ensure a long life for the facility. For 47 years, it has helped faculty, seminarians, and candidates in the deaconate program keep fit in mind and body while dedicated to studying, teaching and serving the Catholic community of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
After years of strenuous use, it’s time to revitalize the interior of the Center to better serve the future priests and deacons studying at the seminary. Renovations will include a substantial reconfiguration of space and the updating of basic infrastructure such as flooring, plumbing and electrical systems, which will improve the energy efficiency as well as the accessibility of the building. Exterior renovations include the addition of a porte-cochere to an entrance, as well as increasing the size of the parking lot by 100 spaces, and a new road to complete a loop around campus to improve traffic flow.
The 6,100 square foot gymnasium is at the heart of the Borski Athletic Center. Hundreds of thousands of feet have traversed the basketball court. And tens of thousands of gallons of water have flowed through its pipes year after year. The renovations include raising the floor level to meet ADA requirements, installation of energy efficient windows, updating plumbing and electrical systems, and improved efficiency of the campus wide heating and cooling system. The redesign will allow for more effective use of the space.
Seminarians and guests will continue to enjoy a recreational sized basketball court. The new configuration will also make it ideal for hosting special events such as large seminars and dinners that can seat 400 guests. And, the newly freed space will make it possible to create a fitness center, large lecture hall, two classrooms, and two offices.
St. Mary’s will recognize this leadership gift prominently in the renovated Gymnasium.
Road Addition $1,000,000
St. Mary’s has long needed a road to complete the loop around the Seminary Campus.
This road will connect the southwest side of the Campus to the northeast entrance off of Memorial Drive. It will make access easier to parking for the Borski Athletic Center and will facilitate the flow of traffic to and from special events. The name of the road will recognize the practical minded donor who selects this needed addition to the seminary campus as an underwriting opportunity.
Fitness Center – $500,000
In preparing to serve the Catholic Church, the seminarians make St. Mary’s campus their home. Their schedules are demanding both mentally and physically with long hours of study, prayer and contemplation. The visionary donor who selects this naming opportunity will make it possible to reconfigure space in the current athletic center into a spacious 2,150 sq. ft. fitness center. Here, seminarians will enjoy using state-of-the-art cardio and weight equipment to keep fit.
Lecture Hall $500,000
This newly configured 1,600 sq. ft. space will facilitate learning beyond its 100 seat capacity. Equipped with the latest Distance Learning technology, the Lecture Hall will become a center for religious studies accessible to students and seminarians across the country. Via computers, students will have access to live lectures and the ability to interact with St. Mary’s faculty as well as with guest speakers. The Archdiocese will also use the Hall to extend audiences at special presentations to those in parishes throughout the area. The donor who selects this naming opportunity will have the gratitude of students near and far.
Classrooms (2) $100,000 each
An encouraging sign for St. Mary’s and the Catholic Church is the need for two additional classrooms to prepare seminarians and deacons for service to the Church. Because of the ease and familiarity that young people now have with electronic information, these two 1,000 sq. ft. classrooms will have access to campus wide wifi and laptop outlets, which will also enable faculty members to use the web in delivering course content. The underwriter for each classroom will receive recognition at the classroom site.
Faculty Offices (2) $50,000 each
As St. Mary’s seminarian and deaconate programs continue to grow, so does the need to increase the staff. And, as St. Mary’s seeks to hire talented faculty and spiritual advisors to prepare seminarians and deacons, additional office space is necessary to make them accessible to their students and to provide them easy internet access for scholarly research. The underwriter for each classroom will receive recognition at the classroom site.