The Centre was inaugurated on Wednesday 25th January, celebrating the conversion of Saint Paul in a multitudinous act, the first phase of the re-modelisation of the Seminary building, correspomding to the cloister of Saint Paul.
This new Tarraconensian Centre: The Seminary was born out of the aim that it should be a space for dialogue between faith and culture, with the clear aim of offering a service to society. The new evangelisation with the presence of Mons. Jose Octavio Ruiz Arenas, secretary of the Pontificial Council for the new evangelisation, played an important role in the act.
The celebration counted with the presence of Mn. Joaquim Fortuny, the vicar general, the delegate of the government of the Generalitat of Cataluña in Tarragona, Joaquim Nin, the president of the Diputacion of Tarragona, Josep Poblet, the spokesperson of the local authority of Tarragona and lieutenant of the mayor, Begoña Floria, the lieutenant of the mayor for Public Spaces, Xavier Tarrés, the vice-president of the Diputacion of Tarragona Albert Vallve, the director of Territorial Services of Governorship and institutional services in Tarragona Rosanna Camps, the dean of the Faculty of Theology of Cataluña Dr. Armand Puig, the president of the Comarcal Council of the Tarrgones, Frederic Adan and the secretary general of the University Rovira I Virgili, Dr. Antoni Gonzalez, amongst many other personalities of ecclesiastical, political, institutional, cultural and social ambits.
The director of the Tarraconensian Centre: The Seminary, Marisa Jimenez, was charged with welcoming the numerous assistants putting forth the magnificent scenery in which the act occurred. “It is a building which interprets how we should today join ecclesiastic tradition with the signs of the times, a space situated on the acropolis of Tarragona which remounts in the 2nd century B.C. with the visualization of the roman wall, in the 13th century with the chapel of Saint Paul and in the 19th century when the construction of the building took place, between the years 1833 and 1888”, stated Jimenez.
In continuation spoke the director of the Saint Fructuosus Institute for Religious Sciences (INSAF), Dr. Josep Maria Gavaldà who pointed out that “this centenary building, thanks to the important works of re-modelisation, is today converted into a pastoral complex, academic and cultural proper to the 21st century. Past, present and future are joined in this cloister which we today inaugurate”. Mn Gavalda assured us that the words of Mons Jose Octavio Ruiz would be a breath of fresh air “lighting again the fires”. “Because fires we have, from many centuries ago, but it is convenient that someone rekindles them”, he explained referring to the remote Christian tradition of the church of Tarragona. Mn. Josep Maria Gavaldà asked that an idea be transmitted to the President of the Pontificial Council for the promotion of the new evangelization, Mons. Rino Fisichela. “That you consider that in this place were we find ourselves was the last in the Pauline mission, it should be considered as the place from which the new evangelization could begin”.
The Archbishop of Tarragona, Mons. Jaume Pujol, expressed his personal desire and that of the archdiocese that the new centre could second the initiatives of this new Pontificial Council, created by Pope Benedict XVI in September 2010. “This centre has a special vocation as that of the church to be an atrium for the gentiles, a place of dialogue with those seeking God, a place for communicating the evangelium and a meeting with Jesus”, he specified, and pointed out also that this project only begins in the moment that Benedict XVI announces the year of faith. “Finishing the second phase of the work, the church can open doors to society and offer immense Theological knowledge which is stored in the historic library of the Seminary”, he concluded.
Laics, a fundamental role in the new evangelization
Mons. Ruiz pointed out that laics play a fundamental role in the new evangelization, as it is through them –men and women– can be reached many different ambients which in other ways would have been impossible to reach. “Each one, wherever they are are called upon to announce the evangelium”. To attain this action, Mons. Ruiz exaulted the importance of formation, to become converted into authentic missionaries, authentic communicators of the evangelium. The prelate explained that families are the prime evangelizors in our society. “Today more than ever corresponds that we become evangelizors in our ambient.”
Over the role of the new evangelizors, archbishop Ruiz, pointed out that it is not a question of repeating formulas or messages, but in giving personal testimony, which gives credibility to pastoral action. “To carry this out we need men and women of prayer.” As John Paul II says, “we need people who speak with god, so as to be able to speak about God”. To conclude his conference he pointed out that we should look to the future with enthusiasm, seeking concrete initiatives in this field.
The act of inauguration concluded with prayers before the chapel of Saint Paul, presided by Archbishop Mons. Jaume Pujol, and by archbishop Jose Octavio Ruiz, and with the benediction of the installations of the Seminary, in its first phase of re-modelisation.