Situation in Oceania

Extending over a third of the surface of the planet, Oceania comprises the great island complexes of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia, formed by thousands of islands with a population of about 4 million people.
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The Institute

Catholic Theological Institute.
Promoting vocations requires adequate institutions where seminarians may be formed in communion with Rome while immersed in the local cultures.

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Formation of Priests

The Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary, Redemptoris Mater, of the Archdiocese of Agana forms priesthood candidates holistically for the new evangelization in Guam, in the Pacific Region and the entire world.
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Situation In Oceania

To understand the gravity of the situation of the Catholic Church in this area of the world, it is enough to think that to serve almost two million Catholics spread out among thousands of islands with hundreds of languages spoken, there are less than 600 priests.
Two-thirds of these priests belong to religious orders who traditionally manned these missions but who are now withdrawing from the area, due to advanced age and the general lack of vocations.

This means that thousands and thousands of islands, even where the Catholic proportion of the population is now large, could soon be without priests and sacramental life.

The absence of ordained ministers for the Catholic Church favors the spread of sects, since in many of these islands there is still a very strong natural religiosity, while, on the other hand, secularization strikes with greater strength; for example, suicide rates and teenage pregnancy are much higher in Oceania than in the rest of the world. For the coming years there are no signs of improvement: the seminarians for this whole area number only 114.

Catholic Theological Institute for Oceania

Simultaneously, with the erection of the seminary, a theological institute was organized to provide academic formation (philosophical and theological) for the seminarians, and hopefully in the future, to train catechists and candidates for the permanent diaconate.

In September 2000, Archbishop Apuron, together with the pastoral team of the Seminary, met with Msgr. Angelo Scola, the then Rector of the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome (now Patriarch of Venice), to start the process for the affiliation of a Theological Institute to this renowned Pontifical University. Cardinal Josef Tomko, President of the Propaganda Fidei, had been consulted previously and gave his favorable opinion. In the following years the contacts with the Lateran University continued in a climate of great cordiality and collaboration until the approval of the affiliation on June 5th, 2007. On June 5, 2012 after five years ad experimentum the affiliation was renew.

In November 2002, the Archdiocese acquired a building in Ylig Bay, Yona, as a permanent site for the Redemptoris Mater Seminary and for the Theological Institute. Its location, architectural structure, the beauty and spaciousness of the property made it an ideal place for the formation of priests.

The Theological Institute has now been operating since 1999 and is preparing thirty one seminarians (plus five extraordinary students), which represent about 32.4% of all seminarians present in Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia.

Since Archbishop Apuron, the President of Episcopal Conference for Oceania, began to work to form a Theological Institute in Guam, several bishops from the Pacific – including Most Rev. Amando Samo from the Diocese of Caroline Islands, Most Rev. Tomas Aguon Camacho, D.D. from the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa, Most Rev. Paul E. Mea Kaiuea, MSC from the Diocese of Tarawa and Nauru and Rev. Msgr. James C. Gould, SJ the Prefecture Apostolic of the Marshall Islands - have expressed their interest to send their candidates for the priesthood to study in Guam. Most. Rev. Paul E. Mea Kaiuea from the Diocese Tarawa, Most. Rev. Alapati Mataeliga from the Diocese of Samoa Apia and Most. Rev. John Quinn Weitzel from the Diocese of Samoa Pago-Pago have already sent seminarians to the Institute.

The affiliation of the Catholic Theological Intitute for Oceania with the Lateran University in Rome, would be a guarantee of the continuation and growth of the Catholic faith in the Pacific.

Guam was the first island of Oceania to be evangelized in 1668 by Blessed Father Diego Luis de San Vitores, who was martyred there in 1672.
The blood shed by many martyrs has been fruitful and Guam is still almost 90 percent Catholic.

Catholic Documents on the Formation of Priests

The Catholic Theological Institute for Oceania provides these candidates with their intellectual and theological formation. Formation to the Presbyterate is based on the authoritative Magisterium of the Church, specifically:
 


The philosophical and theological studies will be carried out by the candidates at the Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores Catholic Theological Institute for Oceania, according to the Ratio Studiorum for the Seminary studies. Those disciplines and optional subjects that are most useful for the service of the new evangelization will be emphasized. The Catholic Theological Institute Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores for Oceania is under the direct jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Agaña.

Our Mission

The philosophical and theological studies will be carried out by the candidates at the Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores Catholic Theological Institute for Oceania, according to the Ratio Studiorum for the Seminary studies. Those disciplines and optional subjects that are most useful for the service of the new evangelization will be emphasized. The Catholic Theological Institute Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores for Oceania is under the direct jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Agaña.