Technology has changed how many people do their jobs. Priests are no exception. When the men studying for the priesthood arrived at Saint Vincent Seminary for the Fall 2004 semester, they found that the Seminary classroom building had undergone a dramatic transformation, including the addition of state of the art technology.During the summer, the John and Annette Brownfield Center, formerly Aquinas Hall, underwent a substantial renovation. If the renovation only included the new carpet and paint, the classroom reconfiguration, new electric and heating, the addition of air conditioning, and wireless Internet access, the improvements would have been dramatic. But in addition to everything mentioned above, each classroom was also equipped with cutting edge technology that will facilitate teaching and learning utilizing the most effective tools available today.
The centerpiece of the renovation was the construction of a teaching chapel. This hybrid of a classroom and a chapel includes a sanctuary, altar, presider’s chair and pulpit much like a typical chapel. It also includes desks and chairs like a typical classroom. In addition to the state of the art technology like the other classrooms, the new teaching chapel contains video equipment that provides for the taping of mock services and homilies, with immediate playback capacity, to allow future priests to evaluate their effectiveness at the altar and pulpit. The desk configuration includes a center aisle to allow for simulated weddings and funerals. The teaching chapel also includes video equipment that will allow for the projection of a congregation upon the back wall. “Coupling the hiring of Dr. Scott Hahn with the capacities of the teaching chapel, Saint Vincent Seminary is now imminently positioned to provide our seminarians with the tools and experience to effectively deliver the Word of God to people as never before,” said Fr. Kurt Belsole, O.S.B., Rector.
“The entire Saint Vincent Seminary Community is grateful to Mrs. Annette Brownfield for her generosity. Generations to come will benefit from her commitment to the ideals that she shared with her husband.”
The final component of the project, a glass-paneled elevator with a view of Father Sebastian’s Garden, will allow handicap access to all floors of the Brownfield Center. The elevator will be completed in November 2004 and a dedication of the building is scheduled for Spring 2005.