History of Ongoing Formation at Saint Patrick’s Seminary & University
What was begun in 1973 as a "two-session" sabbatical program by Diocese of Oakland priest (and St. Patrick's Seminary alumnus) Fr. Dan Danielson, has evolved into a new stage of development as The Saint Patrick’s Center for Ongoing Priestly Formation.
Fr. Danielson and the first priests who participated in the program in 1973 soon recognized that the Vatican II Institute needed to be a more permanent program. The Vatican II Institute was originated by the Bishops of Region XI as a sabbatical program for experienced priests, which offered sound and multifaceted orientation to the changes implemented by Vatican Council II. While adjustments to the changes of the Vatican Council II were an important component to the first decade of the Institute's operation, thecore of the holistic sabbatical program was the opportunity to rejuvenate the human growth and spiritualand prayer lives of priests.
Rev. Gene Konkel, PSS directed, the Vatican II Institute from 1975 through 2001. Rev. Melvin
Blanchette, PSS became the new Director with Fr. Konkel's retirement on January 1, 2002. Reverend
James E. Myers, PSS, succeeded Fr. Blanchette in July 2004 and served until July 1, 2012.
For all but two and a half years, the Institute operated at St. Patrick's Seminary as an independent
program. As of July 2001, the Vatican II Institute came under the formal ownership of St. Patrick's
Seminary and University.
At their May 2013 meeting, the Board of Trustees of St. Patrick’s Seminary & University voted to
change the name of the Seminary’s on-going formation program from The Vatican II Institute to the
St. Patrick’s Center for Ongoing Priestly Formation – a name that better reflects its mission in today’s
Church. The St. Patrick’s Center will work to build on the legacy of The Vatican II Institute for Clergy
Formation, developing and offering excellent programs that meet the needs of priests in the region.
As its first offering for the academic year 2013-14, The St. Patrick’s Center has scheduled Segment One of the redesigned Mantle of Elijah Priest Mentoring Program. Fr. Jim Meyers, PSS, the former director of The Vatican II Institute, designed the new format. He will be directing the program in the coming year.