Fr. Sylvain Casavant has been appointed as the new rector of St. Joseph Seminary.

New rector at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Edmonton

By  Andrew Ehrkamp, Canadian Catholic News
  • April 1, 2021

EDMONTON -- Fr. Sylvain Casavant, a pastor and teacher for many years, has been appointed as the new rector of St. Joseph Seminary.

It’s a position he’s accepted with enthusiasm — and characteristic humour.

“My enthusiasm wavered a little bit. It’s a position that demands a lot more attentiveness and responsibility. But, as well, I thought ‘OK Lord, you’ve set this up. You’ve done this to me!’ ” said Casavant. “My faith tells me God is doing this for a reason and it will be for the greater good, more so than for the greater agony even though I fear the agony.”

Casavant was appointed rector after his predecessor, Fr. Stephen Hero, was named bishop-elect of the Diocese of Prince Albert, Sask., on March 25. Casavant was vice-rector for a year under Hero.

Casavant said he wasn’t completely surprised by his appointment since there had been discussions last fall about Hero’s successor, as his current three-year mandate was ending. Casavant is the ninth rector since priests of the Society of Saint Sulpice religious order were asked by Archbishop Joseph MacNeil in 1990 to manage St. Joseph Seminary.

“I thank Fr. Casavant for his generous acceptance of this responsibility,” Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith said in a March 26 statement, after consulting with the provincial council of the Sulpicians which recommended Casavant.

As Casavant begins his new mandate, the main objective remains as always: Increase vocations.

In addition, as rector, Casavant leads the formation team. There are six priests on the formation team at St. Joseph Seminary, half of them Sulpicians.

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