.- Boston College and the Weston Jesuit School of Theology are discussing a merger, reported the Associated Press.
The merger with Weston, located in Harvard Square, would bring to a number of prominent theologians to Boston College. Weston, with a student population of about 240 students, is one of two Jesuit theology schools in the United States. Although it prepares Jesuit and Capuchin priests, half of its student body is lay people.
Boston College, also a Jesuit school, already has a large theology department, and a student body estimated to be 70 percent Catholic.
The presidents of the two Jesuit institutions, Fr. William P. Leahy and Fr. Robert Manning, described the merger talks as serious, but still at the initial stages. They expect to have a decision by June. The earliest move, however, would only be in September 2006.
Fr. Leahy said that if the merger takes place, Weston could move into St. William's Hall, which Boston College purchased this summer from the Archdiocese of Boston in the high-profile sale of the archdiocese’s Brighton estate.
Fr. Manning said Weston would sell its three buildings and 12,000 square feet of land in Cambridge, evaluated at $1.1 million.
The merger would require the approval of the schools’ boards and the superior general of the Society of Jesus.