.- Cardinal Adam Maida announced, during the meeting of the US Catholic bishops in Washington D.C, the opening of the Licentiate in Sacred Theology in the New Evangelization, at the Seminary of Detroit, the first of its kind in North America, and approved by Pope John Paul II himself, reports Detroit Free Press.
"I've been working on bringing this new program to Detroit for several years," said Maida of the program which is open to graduate level clergy and laypeople. "I had to take it all the way to Rome to get it done."
"We see the challenges,” said Cardinal Maida. “We know that the world is becoming more secularized all the time. So, when we talk about evangelization, we're talking about going out and teaching more, living out our faith and trying to call people back into the Church."
The Cardinal had already begun a pilot class of the program in September consisting of ten students, and the Vatican’s approval came midway through that month.
Even though he cannot say how many students will be drawn to the program, the Cardinal’s staff are ready to provide additional housing if it is needed.
According to the seminary spokeswoman Kate Bua, the program could grow to about 50 very soon, and will grow to be much larger, thus adding significantly to the 450 or so students presently studying at the seminary
The cardinal suggested that the prestige the program would give to the Archdiocese of Detroit and its seminary would be considerable:
"Just listen to what the bishops have been saying this week at our meeting here: They're saying that evangelization is one of our highest priorities. Well, we've got the one program in this country that focuses on this.”