InFormation (2021) Moments in Time 

Moments: An Era Ends MGC Closes

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 12, 1969

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Click to enlarge. The 1960s was to become a black hole in the Catholic Church. One victim was Mother of Good Counsel Preparatory Seminary. The upheaval in all parts of society encompassed a picture bigger than the closing of a single school.

It was a decade that sociologists still research. Vietnam, race riots, voter suppression, the Cold War, Vatican II, drugs and dropping out, and many other categories—social and religious— created a critical mass that imploded and was manifest in the Catholic Church, not just by a loss of vocations to the priesthood, brotherhood, and sisterhood of religious orders, but also by the mass exodus of priests, brothers, and nuns of both the religious orders and the diocesan clergy. Fr. Conleth Overman cited an
Associated Press article in a homily in 1973, "... in the last seven years there has been a shrinkage of 40,000 religious in the United States alone: 2,300 fewer religious priests; 2,800 fewer religious brothers and 34,500 fewer religious sisters." (C. Overman. 1973. The Passionist Orbit. Chicago: The Passionists of Holy Cross Province. p. 12)

It was not all dark and bleak. It was a time that we were all beginning to be allowed to exercise the critical thinking skills that we had been taught at MGC, novitiate, Sacred Heart Retreat, and Bellarmine College. Honest introspection led many of us to question the road we were taking.

But that's not what this article describes. The closing of MGC after just 13 years of operation was one of many signposts signaling more change to come. It gets very personal when about 90 students are told "The doors are closing. You're on your own. The world has changed."

Some of us grieved from afar as this announcement was made. I can only imagine the confusion, stress, and loss of purpose experienced by those 90 students. More than 50 years later some hearts may still be broken.

On a brighter note, 50 years later, that initial pain of loss may be what brings so many men back to those roots with reunuion after reunion, story after story, and laughter upon laughter, to heal and share a truly unique Moment in Time.