St. Lawrence Seminary in Mount Calvary, Wisconsin has been educating students since 1860. Any institution that is over 150 years old certainly needs to make some changes to prosper in today’s world which, in many ways, is a new world compared to 1860 or, in fact, compared to 1960 or even 2000. The response of St. Lawrence Seminary to this challenge is a document that took a year to produce: The Strategic Plan.
Fr. Zoy Garibay, the Rector-President of the seminary, initiated the planning for this massive undertaking. Meetings were held, focus groups gave their opinions, and administrators, faculty, staff, students, parents, benefactors, alumni, Capuchin Franciscan friars and friends of St. Lawrence Seminary were all polled as a part of this endeavor. The plan has now been published so that anyone who is interested can see the steps that are being taken by the school to respond to the world we live in today.
Fr. Zoy has called the document an “action plan” to help guide the school as it faces head on the challenges that an increasingly secularized society pose to Catholic education. It shows, in Fr. Zoy’s words, that “…St. Lawrence Seminary is in it for the long haul.”
Some of the fifty-seven objectives listed in the plan include ways to help to leverage the strengths of St. Lawrence Seminary – for example, in the area of communal worship. The idea of providing an “…invitation to attend liturgy … to community members as well as friends of the school…” is an example of the type of objective that is included in the plan.
The objectives are divided into four groups. Fr. Zoy said that number four is the most urgent, so he is going to focus on that first. This fourth goal includes improving the ability to “…respond to changing markets…” in such areas as recruitment. Some of the methods that have worked so well in the past are not working as well today, so one example of the objectives is “…to enhance [the] use of video to market the school especially through virtual tours and conversations with community members.”
The basic mission and values of the school are unchanged, but the methods that are used to implement this mission have been given a thorough examination. Despite the changes that this strategic plan envisions, St. Lawrence Seminary will continue to provide “…a residential college preparatory education in a living Catholic community…” preparing students for “…a life of ministry as priest, religious, and lay leaders in the church and world” (from the St. Lawrence Seminary Mission Statement). This strategic plan will help to ensure that future generations of students will also have the opportunity to grow at St. Lawrence Seminary.
If you have any questions about the strategic plan, please contact us for more information.