Ambitious plans

Due to growing numbers of students, in November, 1954, Archbishop Mannix and the bishops of Victoria and Tasmania, purchased a 70 acre property in the outer eastern Melbourne suburb of Glen Waverley for the purpose of a new Theologate. 

Corpus Christi College, Werribee became the residence for the Philosophy students.

A large building was developed on the site consisting of central chapel, and a South Wing consisting of accommodation for 100 students, dining rooms, kitchen, class rooms and administrative block.  Plans for a convent for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny and a North Wing for further classrooms, lecture theatres and an assembly hall were never completed.

 

Student life

Seventy-three seminarians arrived at Glen Waverley on 1 March 1960. In eighteen months, the students had the landscape with lawns and planted two hundred and fifty trees, and levelled enough ground to start work on a basketball court and two tennis courts.

During this time the teachings of the Second Vatican Council began to be implemented at both Werribee and Glen Waverley and affected the academic curriculum, the liturgical life and the model of priestly formation of the seminary.

Dialogue Masses were more frequently used and a special course in liturgical music was provided “to keep pace with the trend for lay participation.” Following the advice of the Council Fathers, outside pastoral experience was incorporated into the formation programme. In Scriptural and Theological Studies, too, one student recalls “the fresh winds of change blowing through the lecture halls.”

Closure and Sale

Sadly, a decline in priestly vocations accompanied the breeze, and it was decided to reunite the two faculties of a Werribee and Glen Waverly.  In 1969 the Board of Trustees announced plans to reunite the philosophy and theological faculties, and relocate Corpus Christi College. Both the Glen Waverley and Werribee Colleges was sold in 1972.

The Glen Waverly site was redeveloped by the Victorian Police Force as a training college. The Werribee site was also purchase by the State Government of Victoria and is now a museum run by the National Trust.