New Campus for CTIS
On 26-October-2016, a future campus for CTIS was launched at the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the new Seminary and Formation Building to be built on the freehold land in front of St. Joseph's Church (Bukit Timah). The new building will house CTIS as well as St. Francis Xavier Major Seminary (SFXMS).
At the ceremony, attended by formators, seminarians, CTIS students and staff, Archbishop William Goh officiated the groundbreaking and blessed the cornerstone for the new building while Fr James Yeo (Rector, CTIS) and Msgr Ambrose Vaz (Rector, SFXMS) each blessed a corner of the building plot.
Speaking after the groundbreaking, Archbishop William Goh explained the rationale for moving the seminary to Bukit Timah. Noting that it was "not possible to maintain the old seminary in Punggol as there were too few seminarians", a new site was needed due to the changing circumstances. Located inside the St. Joseph's Church grounds, the seminarians will be close to lay parishioners and there will be collaboration opportunities with nearby Catholic Schools like Assumption English School and CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace. As it is also near Trinity Theological College, the archbishop remarked that "this would provide opportunities for seminarians and laity to learn more about other Christian traditions and to strengthen ecumenical ties."
The new campus is also within easy walking distance of formation houses run by two major religious congregations - the Franciscans and the Congregation for the Disciples of the Lord (CDD). These religious seminarians also receive part of their training at CTIS.
Archbishop William Goh noted that the new campus would boost the formation of laypeople at CTIS as they will attend lectures together with the future diocesan priests and religious. He said, "besides just forming priests, we need more full-time workers to be well-formed in the church. They too need to work and collaborate with priests." This is very much in line with his pastoral plan to revitalise and grow the archdiocese, since spiritual formation is a key pillar in the framework of a more vibrant, missionary and evangelistic church.
The new campus location is near the Cashew MRT Station on the Downtown Line and is well served by several bus services along Upper Bukit Timah Road. Ample parking space is available for those who drive.
Construction is targeted to take roughly one and a half years at a cost of S$19 million. According to the Catholic News, the expected completion date is June 2018.
The top 2 floors of the new building will be reserved for the seminarians and formators. These two floors will include a chapel, lounge, dining room/kitchen, gym and bedrooms for 28 resident seminarians and formators. Some of the facilities in the lower 2 floors and basement will include up to 9 classrooms, canteen, auditorium/multi-purpose hall, library, reading room and offices.
Fr James Yeo shared his hope that this move will bring in more laypeople to study at CTIS. He said, "I hope people see what the new building has to offer instead of worrying about the possible extended travel distance".