acolyte of Eliasz Wojciechowski

acolyte of Eliasz Wojciechowski

On January 23, our seminarian Eliasz was conferred the acolyte from our Bishop Philippe Jourdan. This event is the first in the history of our seminar. What seemed to be a utopia five years ago, today begins to
bear its first fruits. As Monsignor Philippe said during the homily: “from time to time dreams come true”.

Following the invitation of our bishop, let us pray for Eliasz, so that his vocation can be confirmed. And let us also pray for his family, who has educated him in faith.

Let us pray to the Lord that the seminary can continue to bear fruit with the help of the Virgin Mary, to whom the land of Estonia was consecrated

We share with you the homily that Monsignor Philippe Jourdan delivered in that event.

“Today we see the first fruits of what I thought was a dream and now it becomes a reality. The Lord does make dreams come true. We celebrate the first acolyte of the first Catholic seminar in the history of Estonia!

(addressing Eliasz) Let us thank God for your family, who has educated you and helped you discern your vocation, so that in the end you can answer “yes” to God and to this vocation. We also have to thank God for the Neocatechumenal Way, in which you find yourself, for carrying out the New Evangelization. This Way has helped you cultivate this seed that your parents have sown. You have to thank God for such great help you have received in your life. And now, Eliasz, you have to continue. The acolyte is an important moment because, thanks to this ministry, you can serve your brothers and sisters here in Tallinn or in another part of Estonia as well as help the Church around the world. The priest must be a person who gives himself to his brothers and sisters and who does not belong to himself, but looks up to heaven and helps others. As Pope Francis says: look to your neighbor and want to live with him and accompany him. Do not look towards yourself, but look at all those around you. The others are Christ and they are the way to Christ. And through the intercession of the Virgin Mary! You were born in Poland, where there is a special devotion to the Virgin Mary and you will now be an acolyte in Estonia, called the Land of Mary. It is a sign that your life is under the guidance of the Virgin Mary. And She is the Star of the Sea that shows the way. Listen to Mary and you will be with Christ. So that you can go with joy on this path of

(addressing the assembly) Let us pray for the family of Eliasz, for his parents, who have supported him to come to Estonia and help the Church. (addressing Eliasz) So that you can grow in love and holiness.”

Inauguration of the new Seminary

Inauguration of the new Seminary

We have moved to the new Seminary! After two years of restructuring, the work has been completed. On monday, October 8th, the new Seminary was inaugurated. It was a historical event. Our bishop, mons. Phillipe Jourdan, celebrated the Eucharist with us, together with the team of catechists and brothers and sisters from the missions in Tallinn and Tartu. We are grateful to the Lord, who has made us participate in his work through the construction of the first Catholic seminary in the history of Estonia. We thank you from the heart for your generosity because all this was possible thanks to you.


We have recently participated in the convivence of seminarians with the initiators of the Neocatechumenal Way in Porto San Giorgio, in which more than 200 young people took part, willing to enter one of the 124 seminars “Redemptoris Mater” around the world.

In this convivence we received 3 new seminarians to our seminary.

Welcome to the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Tallinn!

Our rector, Don Severino, with the 3 new seminarians: Beniamino Cimbaro from Udine (Italy), Pablo Fernández Velasco from Cordoba (Spain) and Emmanuel Muñoz from Cordoba (Spain)

All seminarians with our Bishop Phillipe Jourdan, the formators and the team of catechists

Pilgrimage to Riga

The Seminar in Riga

As it is tradition, after our Easter holidays, our seminar has made a short pilgrimage to Riga. The main objective was to visit the tomb of Saint Meinardo, our patron, considered the first evangelizer of Livonia (now part of Latvia and Estonia). We were able to learn more about St. Meinardo and the history of the first evangelization of our lands. The possibility of praying next to his tomb and asking for his intercession, grace to bring the Good News to these peoples, was one of the highlights of our trip.

Taking advantage of the fact that we were in Latvia, we visited the Sanctuary of Aglona, ​​one of the most important places of worship of the Virgin Mary in the Baltic. It was also the time for each of us to ask for a special grace from Mary.

We did not miss a detailed visit of the most interesting places of the capital of Latvia and also to taste the traditional food of Latvia.

Meinhard or Meinardo (Germany, 1134 – Riga, October 11, 1196), was the first bishop of Livonia (formerly the Baltic region which included present-day Latvia and southern Estonia), arrived from the north of Germany, then land border monasteries, famous for art of memory (the monks knew the Scripture by heart).

No news of his youth is heard. He was an Augustinian monk of the Congregation of the Canons Lateran Regents, and was in a convent near Segeberg in Holstein. Maybe stimulated by the tales of merchants of Lübeck, who often went between the pagan towns from Livonia (Livoni, Curi, Latgalians and Semigalians) to buy beautiful skins, Meinardo felt called to go and preach the Gospel among the pagan peoples still. He then embarked at Lübeck as chaplain on a freighter direct to the Gulf of Riga. Having arrived at the port, met with the Polish prince Wladimiro of Polotzk and asked for permission to announce the Gospel in the region.

(Estonians already had a first contact with Christianity through the city of Novgorod (Russia) and Visby, on the island of Gotland (Sweden) again because of trade. Here gathered Christian communities founded by Byzantium and Rome. Pope Alexander III in a letter dated 17 September 1171 speaks of Fulco, “bishop of the Estonians” and Nicola, an Estonian monk. Other attempts at a peaceful mission were carried out by the archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen.) Around 1184 began the construction of the first church of Livonia, in Ikšķile, (Uxkull) on the right bank of the Daugava, twenty miles east of the line, the Church dedicated to the Virgin Mary, was built of stone and defended by a fortress to protect it from predators. The Livonians tried to destroy the church by throwing it with ropes, but they saw that the walls were too strong for their customs. Meinardo in 1186 returned to Germany to make a report of his apostolic work Archbishop Hartwig II of Bremen, who consecrated him bishop of Livonia. At the request of Hartwig himself, the pope Clement III (+ 1191) recognized, with a brief Apostolic of 25 Sept. of 1188, the bishopric of Ikšķile Bremen.

He lost the support of Bishop Hartwig, who had been expelled from Bremen. Meinardo, already entered in years, and often attacked by the pagans, felt the enormous weight of the mission that had carried out. Then he went directly to the Pope asking for help and April 27, 1191 Pope Celestine III allowed all´episcopus Livoniae gentis to seek help in Germany. But after the first enthusiasm, the Livonians had begun to look with suspicion at the German preachers, so Meinardo seeing the serious situation that was about to sink the young church of Livonia, sent directly to Rome in search of a new aid of his collaborator, the Cistercian monk Teodorico von Treyden. Celestino III granted an indulgence to all who were ready to go and give support to the church of Livonia. Meinardo died, however, while waiting for help, with a deep sadness for the apparent failure of his work, on 11 October (according to other sources on 12 April or 14 August) 1196.

In 1201 the diocese was transferred to the city of Riga near the new foundation. Venerated as a saint by the Catholic Church. His relics were transferred in 1226 by Alberto Vescovo of the cathedral Buxthoeven in Riga, now the Lutheran cathedral. The Roman Martyrology sets the liturgical memory on 11 October “in Riga on the Baltic Sea, the commemoration of St. Meinardo, bishop, who, at first, was a monk in Germany, already entered into years, dedicated to evangelize the people of Latvia; In Üksküll built the church, and was ordained Bishop, effectively laid the foundations of the Christian faith in this region. Pope John Paul II, on 8 September 1993 during the apostolic visit to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, restored officially the cult of the holy pro-bishop.