The University of Saint Louis, on the occasion of the advance celebration of the CICM (Congregatio Immaculati Cordis Mariae or the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary) Day, held a groundbreaking for the construction of the Holy Childhood Mission and Learning Hall and the Aloysius van Segvelt Mission and Learning Hall, today at the University.
The Holy Childhood Mission and Learning Hall will rise between the car park and the Friendship Park. The Aloysius van Segvelt Mission and Learning Hall, on the other hand, will lie between the Theophile Verbist Building and the Aloysius Gonzaga Building. Both three-story buildings have almost identical designs.
Perspectives of the Holy Childhood Mission and Learning Hall and Aloysius van Segvelt Mission and Learning Hall (left to right)
University President Rev. Fr. Renillo H. Sta. Ana, CICM, who celebrates his birthday, November 21, shared to the audience during the CICM Day program held after the groundbreaking that the facilities are intended as centers for the mission works of the University and as learning spaces.
The inspiration for and the namesake of the Holy Childhood Mission and Learning Hall is the Holy Childhood Association which cared for abandoned children, prompting the CICM founder, Rev. Fr. Theophile Verbist, to do the same.
“In 1865, Father Verbist and four other zealous companions made their final preparations for their mission in China. They arrived in the winter of that same year in the village of Xiwanzi, in the Province of Inner Mongolia, north of the Great Wall. There they set up a base, getting to work immediately on plans to administer the vast territory that lay before them: organizing small Christian communities, attending to an orphanage and school, and training seminarians,” the CICM website says.
Fr. Aloysius van Segvelt, a co-founder of the CICM, is the namesake of the other facility.
The University’s medical-dental mission, nutrition program and other mission initiatives will be primarily held at both new structures. Students will also be able to use them for their academic tasks.
Applause from the audience was given upon the announcement of the groundbreaking for the facilities and their anticipated construction.