A Chronology of Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary:
1912 – Bishop Patrick Heffron founds Saint Mary’s College for the higher education of young men of the area, and the special training of those aspiring to the priesthood.
1933 – Bishop Francis Kelly transfers Saint Mary’s College to the Brothers of the Christian Schools. Approval is sought from the Holy See because the college was viewed as an approved seminary, hence the transfer is not completed until 1943 under Bishop Leo Binz, Coadjutor Bishop of Winona.
1947 – Bishop Binz writes to the Apostolic Delegate, Archbishop Cicognani, for advice about founding a diocesan seminary whose students would live in a Saint Mary’s College dormitory wing while taking classes there (February 4). In the fall, Fathers George Speltz and William Magee begin teaching on the faculty of the college with a core group of students who will be the first seminary community upon its establishment.
1948 – Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary is established by Bishop Binz (canonically erected July 16), and is incorporated in the State of Minnesota (September 24). Father Speltz is appointee rector, with an enrollment of
1949 – The first seminarian graduates from Saint Mary’s college (Paul Halloran, May 29).
1950 – Bishop Edward Fitzgerald is installed in the See of Winona (January 6) and completes architectural plans for a separate seminary dormitory (February). The Christian Brothers deed a plot of land to the Diocese of Winona from their property at Saint Mary’s College. Construction contracts are awarded (April 25), Fitzgerald breaks ground (May 1), and the cornerstone of Kelly Hall is laid by Binz (June 15), then Coadjutor Bishop of Dubuque, with all priests of the diocese present.
1962 – St. Leo the Great Hall is blessed by Apostolic Delegate, Archbishop Vagnozzi, in the presence of Archbishop Binz in whose honor it was named (March 25).
1963 – Father Spletz is consecrated Auxillary Bishop of Winona (March 25), later becoming Coadjutor Bishop of St. Cloud (1966, succeeding to the See, 1968). Bishop Fitzgerald appoints Msgr. Jeseph McGinnis as rector.
1964 – Dominican Father A. C. Fabian launches a thirty-plus-year teaching career with seminarians and college students in philosophy.
1966-67 – All-time high in total enrollment is reached at 90 seminarians.
1968 – Bishop Fitzgerald appoints Monsignor Roy Literski as rector.
1970 – Post-conciliar remodeling is completed (March 6). Bishop Loras Watters appoints Father Robert Brom as rector. The Dominican sisters return to Switzerland, and are replaced by several School Sisters of Notre Dame (eventually including SisterStanisia, who served fifteen years).
1971 – New seminary guidelines are introduced, based on the newly approved national Program of Priestly Formation.
1971-1986 – 73 TEC Retreats are offered by seminary students and faculty to the youth of the diocese.
1973 – A 25th anniversary reunion of ordained alumni is held (June).
1974 – Fitzgerald Retreat Center is established in Leo Hall for diocesan Priest retreats, in memory of the late bishop (who died in 1972).
1979 – Bishop Watters appoints Father Gerald Mahon as rector. After serving as Rector of the Cathedral, Father Brom is named Bishop of Duluth (1983), and later of San Diego (1989 as coadjutor, succeeding to the See in 1990).
1988-87 – Papal Seminary Study is undertaken at IHMS under the chairmanship of Bishop William H. Keeler of Harrisburg (February 17-21, 1986). The chapel is renovated (summer 1986). Highest total enrollment in two decades is reached with 80 seminarians.
1988 – a 40th anniversary reunion of ordained and lay alumni is held in conjunction with diocesan Clergy Days (June).
1989 – IHMS Endowment Fund is created (incorporated, 1991). Bishiop Vlazny names Father Timothy Reker as rector.
1994 – Seminary assumes oversight for sacramental ministry on the Saint Mary’s campus.
1995 – Saint Mary’s College becomes Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.
1996 – Wiring of the seminary facility is completed for modern computer technology, Bishop Vlazny names Father William Becker as rector.
1998 – Father David Kunz is named rector by Father Michael Hoeppner, Diocesan Administrator. Fiftieth anniversary.
1999 – Bishop Bernard J. Harrington is installed January as the 7th Bishop of Winona Diocese.
2002 – Father James Steffes is named rector by Bishop Bernard J. Harrington. This also marks the height of enrollment in over ten years at 62.
2008 – Father Andrew Beerman is named by Bishop Bernard Harrington as the tenth rector of IHM.
2008 – Bishop John M. Quinn is installed in December as Coadjutor Bishop of Winona.
2009 – IHM celebrates 60th anniversary. Bishop John M. Quinn succeeds Bishop Harrington in May as Bishop of Winona.
2012 – Monsignor Thomas Melvin is named by Bishop John Quinn as the eleventh rector of IHM.