In the first half of the XIXth century there was a school in Bedonia whose main, if not sole, purpose was the education and formation of future priests. Run by the capable, well-known Don Giovanni Agazzi, the school appealed to the families of many young boys who lived in the mountainous area surrounding Bedonia: hence the need for a new building to accommodate the numerous young scholars attending the school. Actively supported by the population, Don Agazzi and Don Stefano Raffi, the parish priest, decided to promote the project and its very first financier, Luigi Sanvitale, Bishop of Piacenza, insisted on making the new building a seminary.
Construction began in 1841 and the entire population collaborated in one way or another: whilst some donated building materials, others offered their labour.
The Seminary was inaugurated on July 25th 1846, the Day of St. James the Apostle; on August 2nd the same year the first ordinations took place.
Whilst Don Giovanni Agazzi and Don Stefano Raffi are considered the founders of the Seminary, the first rector, Father Giuseppe Bailo of the Order of St Vincent and Bishop Sanvitale are considered the co-founders.
Over time extensions were added to the original structure to meet the requirements of the various educational and formative activities. Although, since 1981, the structure is no longer a school for seminarists, it continues to be a centre for religious studies, a focal co-ordinating point for the local priests, and moreover, a place that continues to offer a variety of educational and cultural opportunities to young people and adults alike.
Archivio Studio Fotografico Battoglia