Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New seminary in Washington!

1) DC ‘Hood vs. The Heights (faculty), Fri, Oct 29, 7 pm, at the The Heights gym. Go ‘Hood!

2) “Something outrageous” - If there are at least 300 students at this Sunday’s 7:30 Mass, I will…moonwalk to “Billie Jean”. Also, Chipotle after Mass in the Parish Hall and a costume contest. Best saint’s costume wins $500 Redstar gift card for sunglasses.

Very good news from the Archdiocesan website:

Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl announced today (10/19) that the Archdiocese of Washington will open a new seminary in August 2011 for men preparing to become priests. The seminary, for men in college and pre-theology studies, will be located near The Catholic University of America at 145 Taylor Street, NE, Washington, DC.

“At a time when the teachings of the Catholic faith seem counter-cultural, we are seeing an increased interest in the priesthood, particularly among younger men who want to be a part of a new evangelization in society. Until now, most of our new seminarians, especially those in college, have had to leave the area for their studies. Now, the men will begin their formation here and be an integral part of the local Catholic community from the beginning,” said Archbishop Wuerl.

Sixty-seven men are studying for the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Washington, including 29 in college and pre-theology studies. In the 2001-02 academic year, 11 of 44 seminarians were in college or pre-theology programs.

Monsignor Robert Panke, archdiocesan director of priest vocations and formation for the archdiocese and president of the National Conference of Diocesan Vocations Directors, is overseeing the development of the new seminary. He calls it “a real boost” to vocations efforts and notes that the archdiocese has accepted 9 to 15 men into formation annually in recent years. He attributes the numbers to efforts to encourage young men in high school and college to consider the priesthood.

Initially, the seminary will have space for 30 men who will attend The Catholic University of America while receiving their priestly formation at the seminary. Before ordination, they will complete an additional four years of theology studies at seminaries such as Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg, MD; Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy; and Theological College in Washington, DC.

Beginning stages in the renovation of the building are already underway and the work is being paid for by private donations. Constructed originally as a residence for a men’s religious order, the building currently houses archdiocesan offices and space for a few members of a religious community.

This will be the second seminary operated by the Archdiocese of Washington. The first, Archdiocesan Seminary Redemptoris Mater in Hyattsville, MD, opened in 2001 to prepare men from around the world to be archdiocesan missionary priests. Once ordained, they serve in the Archdiocese of Washington and missions worldwide.

Last year, 1,443 men were in college seminaries in the United States, and 3,483 in pre-theology or theology, according to Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate. After three decades of decline, seminary enrollment in the United States has stabilized over the past 15 years.

These additional rays of hope via by Thomas Peters on 9/7/10

St. Paul Seminary – Bursting at the Seams! [Update includes photos + stats]

St. Paul Seminary at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota is enjoying its best enrollment since 1981!

The St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity has its largest enrollment of aspiring Catholic priests for the new school year since 1981.

The seminary on the University of St. Thomas campus is welcoming 33 new seminarians this fall. That will bring the total number of men studying for the priesthood there to 92, putting its residence hall at full capacity. (Star Tribune)

When I was studying at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit I remember it also enjoying high enrollment numbers. Across the country, young men are hearing the call of the Lord and seeking to serve His Church. Let’s continue to encourage young men to consider active discernment!

How is your local seminary doing? Are there more young men studying for the priesthood now than, say, 10 or 15 years ago?

update – Seminarian Paul, one of the “first years” at Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg MD, sent me these exclusive photos of his class:

And from the comments, more good news from papist readers across the country:

• My seminary, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD has the second largest enrollment in the country with 166 men attending. My class of first years is the biggest it’s been in years, with 66 new men! We’re operating at higher than capacity levels… St. John Vianney in Denver is also bursting at the seams. – Paul

• Immaculate Conception in Newark is nearly full with 74 men total (22 New Men). – “Charles”

• Kenrick-Glennon (a major and minor seminary) has a combined enrollment of about 130 men this year. The school is embarking on a major renovation at the end of this academic year in part to deal with increased numbers of students. – “BRK”

• I attended Bishop White Seminary on the campus of Gonzaga University for 2 years. They recently built a brand new seminary, and its already approaching or at capacity. – Everett

• My alma mater, St. Meinrad, is also over capacity. I think it’s now at 120+ seminarians, and the seminarian is having to go into its last standing building (Bede) Hall to house the men. – Rev. David

• Theological College at CUA has only a few open rooms, and that is mostly rooms for guys who never arrived, or rooms that are used for storage or guests beyond the capacity of the normal guest rooms. – Brian


Anonymous said...

ummm...CAN you actually moonwalk?

Anonymous said...

Considering that moon-walking was a thing of the early '80s, I doubt any of the GW students would be able to judge Fr G's performance.

Anonymous said...

there better be a video and you better put it on youtube.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to see you with blue hair :(

Anonymous said...

or with a mohawk