St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity welcomes largest enrollment in nearly three decades
Ceremonies marking the start of a new school year will be held Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 8
St. Paul, Minn. -- When seminarians from the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity of the University of St. Thomas gather for their annual group photo at the start of the school year on Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 8, it will be the largest such gathering since 1981.
The seminary is welcoming 33 new seminarians this fall, bringing the total number of men studying for the priesthood to 92. The residence hall there is at full capacity.
The seminarians come from 14 dioceses in the United States, and from Ghana, Uganda and Peru. Forty of the men are preparing to serve as priests of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
“Our strong enrollment reflects the growing number of men who are answering God’s call to the priesthood,” said Msgr. Aloysius Callaghan, rector of the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity. “Their witness offers hope for the future of our Church.”
In addition, 62 lay people and members of religious communities are studying in the School of Divinity for their master’s degrees in theology.
The traditional group photo will be taken at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 8, on the seminary’s campus at the western end of St. Paul’s Summit Avenue. Archbishop John Nienstedt of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis will celebrate Mass with the seminary community at 5 p.m. that day in St. Mary’s Chapel.
"Our strong enrollment reflects the growing number of men who are answering God’s call to the priesthood,” said Msgr. Aloysius Callaghan.
Or it could reflect the fact that the seminary is drawing from a larger area than ever before due, in part, to seminaries in other parts of the country closing.
Also, I'd be interested in learning about the seminary's retention rates. Just how many of these men make it to ordination? I live next door to a house rented by the University of St. Thomas. At one point it was occupied by seven young men - six of whom were former seminarians!
Finally, how are these men, once ordained, and keeping in mind the type of training they received in the current ultra-conservative climate, being received in parishes? I've heard of some really sad stories of parish communities being torn apart by gang-ho young conservative priests, and also of new priests having breakdowns after a year or two due to living in the real world of parish life - a reality that simply doesn't reflect the rigid, black & white worldview our priests are currently being indoctrinated in. Unless of course they're women priests. But that's another whole story.
Jesus said that he would be with us to the end of time.
But He didn't say that the Church would always grow.
And just like Jesus drove the merchants out of the temple, maybe it is time to have young conservative priests drive the cafeteria Catholics out of the Church. They are only there, occasionally, for the architecture, the art, and the entertainment, so it seems.
Please provide published statistics for your claims of low retention rates and names of parishes that have been "torn apart by gang-ho young conservative priests". I see just the oppposite happening. At my former parish, the priest who is in his early sixties, told us that he is only one of 3 out of 45 seminarians that are still priests from his graduating class in the early 70's. The cause... lack of fidelity. The new priests which you rail against are totally faithful to the Church.
I would add to your biblical quotes some from John 6 regarding those disciples who left him when he taught them about the sacrament of the Eucharist. They said; "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?" Jesus then said; "Do you take offense at this?" Many of the Church's teaching are "hard" and many have left her for all intents and purposes. Our Lord wants us all to stay but we have free will and are allowed to "no longer go about with him".
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