Local TV Shows Move-In Day for St. Paul’s Largest Seminarian Class in 30 Years

Signs and stories of hope:

From the University of St. Thomas:

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. 7, it will be the largest such gathering since 1980.

The seminary is welcoming 30 new graduate-level seminarians this fall, bringing the total number of men studying for the priesthood to 100. They come from 19 dioceses and institutes of consecrated life in the United States, Ghana, Uganda and Peru. Forty-three of the men are preparing to serve as priests of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.



  • Sal

    Imagine how many more vocations the Church would have if married men and women were offered the opportunity to become ordained ministers of Christ. God laughs at some of the ridiculous man made rules.

    • Charity M.

      Celibacy for priests is not a “ridiculous man-made rule” but rather a way that priests conform themselves more closely to the life of Christ. Christ lived as a celibate man, and so His ministers live as celibate men. When Christ spoke to His disciples about celibacy, He said: “Not everyone can accept this teaching, but only those to whom it is given.” (Matthew 19:11). From this the Church concludes that (a) not everyone is called to choose celibacy for the sake of serving Christ more freely, but (b) some people clearly are (“those to whom it is given”), and (c) those who are called are given special graces to live the call.

      Celibacy is NOT the reason for the priest shortage in recent decades – if it were, we wouldn’t see these numbers going up while this discipline was still being enforced.

  • mandy

    Thanks for posting this link – I know one of the new seminarians attending this year!

  • Russell

    I can only pray that the numbers continue to increase. My freshman class @ Cathedral College in 1970 had 110 men and a total of 400 in the whole school. I left for a few years and when I returned and sat in front of the admissions committee again and we were talking and I mentioned the number 400 students, they laughed… in just six years the number was just half. It was sad to see the school 1/2 empty.
    I pray the Lord of the harvest will continue to swell the numbers of men who are finding their way to a calling above all others.
    I recall with joy the words carved into the marble portico at the entrance to the seminary; Salus Animarum Suprema Lex.
    Good luck to these seminarians mentioned in the story and to all the seminarians Benedict has challenged in his recent talks on vocations.

  • patergary

    Archdiocese of Washington has 70 seminarians

  • Gashwin

    One of my good friends is in that incoming class at SPS … and we at Mount St. Mary’s didn’t have a record incoming class, but the Seminary has more men than last year, and we’re practically bursting at the seams. Just come to Vespers in our in-house chapel. There’s no room.

    And definitely no need to stop praying for vocations — this is good news, but we need more!

  • Nathan

    My diocese of Wichita has 50 seminarians this fall. Not bad for a diocese of 120,000 Catholics.

    • Nathan

      I didn’t mean to take away from the St. Paul story, by the way. This is fantastic news. And it’s a pleasure to hear Cardinal Sean say St. John’s is full. Anyone know how women’s religious are faring nationwide? I know Nashville Dominicans are vibrant, but anywhere else? No time now to stop praying for vocations!

      • Evan

        I know the Dominican Sisters of Mary – Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor, MI is bursting at the seams. They were on Oprah a few times, if you recall.

        • Mark

          I believe they are part of Nashville Dominicans-their mother house if memory serves correct, but I could be wrong and to not take away from how many women are going to Ann Arbor. In February at the Idaho Catholic Youth Convention we had two sisters from Nashville. It gave both girls and boys a wonderful and beautiful example of religious life, maybe gave them pause to ask what if? I know it did for me. All this is wonderful but small diocese like Boise need your prayers and seminarians to be called so yes do not stop praying. As for me I am 26 almost 27 and am fully open to becoming a priest, but I start a 6 year enlistment with the Coast Guard in December (the military Archdiocese is in desperate need as well).

          • Everett

            They’re both Dominicans, but not directly related so far as I know. I’ve met women from both communities and both are incredible. I studied for 2 years in the college seminary in the Diocese of Spokane, and a few years back they built a brand new seminary as the old one didn’t have enough room. The new one is beautiful, and on a per capita basis, they’re in great shape with vocations.

          • GREG SMITH

            Mark ~ I know a priest who was in the navy, felt the calling to become a priest and was released to go to seminary and then returned as a chaplain. As you continue in your USCG carier, you may want to look into that. Good luck! ~ Greg



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