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15 US Seminarians to Transfer to Pontifical Irish College, Rome

Spiritual director notes hope that residence will give future US priests greater sense of universality of Church

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From September, 15 seminarians from the Saint John Vianney College Seminary (SJV), from the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, will pursue their academic formation at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Rome, and are to transfer their residency from the university’s Bernardi campus to the Pontifical Irish College, Rome.  The new arrangement will initially run during the academic year 2016/17.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin and the Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Pontifical Irish College, along with the board of Saint John Vianney College, approved the new partnership at their June meeting.
Welcoming the seminarians Archbishop Martin said, “The presence of these United States’ seminarians will enrich and consolidate the seminary community in the Pontifical Irish College, under the overall leadership of its rector, Monsignor Ciaran O’Carroll.  Together with Archbishop Bernard Hebda of Saint Paul Minneapolis, I wish the project every blessing and success.”
According to SJV Rector Father Michael Becker, “This new partnership is a testament to the strong collaboration between the University of Saint Thomas’ Catholic Studies Rome Program and Saint John Vianney College Seminary.  Our association with the Pontifical Irish College will only enhance what has already been established.”
Father John Bauer, SJV formator and spiritual director, will also take up residence next month in the Pontifical Irish College along with the 15 seminarians.
Father Bauer said, “It is hoped that this formative experience will connect SJV seminarians with both Irish seminarians and the international community of post-graduate priests who live at the college.  It will also provide SJV seminarians, as they continue their studies in the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, with an opportunity to experience the vitality of the universal Catholic Church, and form intercultural friendships, while pursuing their studies.”

  • Founded in 1628, the Pontifical Irish College, Rome, is home to 50 students, with 14 coming from Ireland and the others representing many different nations.  The College is home to a seminarian community and a post-graduate community.  Four Irish diocesan priests make up the staff of the college, led by the rector Monsignor Ciaran O’Carroll.
  • Established in 1968, Saint John Vianney College Seminary is the largest college seminary in the United States.  Each year more than 120 men, representing 20 dioceses, discern a vocation to the priesthood while earning an undergraduate degree from the University of Saint Thomas.
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