Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Do we need a new seminary?

A few months ago, it was announced that the Archdiocese of Washington would establish a seminary at Catholic University of America.

Now, the idea of creating a seminary sounds exciting and there is nothing wrong with it. It is at a local Catholic university (Catholic University of America) and to be named after Blessed Pope John Paul II.

However, in my reading though the Catholic Standard articles and from various news sources, the explanation given is that they are sending men outside of the area for formation. Okay, so where are they currently sending them? Is it to Mt. St. Mary's? That is about a 1.5 hour drive from downtown DC. That is too far outside of the area? If not there, where? I could not find the answer to that one.

At least to me, there does not seem to be any reason for this other than to say "We have a Seminary."

Although the Archdiocese has stated that this has been paid out of private donations, I dare to ask: "Is this a good use of our donations and limited resources?"

If anyone has a better explanation, please share.

I would love to hear from you, esp. anyone from the Archdiocese.


Anonymous said...

The college seminarians are currently at St. John Neumann Residence at St. John's Seminary in Yonkers, New York. Their academic studies are at Fordham or St. John's University. Information and links are available on the Archdiocesan website (

Dan G said...

"The seminary... will serve as a college level pre-theology house of formation..."

Mount St. Mary's in Emmitsburg, as well as Theological College at CUA, and others nearby, do provide Pre-Theology studies, that is, the usually 2 years of study for men who already have a Bachelors degree, to prepare them for Theology studies.

However, to find College Seminary programs-- for young men who are working on their Bachelors degree, while receiving seminary formation and preparing for those Theology studies-- you have to look to Philadelphia (St. Charles Borromeo), New York (St. Joseph), Columbus OH (Josephinum), or further away. Theological College has this only for those who qualify as Basselin Scholars.

The College Seminary program is therefore a gain for the Archdiocese of Washington and also other dioceses who might want to send to it.

Anonymous said...

How does the Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary fit into the mix of Seminaries we have in the Archdiocese? That Seminary was slated to receive 5million dollars from the Forward in Faith campaign. Come to think about it, when is the last time anybody heard anything about the Forward in Faith campaign.

Dan G said...

Redemptoris Mater seminarians are all part of the NeoCatechumenal Way ecclesial movement; usually they grew up in it, with their parents active during their childhood, then they themselves joining in at age 13. In the RM seminary they are being further formed and trained in this movement and its characteristic spirituality and practices, by others who are part of it. It is very specialized, and an average seminarian couldn't be part of it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information Dan G. I wonder if the average seminarian would not be part of Redemptoris Mater if the Archdiocese should have given 5 million to it. I'm just not sure.