Enrollment continues to be at capacity

| Susan Klemond | January 2, 2014 | 0 Comments

During the last few years, Father Michael Becker, rector at St. John Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul, hasn’t had to turn away individual applicants, but it’s been close.

The number of college seminarians around the country increased 5 percent in 2012, according to a study by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

At the same time, Father Becker said SJV has been at or near capacity — the building holds 119 men. Currently, 132 men from 20 dioceses attend the seminary and live in its facility on the University of St. Thomas campus. Some study in Rome, and the seminary’s guest rooms accommodate the others.

As a college seminary, SJV offers a four-year program of academics and spiritual direction to help young men grow in their Catholic faith and vocational discernment. Those who continue to discern a call to the priesthood continue their formation at a major seminary, such as St. Paul Seminary.

As to whether SJV will stay at capacity, Father Becker said young people’s interest in seminary is slightly on the rise.

“The numbers across the nation are up a little bit,” he said. “It depends on the Catholic culture everywhere.”

Six years ago, SJV enrollment was at 154 men, giving it the largest college seminary enrollment in the United States. According to Father Becker, about 35 percent of college seminarians go on to the major seminary; about 80 percent of those will become ordained priests.


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Category: Vocations