Undergraduate men from Saint John Vianney College Seminary (SJV) have participated in the University of St. Thomas’ Department of Catholic Studies Rome Program since the program’s inception in 1998.
Accompanied by a faculty member, SJV seminarians have heretofore resided at the university’s Bernardi Campus during the semester-long experience while studying at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas.
This fall, 15 seminarians will continue to pursue their academic formation at the Pontifical University but will now reside at the Pontifical Irish College. Father John Bauer, formator and spiritual director from SJV, will accompany the seminarians and also live in residence at the Irish College during the 2016-17 academic year.
The archbishop of Dublin and the chair of the college’s board of trustees, Diarmuid Martin, along with the college’s board of trustees, approved the new partnership at their June meeting.
This formative experience will connect SJV seminarians with both the Irish seminarians and the international community of postgraduate priests who live at the Irish College. It also will provide SJV seminarians with an opportunity to experience the vitality of the universal Catholic Church and form intercultural friendships while pursuing their studies.
“This new partnership is a testament to the strong collaboration between the University of St. Thomas’ Catholic Studies Rome Program and our college seminary,” said SJV Rector Father Michael Becker. “Our association with the Pontifical Irish College will only enhance what has already been established.”
Established in 1968, SJV 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 St. Thomas.
The Pontifical Irish College, founded in 1628, is home to seminarians studying for dioceses in Ireland, as well as ordained priests who are pursuing postgraduate degrees. Four Irish diocesan priests are currently on staff at the college.