Priests for Today: Learning to Minister in Rural America

One in four seminarians at The Saint Paul Seminary will end up in a rural parish at some point during his ministry – often with multiple churches and parishioners who are spread out all over the countryside.

Each August, the seminary partners with Catholic Rural Life to give men in formation a taste of this experience. The session includes a day spent meeting with farmers near New Prague, Minnesota, touring their properties and learning about their needs as rural Catholics.

seminarians visit farms
Every August, seminarians visit farms in rural Minnesota to prepare for priestly ministry in a rural setting.

“This program is especially important for people like me from the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, which is a particularly rural diocese,” seminarian Benjamin Peters said, “to get that firsthand experience of what it means to be a rural pastor.”

Editor's note: A version of this story originally ran on The Seminaries of Saint Paul website. The Saint Paul Seminary is located at the University of St. Thomas.