Sunday, January 25, 2009

The best minor seminary...

Times change.

Today, the finest (and largest with 152 seminarians) minor seminary in North America is Saint John Vianney Minor Seminary located in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

See here and encourage vocations:


sekman said...

They have a flikr feed available search sjvsem at flikr.

Anonymous said...

I disagree.

The Lincoln diocese's St. Gregory the Great holds this honor!

Anonymous said...

I disagree.

The Lincoln diocese's St. Gregory the Great holds this honor:

alban said...

Impressive numbers indeed, and no doubt partially achieved by the frank and wise approach mentioned on their website that "..seminarians don't need to be sure about priesthood to enter seminary".

However, you're quite mistaken by calling it a "minor seminary". Minor seminaries are for high school guys whilst St John Vianney is a college seminary where students can attain a university degree (usually in one of a variety of areas) before moving on to the theologate.

Anonymous said...

This terminology "college seminary" is new.

A high school seminary is not called a minor seminary, but rather a prepatory seminary (a prep. time) for the real stuff.

Major seminary (theology) comes after minor seminary (philosophy) which comes after prep. seminary (general liberal arts).

Anonymous said...

I second the post about St. Gregory the Great.

Anonymous said...

Don't be silly - they are all wearing suits - not cassocks!

I wouldn't be trusting that...

Tobias Harkleroad said...

You are both right and wrong.

The definition of a seminary since the Council of Trent when they were mandated is a place of learning set aside like a walled garden (which is what seminary literally means "place of seeds") for the preparation of men for the priesthood.

Today we often think of seminary as synonymous with final level of seminary where men earn a Master of Divinity degree, but there are other types of seminaries envisioned by the church in both Canon Law and other directives at the international and national levels.

Over time seminaries were divided into two classes: minor and major. Despite these terms ALL seminaries must follow the directives of canon law and the Program for Priestly Formation in order to be called a seminary.

Canonically, a major seminary is where candidates for the priesthood study graduate level Theology. Any seminary that trains men below the graduate level is a minor seminary. That being said some major seminaries are mixed with students at the Theologate level as well as students studying college-level Philosophy and Theology.

Today minor seminaries are often called "College Seminaries" where undergraduates live and explore vocation while obtaining a bachelor's degree (often in Theology or Philosophy but they could technically study any undergraduate program). A "high school seminary" or "preparatory seminary" is a type of seminary where boys earn their high school diplomas while exploring vocation.

Also, technically a seminary does not need to grant degrees itself to be a seminary ... some seminaries are merely the house of formation where the boys or men receive their human, pastoral, and spiritual formation while much of their intellectual formation takes place at some other high school, college, or graduate school along with other students (often including lay students).

Tobias Harkleroad said...

During the middle of the 20th century there were hundreds of minor seminaries in the United States. After Vatican II the numbers declined tremendously for a wide range of reasons on both the conservative and liberal sides of the Catholic spectrum.

Today there are only a handful of minor seminaries (either high school or college) left.

The largest is actually St. Lawrence Seminary run by the Capuchins in Mt. Calvary, WI. It was about 200 high school students.

Tobias Harkleroad said...

An interesting side note is a recent statistic from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) ... fully 1/3 of bishops serving in the United States today attended a high school seminary as part of their training.