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...previous page...Our current programs for Hispanic Ministries and English as a Second Language seek to meet the contemporary needs of a changing Church in the United States, just as offering seminarians courses in German, English, and Slovak did in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. During its long history, Saint Vincent Seminary has met various challenges and has learned to change and respond to the needs of the Church.

The challenges posed by Catholic seminary education in the twenty-first century reflect in many ways those faced by Archabbot Boniface Wimmer in the early days of the Seminary. Although the situation of the Catholic Church in the United States is much different now than it was in Wimmer’s time, fundamental principles such as the discernment of the students’ needs, adaptation to address those needs, and fidelity to the universal Church, remain constant.

The faculty, staff, and students of the Seminary realize that as history marches on and diverse cultures come together in new ways, many of the same questions arise. As a community of faith, we seek mutually enriching ways of sounding the depths of the unchanging message of the Gospel. Just as the pioneer professors and administrators of the Seminary sought to provide for the needs of a bilingual Catholic population so also today the members of the Seminary faculty face a similar task as they prepare prieststo serve both English speaking Catholics and the growing population of people from Hispanic, Asian, Africa, and Eastern Europe cultures. 


Moreover, while the first generations of students at Saint Vincent Seminary largely consisted of men of a very young age, at present, the students completing their work here span a wide age range. Many are well into their adult years by the time they come to the Seminary and the present day faculty adjusts its approach to instruction and training in order to accommodate both the needs and the valuable real-world experiences of the student body.

At the same time, unlike most candidates in the early years of the Seminary who had already completed a high school seminary curriculum before pursuing more advanced seminary formation, seminarians today often begin their studies with notable gaps in their basic knowledge of the faith and without a familiarity of the rich history of the Church. To address this challenge, the faculty at Saint Vincent Seminary designed a pre-theology curriculum—consistent with the requirements of the Program of Priestly Formation—that provides the necessary intellectual, spiritual, pastoral, and human bases upon which the Seminary builds its successful priestly formation curriculum. At a time when priesthood retention has become a major concern, our records indicate that 96.5 percent of the men ordained from our program since 1989 are still in active priestly ministry.
However different America in the twenty-first century is from America in the nineteenth century, Saint Vincent Seminary strives to preserve its heritage of innovation amidst unchanging ideals. 


 

 



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