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They should be a cause of pride in all of us.

They should be a cause of pride in all of us.

Band of Brothers

Priestly Formation | Seminarian

They should be a cause of pride in all of us.

There are fifteen of them. Young men between 25 and 35 all scheduled to be ordained in May of 2019. While six are preparing to serve the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, nine have been sent to our Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary by dioceses and religious orders from across the country. Many of them heard the call in high school. Others went to college first. One was called away from a career on Wall Street. Still another is a military veteran of Afghanistan.

Marco Casanova and Alessandro Giardini are two of these young men. According to them, members of this particular class pride themselves on their remarkable chemistry, despite their different backgrounds. They are a close-knit band of brothers that share an easy openness among themselves to talk about their faith. They all share the goal, not only of becoming priests, but of becoming saints. And they speak of that goal without self-consciousness or false piety. Men who desire to be saints! To hear it said out loud so matter-of-factly is a little shocking. But on further reflection, of course they aspire to sainthood. So should every priest, and every person.

This class is probably not all that different from the thousands of men who have been ordained from St. Charles before them, or from the many who will come after them. Yet they will be unique.

With God’s continued grace, they will be ordained at a particular time and place next year as part of the 2,000+ year history of the Church. They will be well equipped to serve our community in way and word, desiring sainthood for all those they will minister to. They should be a cause for pride in all of us.

The spirit these men hope to bring to their ministry was perfectly expressed by Pope Francis at a recent ordination: “Always have before your eyes the example of the Good Shepherd, who didn’t come to be served, but to serve.”

That we have such young men answering the call of Jesus Christ should give each of us ample reason to be proud and optimistic about the future of the Church. That we have a wonderful seminary to be here to form and educate the priests who will serve and lead tomorrow’s Church should make us humble and grateful. That is why it is essential for us each to support each of us as generously as we can. Tomorrow’s priests depend on us.

Did You Know...?

  • Tuition, room and board for a seminarian working towards his B.A. in Philosophy is $33,970 per year; and tuition, room and board for a seminarian working towards his Master of Divinity and Master of Arts degrees is $35,975 per year.
  • The seminary has produced many excellent theologians and Church leaders, including over 50 SCBS alumni who have gone on to become bishops.
  • St. Charles has partnered with the Haub School of Business at St. Joseph’s University in creating a Servant Leadership Program specifically targeted at future priests. The program was specifically designed to be an administrative and stewardoriented supplement to the traditional priestly formation the Seminarians receive.
  • Costs for health insurance, books and additional expenses can reach $8,500 per year.