Men to study at Belmont Abbey College

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BELMONT — The Diocese of Charlotte is establishing a college seminary in response to growing interest in priestly vocations.

The St. Joseph College Seminary will be what the Church calls a “minor” seminary, as its focus is undergraduate men considering the priesthood, one step before enrolling in a “major” seminary where they receive more specific priestly formation. It will give these men the opportunity to live closer to home, continue their college studies while in community together, and interact regularly with diocesan vocations staff.

On March 19, the feast of St. Joseph, Bishop Peter J. Jugis will formally announce the creation of the college seminary during the Bishop’s Lenten Youth Pilgrimage at Belmont Abbey College.

Starting this fall, the college seminary will be temporarily located on the campus of St. Ann Church in Charlotte, but there are plans to build a permanent home on or near the campus of Belmont Abbey College.

“I think the faithful of the diocese will be greatly encouraged to know that as we are growing as a diocese the Lord is answering their prayers and bringing forth vocations,” Bishop Jugis said Tuesday.

In an earlier letter to priests, Bishop Jugis noted that the plan “for our college seminarians would have many advantages. It would allow men considering a priestly vocation to study closer to their home state of North Carolina and give them the opportunity of pastoral formation in the setting for which they are preparing to serve.”

Bishop Jugis, a native of the Charlotte diocese, played an active role in selecting the name “St. Joseph College Seminary.” Placed under the patronage of St. Joseph, foster father of Our Lord, the name also reflects the heritage of the diocese, which was first shepherded by Bishop Michael Joseph Begley when it was carved out of the Diocese of Raleigh in 1972.

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