“The work and prayers here shall spread God’s blessing over this beautiful country in years to come, when perhaps few of you who are listening to me now shall be among the living.” - ABBOT LEO HAID, BELMONT ABBEY FOUNDER, 1885
Established on the feast of St. Joseph, March 19, 2016, St. Joseph College Seminary is a collaboration of the Diocese of Charlotte with Belmont Abbey for the formation of college-age young men preparing for the priesthood. In the words of Bishop Peter Jugis, “This seminary is a flourishing of this culture of vocations that we’ve been cultivating over the last thirteen years … the promotion of vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life from the beginning was one of my major themes.”
A Place of Study and Prayer
A college seminary, also called a minor seminary, is where young men study for the first four of their eight years of seminary training. It is a seed bed for the vocation to grow and be nourished before entering a major seminary.
The first four years of seminary focuses on human formation, that is, establishing an academic, social, and spiritual foundation; the making of the priest begins with the making of the man.
Belmont Abbey College is home to an outstanding faculty in all academic disciplines, and seminarians will be able to attend all courses offered by the College. In addition, faculty will be commissioned to create and teach three unique courses per semester exclusively for seminarians. Further, many priests in the Carolinas have attained a License or Doctorate which could be employed in the education of our men. The course of study for the seminarians will be tailored to conform to the guidelines of the Church as described in the Program for Priestly Formation.
Through association with Belmont Abbey College, seminarians will have access to many cultural and social opportunities, including lectures, plays, musical performances, sporting events, volunteer opportunities, as well as fellowship with students who have chosen Belmont Abbey College for its strong Catholic identity. Weekends will provide opportunities for the seminarians to assist priests in various local parishes as well as at other Diocesan events, giving them, from the beginning, a sense of the home in which they will serve.
Belmont Abbey College is an apostolic work of the Benedictine monks of Belmont Abbey. The monks’ life of prayer and study pervades and shapes college life. The College not only offers a great education and social environment but also offers multiple chapels, daily Mass, Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, and rich devotional practices. The seminarians will have an ordered horarium which will consist of Holy Mass, Liturgy of the Hours prayed in common, daily Holy Hour, and conferences on the spiritual life. Seminarians will, in a special way, be entrusted to Our Lady, whose maternal care under the title “Help of Christians” has nurtured many vocations.
Our Building Project
In our inaugural year, the seminary received eight college-aged men who answered the call to a priestly vocation. They now reside in community at St. Joseph Monastery—at maximum capacity—located on the campus of St. Ann Catholic Church in Charlotte. Nine additional men join us in our second year, residing in a renovated home located across the street from St. Ann. These living situations are temporary as we await the fundraising and building stages of a permanent facility.
Many more young men are expected to apply in the next few years. There is no time to lose; we must build a permanent home for these men to live the communal and formative life of seminary while pursuing their studies at Belmont Abbey College. Please consider joining us in our mission: view our building plans.