Have questions about college seminary? This page includes pictures and information from current and previous college seminarians. See what they have to say about their seminary experience.
Men accepted to seminary for the Archdiocese of Denver who have just graduated from high school will attend college seminary to one of two seminaries. For more information about these seminaries visit their websites:
College Seminary changed my habits. In our culture, it’s a near-trend for young guys to be lazy and apathetic. Seminary helped me get away from that. I am more disciplined, and that’s made me freer. I’m more productive, my relationships are healthier, and I’ve managed to get into pretty decent shape. In general, guys here would agree that this place makes you more masculine. Seminary also brought me a great deal of healing, especially within spiritual direction. When I thought I had already gone deep enough in the spiritual life with my spiritual director, Christ only wanted to take me deeper, and deeper still, to keep healing me. This also helped form my masculinity. I’m less afraid, more alive, and what sets me free the most is that I know Jesus Christ knows me, likes me, and loves me.
Entering into the structure of College Seminary helped me enter more deeply into the Formation I need in order to become a Priest. Really – the chance to wake up and see Jesus, literally SEE JESUS, who Bled for us and Gave us His Life, and then follow that up with the Perfect Thanksgiving Sacrifice of The Mass EVERY DAY, was incredible! Accepting those Graces to Live the day for God was an incredible benefit to living the life of a college seminarian. Beyond the daily Prayer times, the structure at SJV College Seminary helped me enter into a deeper relationship with Our Father and understand more of who I am as His son, as well as grow in the art of Fraternal Charity. I experienced genuine Love from my Brothers and had the opportunity to enter into the Priesthood by daily laying down my life for my Brothers in Love and Service. The technology fasts that were implemented helped my soul become freer to Love and Serve Our Father and my Brothers. The different all-seminary-activities helped me go beyond my comfort zones so that I could grow in community with my Brothers. This helped me to see who I am in God’s eyes and what my different strengths and weaknesses are, in an environment of Brothers who supported me and encouraged me to be the best person I could be. I believe the structure of the Seminary, which helped me learn balance, discipline, and time-management, (being forced to balance all the seminary activities and keep up with college studies), as well as growing in the various Virtues such as Prudence and Charity, were the main benefits of College Seminary for me.
I wake up just before 5AM to do some spiritual reading and at 6:15 I go downstairs to the Chapel for Holy Hour and Mass. After Mass I go off to my classes, eat lunch, and spend sometime studying. I eat dinner in the evening and then head back to my room for study hour. After study hour we have some sort of fraternity-oriented meeting, whether it is with the whole floor or with the men from the Archdiocese of Denver or from my fraternity (comprised of 6 men from different dioceses who were in my new man class). After this, I spend some time with some good friends and then head to bed.
In college seminary at St. Gregory’s we start the day by praying the Angelus. Afterwards we spend a few moments in silence in the chapel before we pray Morning Prayer, and then Mass. The basic college routine follows: breakfast, classes in the morning and afternoon, and lunch in between. Each seminarian is given down time throughout the day and the time is either filled by activities of leisure or running errands. The classes are mainly focused on general credits, such as math, English, and history. But seminarians will also take Latin and Catechism classes. As the day draws to a close, the college life dies down and the seminarians life kicks in with holy hours, vespers (Evening Prayers) and to end it all is compline (Night Prayers).
Every morning started with an hour of prayer and Mass. The only way to start the day. Then all the seminarians moved off in large packs to breakfast at the University’s cafeteria. After breakfast started our “work day”. Until late afternoon we were expected to be in class, doing homework, or something formative (reading, sports, exercise, napping!). The daytime was a time for work and the evening was a time for rest and rejuvenation. Three evenings each week we had different fraternity meetings aimed to have fun and grow close to your Diocesan brothers and brothers on your floor. The day was concluded with Night Prayer. The structure of seminary was sometimes hard for men who wanted to go about seminary doing only what they wanted or thought was right for them. When you trust that God’s hand works through the seminary and you give yourself to it, it becomes a place to flourish as a man in Christ, a man for the Church, and a man for others. An alter Christus.
We began every day with Holy Hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament and then the celebration of Mass (though I am sure the structure/times have changed since I was up there). Following breakfast, we would have class with non-seminarians at the University. After a day of studies, we would have Evening Prayer followed by community activities.
I think I can say with confidence that whatever your expectations, dreams or visions of seminary are, they’re probably wrong, or pretty inaccurate. It’s not heaven, and it’s not hell on earth. It’s a place where a bunch of men have been joined together to try to listen to God. What we’re doing is unusual by the world’s standards, but seminarians are just normal guys. We don’t levitate much; we don’t spend hours locked in a closet with the Blessed Sacrament. We have hobbies, we like having fun. This is what surprised me: that my expectations were mistaken.
It’s good to be with other students. You see the need for the gospel right in front of you, as opposed to being removed from the need, having to guess or make assumptions about how the world, and our generation, is struggling. As of this coming year, a lot of the seminarians will be teaching students on campus as part of their “apostolic outreach” assignments (they’ll teach Apologetics and Theology of the Body)—so study up and you may be able to teach on campus. It’s worth noting that there are a lot of Catholic students around, so it’s easy to connect with people outside the seminary. Catholic presence here is pretty substantial.
It’s also convenient to have all the resources available to you that a normal college offers: dining options, athletic centers (pool, racquetball courts, indoor/outdoor track, weight room, basketball courts, etc.), campus events, free concerts, etc.
Over the last year at College Seminary, I have learned that perfection is not something that happens overnight. It is a life long process through which we must constantly resolve to do the will of God, which often calls us to fight against our own natural inclinations for his greater glory, constantly submitting ourselves to the sweet and holy cross of obedience. Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever!
For me, it was a bit of a trial by fire. Set right in the middle of what I’m giving up (“fun and a family”) to follow the call of God was difficult and sometimes frustrating, but I guess it’s not much of a sacrifice if you don’t know what you’re sacrificing. Also, my understanding was a little skewed: pursuing the priesthood is definitely not boring, and the type of family is just different. I think I grew in understanding that.
Finally, to put it bluntly: though UST is definitely very nice, being on a college campus – you see why the world needs Jesus.
Being on a typical college campus was a great transition from high school and provided an opportunity of evangelization, as well as, a broader experience in community life. As with all colleges, even great Catholic Universities, there are the rebels, and the party life. Yet being a seminarian with the opportunity to meet friends in class and on campus and bring the light of the Gospel into their lives is an amazing experience that only strengthened my desire for the priesthood and the mission it entails.
My favorite thing about college seminary is the way of life of the seminary. Although the days feel excruciating and long because of the life of the seminary, it is a life that is whole and that is not missing anything. During the day, there is almost always something going on, and if there isn’t, you are probably forgetting something. But, the most beautiful part of all of these things we do is that they are seen through the perspective of the Eucharist. The day and all it contains is looked at through the Heart of Christ. All the things that make life interesting, and at times bearable, are that much greater because they are looked upon as gifts directly from the Sacred Heart. This way of life has brought my eyes to focus on Our Lord, and although I have much to walk, I have come to have much more faith, hope, and love for Christ which I cannot be thankful enough for.
My favorite part of college seminary was the forming of a great brotherhood! I really enjoyed getting to know everyone at the school and experiencing this wonderful part of my life with them. Everyone was experiencing the same life style so we could relate to one another and help each other through difficulties. The environment of the seminary was great for the studies and strengthening your prayer life along with everything else that you go through. I believe its a great place to change your life while living it for God!
College seminary was the first place I encountered virtuous friendships. The seminary was focused on forming men humanly to be real men. This was done through the formation staff and especially through my brother seminarians.
My favorite part about college seminary was having the opportunity to go to daily Eucharistic Adoration and Holy Mass every day with a group of 150+ other men who were discerning the Priesthood with me. It gave me much hope for the future of the Church and for my own vocation. When friendships and fraternities are centered around Christ, it leads to a greater love of Him and more holy lives.
My favorite thing about college seminary is that the crew of guys up here is really solid. Living the seminary life definitely has its challenges but these challenges enhance the depth of brotherhood among the guys. We rejoice with one and other when there is cause for rejoicing and we support one and other when times are tough. The level of brotherhood that is here is unparalleled to any other college experience!
on Third Floor called “Bring Your Own Dinner Monday” where only guys from 3rd floor got together in room 314 on Mondays to eat dinner