Seminarians in the college and theology divisions of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary returned to the Wynnewood campus Monday, Aug. 18 to mark the start of the new academic year.

The seminary welcomed 27 new seminarians this year for a total of 156.

Among the new seminarians, six are studying for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia — three are entering the college division and three are entering the Spiritual Year program or pre-theology.

A total of 74 new or existing seminarians are studying for Philadelphia while the remaining are studying for other dioceses and religious congregations.

“St. Charles Seminary is blessed to welcome new and returning seminarians to campus to begin our academic year,” said Bishop Timothy C. Senior, seminary rector. “It’s encouraging to see so many young men ready to embrace their formation even in the face of our global challenges.”

The seminarian population this year continues its trend in recent years of increasing cultural diversity. Approximately 48% of the new students are Asian, Pacific Islander, Latino, Hispanic, Black or African American.

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions that have prompted many colleges and universities to offer only virtual instruction, St. Charles Seminary intends to

Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary plans to offer onsite formation and education as usual this fall while following a safety plan built around the essential mission of the seminary.

“We will continue to strive toward fulfilling our mission to form priests, deacons and laity under all the required protocols and guidelines developed by the recommendations of local health officials,” said Bishop Senior.

Prior to coming to campus, seminarians were encouraged to complete a two-week period of self-quarantine. Once on campus, a strict social distancing and semi-quarantine policy will be pursued for the first two weeks.

Classes will be conducted either in person or as a hybrid class based on class size and room capacity.

To mitigate potential spread of the virus, personal free time off campus will be limited.

The seminary’s pastoral program, through which seminarians traditionally serve in ministry in the community one day a week, will be a modified to balance the safety of the seminarians with learning how to the support the faithful in times of crisis, especially addressing the increased need of marginalized persons.

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For more information about St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, which has been forming men for the Catholic priesthood in Philadelphia for 188 years, visit www.scs.edu.

Seminarians moving into St. Charles Borromeo Seminary for the first time Aug. 18 and their families inspect orientation materials along with seminary-themed apparel.