Twenty-three new seminarians representing nine nations have begun their new school year at Sacred Heart School of Theology, bringing the total number of seminarians so far this year to 87.
Their ages range from 22-year-old Matthew Rappl from the Diocese of Green Bay to Alfred Pillarelli, 66, from the Diocese of Gaylord, Mich. (at right, left to right).
In addition to the future priests in the seminary program, Sacred Heart has 47 other students, including 26 non-seminarians in the English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) Program, lay students in the Master of Arts Program, and non-degree students.
(Some students are in more than one program. For example, some seminarians may also be in the ESL Program. The above numbers do not count duplicates.)
The average age of the new seminarians is 40. Fifteen students are from the United States, while the others come from elsewhere in the Americas, Nigeria and Vietnam.
The seminarians represent 27 dioceses across the United States and Canada, plus five religious orders. New sponsors this year include: the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau (Mo.), the Diocese of Orange (Calif.), the Diocese of of Duluth (Minn.), the the Diocese of of Calgary (Alb.) and the Servants of the Paraclete.