Great news about a new college seminary in Charlotte, NC!

While I was in Rome recently, I met a young priest engaged in studies.  He was the subdeacon with me for the Pontifical Mass celebrated by Archbp. Sample in St. Peter’s Basilica during the Summorum Pontificum pilgrimage.  He is from the Diocese of Charlotte, NC, where Bp. Peter Jugis has started a seminary.  He began to tell me about the character of the seminary, and I must admit that I got pretty excited about what I was hearing.  When he mentioned that the bishop takes Veterum sapientia very seriously, that was it for me.

I asked him to send me more information about their new seminary.  This is some of what he sent (with my emphases):

I wanted to point you in the direction of our college seminary, which I think might interest you. You frequently ask for good news, and this is all very good news. Bishop Peter J. Jugis, bishop of Charlotte, NC, founded St. Joseph College Seminary in March of this year. We have been holding Quo Vadis Days retreats for young men in the diocese for the past 4 years. With these retreats, many men have begun thinking and praying about a call to the priesthood earlier and earlier. High school men have been knocking and knocking on the doors of the Vocations Office. We hope that this seminary will respond to the needs of the diocese and the seed that has been planted in the hearts of these young men.

The aim of St. Joseph Seminary is to form well-rounded men. They are receiving formation in Philosophy, Music, Liturgy (both forms of the Roman Rite), Latin, Rhetoric, and Literature, as well as the other arts and humanities. We are striving to form holistic men rooted in the virtues. We started with eight men this year in a house that has eight rooms. We are blessed to have 12 possible men to enter next year. So we are striving to build.

At, you will notice the architecture (HERE) that responds to a needed environment for prayer and study. The chapel, I think, is designed to be wonderfully sacred space. We also have a “teaser trailer” that lays out the fundamental vision of the bishop and formation faculty. I was pleased to work with the seminarians for about 6 weeks before I came back over for my studies. They are receiving a lot, but growing by leaps and bounds every day.

I thought this might be some good news that your readers would enjoy hearing about. Would you be so kind to ask your readers for prayers for this endeavor? We are still raising funds, but the property has been selected just outside of the city near Belmont Abbey College. We hope to break ground on Phase One soon, if the Lord continues to supply us with generous benefactors.

Fr. Z kudos to Bp. Jugis and all involved!

BTW… if you want to know more about Veterum sapientia, I made a PODCAzT about it HERE.

And you can listen…

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Andrew says:

    Gaudeat Reverendissimus Episcopus Jugis jugi ac perpetua salute.

  2. S.Armaticus says:

    I have even better news.

    Tomorrow is the Blessing of the new SSPX’s St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Dillwyn Virginia.

    From what I understand, it is the largest seminary built in the continental US in over 100 years.

    Please keep these seminarians, fathers and bishops in your prayer.

    We owe them so, so much…

  3. PTK_70 says:

    Thank you for sharing, Fr. Z. The Old South is fertile ground for the growth of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Faith and IMHO this first-hand information from a priest in the Diocese of Charlotte is a powerful, unmistakable indication of that.

  4. Orlando says:

    We have a vibrant and growing Latin Mass Community with three parishes now in Chatlotte offering Mass in the extraordinary form, thanks to the amazing support of our great Bishop Peter Jugis. Please continue to pray for him because the bigger we grow the more pressure will be brought down upon him to conform.

  5. Pingback: FRIDAY MORNING EDITION | Big Pulpit

  6. PTK_70 says:

    “High school men have been knocking and knocking on the doors of the Vocations Office.”

    A thought on this statement: why wait until seminary to form these young fellows in philosophy, Latin, rhetoric, liturgy, music, etc.? Should there not be “pre-seminaries” for high-school aged Catholic lads which provide formation in these areas? How I would relish sending my boys to such a house of formation, if only for their junior and senior years! I realize this is a departure from the current standard model of Catholic co-ed secondary education in the U.S.

  7. jazzclass says:

    That’s actually what a minor seminary used to be: a boarding school for high school men. They were never to fruitful from what I understand. They especially died out after the council.

  8. PTK_70 says:

    @jazzclass…I was thinking there is a name for such an institution. To my way of thinking, the education of young Catholic men in philosophy, Latin, rhetoric and the arts is in and of itself desirable irrespective of the path each man chooses to pursue, whether celibate or married, religious or secular. So perhaps the term “minor seminary” doesn’t quite capture what I am shamelessly attempting to promote here.

  9. PTK_70 says:

    Another thought on the statement that high school men are knocking on the doors of the vocations office in Charlotte, NC…many of these boys would likely have seen, or heard about, their older brothers, uncles, cousins joining the military a decade or so ago and doing the heavy lifting of OEF and OIF. I found an article from 2008 which unsurprisingly said that more military recruits came from rural than urban areas. But the article also said that Southern urban areas did better than the national average! The bottom-line for me is that these young men in the South have grown up witnessing examples of real, self-sacrificing service.

  10. hwriggles4 says:

    A few months ago, I heard about this seminary, and it is doing well. I have a friend who lives in the Charlotte diocese and he finds this to be very promising. Charlotte has also been generous (I’ve heard) with taking “late vocation” seminarians as well. Quite a few “late vocations”, particularly widowers, their respective dioceses send them to either St. John XXIII Seminary in Boston, Holy Apostles in Cromwell, Connecticut, or Sacred Heart in Hales Corner, Wisconsin.

    Around America, here is some good news:
    – Holy Trinity Seminary in Irving, Texas (i.e DFW area) is at 70%-80% capacity. Several dioceses are sending college seminarians there (it’s pre-theology emphasis, for a B.A. in Philosophy or equivalent in conjunction with the University of Dallas), particularly within the last 10 years.
    – Mount St. Mary’s of the West (i.e. the Cincinnati area), has also had an increased enrollment that residential space for the seminarians is at capacity. The Fathers of Mercy now send some seminarians there – which IMHO is a testimonial to the quality of the seminary (I hope others agree).
    – I’ve heard good things about Christ the King Seminary, which is close to Buffalo (NY) that it is at a higher capacity now than it had been.
    – John Paul II College Seminary was opened a few years ago close to Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

  11. hwriggles4 says:


    I have lived in the South most of my life.

    As a one-time resident of Oklahoma, which is only 3% Catholic (Mississippi and Arkansas are around there as well), and when I moved to North Texas (the first time 22 years ago), I found that I was more motivated to learn “Why am I Catholic” because my Protestant bretheren would often ask Catholics “What do you Believe and Why?” Many were surprised that Catholics read the Scriptures, and Catholics did not worship statues. Practicing Catholics in the South tend to be more serious about their faith, primarily because they have been challenged by our Protestant brothers and sisters.

    There’s also quite a few Catholic “converts and reverts” in the South too. The second largest religion in the United States are “lost Catholics”, and many did not learn the “How” and the “Why”, and that’s why many left – they never internalized and understood the faith.

  12. PTK_70 says:

    @hrwriggles4…I wanted to wait until this post was further down the line to respond because I’ve already commented a lot on this one. But having lived in the South myself (Louisiana, Texas, NC), I can appreciate what you wrote. I am very optimistic about the future of the Church in the South. If you haven’t seen it, please look up an article in Our Sunday Visitor on the state of the Church in the southern U.S. from May of this year:

    I may be accused of hyperbole, but I tend to think that the future of the Church in America (and the future of America itself) passes through the South. The South will rise again (indeed, is already rising) and save America. You heard it here first.

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