Diocese of Allentown Faithful Donate $1.15 Million to Campaign for New St. Charles Borromeo Seminary

Through the generosity of the faithful people of the Diocese of Allentown, $ 1.15 million dollars was contributed to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary to assist with the current construction and future of the Seminary at its new location in Lower Gwynedd Township, Montgomery County.

All parishioners in the Diocese of Allentown were able to contribute to this once-in-a-lifetime project which will provide for the education and formation of future priests for the Diocese of Allentown and beyond.

After 150 years at its current location and visitations by two popes, the Seminary will move this summer from its Wynnewood campus to a newly constructed campus in Lower Gwynedd, for its 193rd academic year.

The estimated cost of the project – including the purchase of property from Gwynedd Mercy University – is $54.5 million.

Construction is underway, and will provide students with updated technology, improved services, modern facilities, two new chapels, and a new library.

Since its founding Decree in 1961, the Diocese of Allentown has had an integral relationship with St. Charles. The seminary has an enrollment of 147 men, 14 of whom are from the Diocese of Allentown.

Bishop of Allentown Alfred Schlert, who is a member of the Seminary’s Board of Trustees, was recently interviewed by seminarian Alexander Vas of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut as one of the many bishops who send their seminarians to St. Charles.

One of the reasons the Diocese of Allentown seminarians attend St. Charles, said Bishop Schlert, is the “solid and orthodox formation. Whether it's the academic formation, the spiritual formation, or the human formation, it’s very, very thorough, and my experience is that the faculty and the formators know very well the men that I send here.”

He continued, “Aside from the historical fact of the Diocese of Allentown having been part of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia [before 1961], and so therefore having a natural relationship with the seminary – and our priests studying with priests that are in the Archdiocese, and that makes a nice fraternity as well – aside from those factors, the ability for the Seminary, even in a world that can be sometimes very much in upheaval setting, the Seminary gives a very consistent formation, very faithful to the constant teaching of the Church and to the program for Priestly Formation, so it’s a very easy choice for me.”

Bishop Schlert was also asked his advice for men and women discerning a vocation.

“Be very open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, which can come in many ways,” he said, such as prayer, interactions with others, and your own natural interests.

“If you want to explore a vocation, don’t delay. Give God the first opportunity when it comes to exploring all the options that are open to you. If you feel a call to the priesthood or to the religious life, don't put it off, try it.

“If for whatever reason you discern that it’s not God's will for you, you can go on to something else, but you'll be so much more enriched because of the formation that you have received. You will be a better Christian, a better Catholic.

“Develop a prayer life, learn more about Sacred Scripture, the teachings of the Church. It’s never lost time. So that's why I really say give God the first opportunity to serve Him.”

To watch the video, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2awWQH0184.

To see a rendering of the proposed campus, go to the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary website, www.scs.edu.

If you still want to contribute, you can give online at www.allentowndiocese.org/scbs.


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