Few dioceses have a local institution dedicated to the formation of priests, permanent deacons, and lay ministers. With this blessing comes a great responsibility, which The Athenaeum fulfills through forming and educating:
- Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West offers formation, spiritual guidance, theological knowledge, practical and pastoral experience, and a prayerful home for the men who are answering the call to priestly ministry.
- The Diaconate Formation Program prepares permanent deacons to nurture and serve God’s people. There are currently 174 deacons actively serving our parishes.
- Lay Pastoral Ministry students develop the skills they need to share their spiritual gifts. The Lay Pastoral Ministry Program, founded in 1975, is one of the first such programs in the United States and has more than 600 graduates.
- Graduate students are offered more specialized opportunities of study in various subjects, including earning Master’s degrees in Theology, Biblical Studies, and Catholic Studies.
In his ministry a priest promotes the spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being of the people. These skills are strengthened over a lifetime, but formed during his time as a seminarian. Yet priests alone cannot provide the ministry necessary in diocesan parishes and schools. Today, parishes and schools are blessed with the gifts and talents of religious, permanent deacons, and laity whose generosity and devotion make possible the mission of Christ in our archdiocese. Our spiritual leaders are of utmost importance to the vitality of the Church in the 21st Century, and we believe that financial impediments should not stand in the way of men and women willing to respond to God’s call.
The Athenaeum of Ohio, which includes Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West, remains one of the few Catholic seminary graduate schools of theology in the Midwest. As the third oldest Catholic seminary in the United States, the institution has for more than 180 years been dedicated to preparing the faithful to do God’s work.
In order to continue this important mission in the life of our local Church, One Faith, One Hope, One Love will provide for:
- Tuition assistance for our graduate seminarians, college seminarians, permanent deacons, lay pastoral ministers, and other laity following their vocational call.
- Increasing the endowment for faculty and staff positions to ensure academic excellence and longterm viability.
- Securing our sacred space with support for facility operating costs, classroom technology upgrades, renovation for additional residential rooms to accommodate the anticipated growth in seminarian numbers, and weatherproofing the main building.
Check out some of our fostering vocations news stories to learn more about how the campaign funds are being used.