26 new seminarians to commence priesthood studies at St Patrick’s College Maynooth

20 Aug 2006


20 AUGUST 2006



Today 26 new seminarians commence their formation for the priesthood at the National Seminary,
St Patrick’s College Maynooth. At the conclusion of the Introductory Programme at the end
of September, six of the new seminarians will continue their studies at St Malachy’s College
in Belfast.

Welcoming the new candidates, their families and friends to Maynooth, the President of the College,
Monsignor Dermot Farrell, said: “I am encouraged by the recent upward trend
in vocations to the priesthood. There are always individuals who sense that they have a vocation;
what we need is to find ways to invite them personally to consider the priesthood. Being admitted
to seminary is only the first step in an enriching process of preparation that takes six or seven
years. The seminary is more than bricks and mortar: it is an experience of the Church’s life
that enables candidates to grow in the love and knowledge of Jesus Christ. One day, God willing,
these seminarians, will be ordained to the priesthood.”

Recalling the words of Scripture, Monsignor Farrell said: “The harvest is rich, but the labourers
are few; pray therefore to send labourers into his harvest.” Monsignor Farrell continued: “I would
ask that Catholics pray for vocations and support candidates for the priesthood because every Catholic
community needs generous and holy priests to proclaim the Gospel and celebrate the sacraments. The
Mass is central to our faith: ordained ministers are a permanent guarantee of the sacramental presence
of Christ.”


* At the end of September the total number of seminarians in Maynooth will be 71.
* St Patrick’s College Maynooth is the National Seminary for Ireland and has been forming men for
the priesthood since 1795.
* The Trustees of the College are the Governing Body of the College. The membership is defined
by successive Acts of Parliament. The current Trustees are the four Archbishops together with
13 other senior bishops.
* The College comprises the seminary and the Pontifical University, which offers degrees in theology,
philosophy and theology and arts.
* Eight men were ordained to the priesthood from Maynooth earlier this year, eight in 2005 and
eight in 2004.
* A breakdown, by diocese, of the 26 first year seminarians for 2006 is as follows:
Armagh (two); Cloyne (one); Cork and Ross (two); Derry (five); Down and Connor (one);
Dromore (one); Dublin (five); Kildare and Leighlin (three); Kerry (one); Meath (one);
Raphoe (one), Tuam (two); and, Waterford and Lismore (one).

Further information:

President’s Office, St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. Tel: 01 708 3958. Fax: 01 708 3959.
Email: [email protected]

Martin Long, Director of the Catholic Communications Office 086 172 7678.