Fourteen new seminarians commence priesthood studies at Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth

24 Aug 2014

“ … Being good shepherds means “meditating on the Gospel every day to pass its message on through our life and preaching” – Pope Francis

Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, today welcomed fourteen new seminarians who will commence their formation for the priesthood at the National Seminary. At the conclusion of the Introductory Programme at the end of September, two of the new seminarians from northern dioceses will continue their studies at Saint Malachy’s Seminary in Belfast.

Welcoming the new candidates, their families and friends to Maynooth, the President of the College, Monsignor Hugh Connolly, recalled the recent words of Pope Francis to the seminarians of the Pontifical Leonine College, Anagni , when the Holy Father reflected last April, “The seminary is the place where we develop our vocation, gaining an in-depth understanding of the Gospel, Repentance, the Eucharist and Prayer.”

Monsignor Connolly concluded by referencing the recent letter announcing the forthcoming Year of Consecrated Life which will begin for the universal Catholic Church in October. Monsignor Connolly recalled, “Jesus’ words at the Last Supper, You did not choose me, but I chose you (Jn 15:16) are a reminder to us all, not only those of us who are priests, that vocation is always an initiative of God.”
Notes to Editors

· At the end of September the total number of resident seminarians in Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, will be approximately seventy. A further twenty or so non-resident seminarians also pursue their academic studies here together with a small number of postgraduate priests. In addition, three hundred lay people are also students of Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth.

· Saint 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 of Ireland together with thirteen senior bishops. The College comprises the Seminary and the Pontifical University, which offers degrees in theology, philosophy and theology and arts. See for information on vocations to the priesthood.

· Over the past three years the number of new seminarians beginning their studies in Maynooth has been: twenty in 2013; twelve in 2012; and eighteen in 2011. A breakdown by diocese, of the fourteen first year seminarians for 2014, follows:
– Ardagh & Clonmacnois 1
– Armagh 1
– Cloyne 1
– Dublin 4
– Kerry 1
– Tuam 3
– Down & Connor 2 [These students will continue their academic studies in Belfast after one month of formation work in Maynooth]
– Missionaries of Divine Word 1


For media contact: President’s Office, Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth 01 708 3958; and the Catholic Communications Office, Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678