On Sept. 7, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, offered the Mass of the Holy Spirit to inaugurate the beginning of a new academic year at Saint Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, New York.
St. Joseph’s Seminary, known more commonly as “Dunwoodie,” is the major seminary for the Archdiocese of New York, the Diocese of Rockville Centre, and the Diocese of Brooklyn. All three bishops: Cardinal Dolan, Bishop John Barres, and Bishop Robert Brennan, form the “Borromeo Council,” which governs the seminary.
We are blessed by the presence of the seminarians in our area. Bishop Brennan has described them as “his heroes,” young men hearing and heeding the call of the Lord to come and follow Him.
Our seminarians resemble the people of God in the Diocese of Brooklyn. They come from every part of the world and from many different parishes and backgrounds. They range from young men who come to discern their vocation right out of high school or college to men who have had careers in the world.
The Diocese of Brooklyn has many seminarians attend all five years — years one through four and the pastoral year, in which seminarians live for an academic year in a parish — in Dunwoodie.
The rector is Bishop James Massa, an auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn. The diocese also supplies three full-time professors: Father Michael Bruno, Father Charles Caccavale, and Father John Cush.
Saint Joseph’s Seminary also offers theological education for the deacon candidates of the Archdiocese of New York and the dioceses of Brooklyn, Rockville Centre, and Bridgeport. It also serves to offer laymen and laywomen, as well as other student priests, a way to obtain a Master of Arts degree in Theology.
The diocese also has seminarians studying in the major seminary (which are the last years before ordination) at Pope Saint John XXIII National Seminary in Massachusetts, and a Brooklyn diocesan priest, Father Joseph Zwosta, serves at that seminary as the academic dean.
On the college level and for philosophy studies, the diocese is blessed to have the Cathedral Seminary House of Formation in Douglaston. Brooklyn seminarians on the undergraduate level are present here, and the seminary’s rector is Father Joseph Holcomb, who is also the director of seminarians for the diocese, while some diocesan priests also serve as spiritual directors there, including Msgr. Ray Roden and Father James King.
We are also blessed to have the presence of Cathedral Prep School and Seminary in Elmhurst, where young men open to the possibility of a priestly vocation can attend in their high school years. Helmed by their rector and school president, Father James Kuroly, Cathedral continues to fulfill its mission of helping form good young men for greatness.
The diocese’s vocation director, Father Chris Bethge, is an alumnus of Elmhurst, Douglaston, and Dunwoodie. He works to bring the message of the joy of the Gospel to parishes, schools, and young people in Brooklyn and Queens.
These seminarians engage in a four-fold journey, searching for growth in human formation (helping the seminarian grow in self-knowledge), spiritual formation (helping the seminarian to grow in knowing the Lord), intellectual formation (helping the seminarian to grow to know the teachings of the Church), and pastoral formation (helping the seminarian to grow to know the People of God).
Please pray for them as they begin this year of priestly formation.