St. John Vianney Seminary

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St. John Vianney Seminary
SJV Seminary from Upper Quad.jpg
St. John Vianney Seminary as seen from the Upper Quad at the University of St. Thomas
Motto Men in Christ. Men of the Church. Men for Others.
Established 1968
Type Diocesan, Roman Catholic Seminary
President Archbishop John Nienstedt
Vice-president Very Rev. Michael Becker
Rector Very Rev. Michael Becker
Students 135
Location St. Paul, MN, United States
Sponsoring diocese Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
Nickname SJV
SJV seminary logo.png

St. John Vianney Seminary (often referred by its initials of SJV) is a Roman Catholic college seminary located on the campus of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. The seminary's mission is "to provide basic training today for tomorrow's Catholic priests." Seminarians undergo a four-year program of spiritual conferences and individual spiritual direction in order to help them grow strong in their Catholic faith and vocational discernment.[1]


The seminary was founded in 1968. The current rector of the seminary is the Very Rev. Michael Becker.[2] Fr. Becker was appointed rector in 2010 by Archbishop John Nienstedt.

As of 2013, the seminary is the largest college seminary in the United States with over 130 seminarians and 27 sponsoring dioceses.[3] The seminarians at SJV represent about 10% of all seminarians in the United States.[4]

Since its founding, over 400 alumni have been ordained to the Catholic priesthood.[5]


The seminary has had eight rectors since its founding.


St. John Vianney Seminary is present on the University of St. Thomas campus in many ways.

Last Chance Mass[edit]

Last Chance Mass is an outreach offered by the seminary to the students of the University of St. Thomas and the surrounding community. Every Sunday night at 9pm, Mass is offered in the SJV chapel to the general public by Fr. Michael Becker, with refreshments following.[6] It was originally for the football players of the University of St. Thomas.

Caruso's Crew[edit]

When Coach Glenn Caruso took over the University of St. Thomas football team in 2008, he approached the men at the seminary and asked them to come and cheer on the Tommies at football games, as not many people attended them due to their losing record. Since then, the men of SJV have been some of the most active fans for the football team, attending every home game.[7] A subgroup of the seminarians, called "Caruso's Crew", dress up as hard hat workers and paint on faux moustaches. The crew carry large tools made of cardboard and duct tape (a hammer, saw, wrench, and lunch box). This group has been known to travel hundreds of miles to attend away games.[8] Each year's Caruso's Crew is chosen by the previous year's crew.


The seminary building is on the north campus of the University of St. Thomas, just northwest of Ireland Hall and east of Flynn Hall.

The basement contains the Pope Benedict XVI Room (often abbreviated to the Pope Benedict Room) where then-Cardinal Ratzinger met with then-Rector Richard Pates.

A zucchetto of Pope Benedict XVI on display in the Pope Benedict XVI Room of SJV

A zucchetto of Pope Benedict XVI is on display in the room. The zucchetto was given to a seminarian from SJV who visited Rome and extended a new one to the Pope as he passed by; the Pontiff then exchanged the new one for his own.

The SJV chapel

The ground floor has offices for the in-house priests and academic and administration staff, as well as guest rooms. The Saint John Vianney Chapel is also on the first floor. Last Chance Mass is offered in the chapel every Sunday night.

The remaining four floors are residence floors.

Though the building is on the campus of the University of St. Thomas, it is owned by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.[9]

Sponsoring Dioceses[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Retrieved 5 September 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ "St. John Vianney Seminary". Retrieved 5 September 2013. 
  6. ^ "Last Chance Mass". Retrieved 5 September 2013. 
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Retrieved 10 September 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]