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 | Brittany DeHaan

A Joyful Day for Men Discerning Priesthood

On May 10, 2024, four Diocese of St. Petersburg seminarians graduated from Saint Joseph Seminary College, in Saint Benedict, Louisiana, and a priest from our diocese was also the commencement speaker

Saint Joseph Seminary College, a four-year undergraduate seminary, celebrated the graduation of 25 seminarians from around the United States. The Seminarians graduated with either a Bachelor of Arts in Theology and the Liberal Arts, a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Theological Studies, or a Pre-Theology Certificate.

Out of those 25 seminarians, four were from the Diocese of St. Petersburg and graduated with their Bachelor of Arts in Theology and the Liberal Arts degree. Those seminarians are Isaac Cruz, Benjamin Harris, Caleb Malec, and Austin Smith. 

Our diocesan seminarians were joined in celebration by their family members; Father Chuck Dornquast, Director of Vocations; Jasmine Pujol, Administrative Assistant for the Office of Vocations; Father Mike Smith, Pastor at Nativity Parish in Tampa (home parish of Austin Smith); and Father Tom Anastasia, Pastor at St. Michael Parish in Clearwater (home parish of Isaac Cruz).

In addition to four DOSP graduates, a priest from our diocese, Father Higinio Rosolen, gave the commencement speech. Father Rosolen is a faculty member at St. Joseph Seminary College. He previously served at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach and St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Tampa before joining the faculty at St. Joseph Seminary College. He serves there as a professor, Spiritual Director of the Propaedeutic Program, and Coordinator of Intellectual Formation.

In his commencement speech, Father Rosolen provided words of encouragement to the seminarians, stating, “A man of God lives in and brings hope. Let us be grateful for the past, joyful in the present, and looking to the future with hope.”

He encouraged all the seminarians to keep this sentiment in mind as many of them move on to a variety of locations for further seminary studies.

Congratulations to our seminarians and all those who graduated!

Please remember to pray for all our seminarians as they continue their studies and discernment to the priesthood.