Share this story

 | Staff Report

St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary Celebrates 2023 Commencement

May 22, 2023 | St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary joyfully celebrated its Commencement Ceremony on May 11, 2023, which concluded the 2022–2023 formation year. Faculty, staff, friends, and family gathered at St. Vincent Chapel to celebrate the accomplishments of the 35 graduates which included Diocese of St. Petersburg seminarians Tyler Gates, M. A. Philosophical Studies for Missionary Discipleship; and Deacon Christian Galvan, Master of Divinity. 

Of the graduates, 12 seminarians were awarded the Master of Divinity and 8 earned the Master of Arts (Philosophical Studies). Also, 11 permanent deacon candidates and lay students received the Master of Arts (Theological Studies).

Additionally, one student received a certificate for completing the requirements for the Pre- Theology program and three received the Certificate in Diaconal Studies.

As part of the celebration, the event included opening remarks by Rector/President, Fr. Alfredo I. Hernández as well as Most Rev. Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv., Archbishop of Atlanta, who gave the commencement address. Most Rev. Thomas Wenski, Archbishop of Miami, presided over the ceremony.

“It is a precious gift to know the mind and the heart of Jesus. He is a sure guide for living our lives to the fullest. The challenge, of course, is to grapple with the reality that what the words and deeds of Jesus, the mind, and the heart of Jesus, put before us is in so many respects the very opposite of what our world believes. This should not discourage you; rather, you should welcome the challenge like the disciples did by staying close to the Lord who will give you strength and courage to proclaim the truth both in season and out of season,” said Archbishop Hartmayer.

He concluded his address with the following message to the graduates, “Our Lady will encourage you....and keep you close to her Divine Son. She is your Mother; she is our Mother. Stay close to her.”

Of the graduates, 11 seminarians will be ordained to the priesthood in the upcoming months, bringing the 10-year total of SVDP seminarians ordained to serve parishes to 198 and over 660 since its opening. These new priests will be a sign of hope for the Church in fulfillment of the seminary’s ultimate mission to spread and share the joy of the Gospel with all. 

In the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Deacon Christian Galvan will be ordained into the priesthood May 20th, at 11am at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle in St. Petersburg and everyone is invited to attend.

Since its founding in 1963, the seminary has been forming priests, permanent deacons, and laypersons for service to the Catholic Church. It offers priestly formation for seminarians from the seven dioceses of Florida as well as the Archdiocese of Atlanta and the Dioceses of Beaumont, Charleston, Laz Cruces, Raleigh, Savannah, SyroMalabar (Diocese of St. Thomas in Chicago) and the Virgin Islands.