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114th Commencement

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The second Saturday of May was a joyful day at the Pontifical College Josephinum, as the only pontifical seminary outside of Italy held its 114th Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement Exercises. Thirty-six seminarians from 13 different dioceses were granted degrees or certificates from the College of Liberal Arts, Pre-Theology Program or School of Theology.

More than 200 parents, family members and friends of the graduates attended the day’s festivities. Baccalaureate Mass in Saint Turibius Chapel was celebrated by Reverend Monsignor Christopher J. Schreck, SSL, PhD, STD, Rector / President. “It is our joy to welcome you to the Josephinum,” he said, “to witness this historic and formative moment in the lives of your sons and brothers, who take a major and memorable step toward the fulfillment of their vocations.”

Following a brief reception after Mass, graduates and guests returned to Saint Turibius Chapel for Commencement Exercises. A Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy, history or classical studies was awarded to 8 graduates of the College of Liberal Arts. Twenty undergraduate seminarians earned a Bachelor of Philosophy or a Certificate of Achievement in Philosophical and Theological Studies, indicating their successful completion of the Pre-Theology Program.

The degree Master of Divinity, which signifies fulfillment of the requirements for priestly ordination, was awarded to 8 graduates from the School of Theology, 5 of whom completed the additional academic requirements of a Master of Arts in dogmatic theology, moral theology, biblical studies or evangelization. The Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology (STB), a pontifical degree conferred by the Josephinum in affiliation with the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, was awarded to 3 of the deacons.

Last fall, the Josephinum received authorization from the University System of Ohio Board of Regents to grant a Hispanic Pastoral Ministry Certificate. The Josephinum is one of the first seminaries in the country to develop a program for Hispanic Ministry formation, recognizing that future priests must be equipped with the skills necessary to minister to the growing number of Hispanic Catholics in the United States. The certificate was granted at Commencement to three of the graduating deacons.

A majority of College and Pre-Theology graduates and certificate recipients will continue their vocational discernment as they undertake graduate theological study. Graduates of the School of Theology return home to their respective dioceses for ordination to the priesthood this spring. The Ordination Class of 2013 will join more than 800 ordained alumni who currently serve the universal Church in nearly every U.S state and in 18 different countries.