When Saint Vincent Seminary students returned for the start of the Fall 2021 academic year, they were greeted with a new dining facility, known as Amil and MaryAnn DiPadova Hall.
The Student Life and Hospitality Center project is the third major renovation/expansion project of Saint Vincent’s $110 million Forward, Always Forward campaign.
That campaign also included a 53,000-square foot expansion of the Dale P. Latimer Library, and the move of the Saint Vincent Gallery—now the Verostko Center for the Arts—to the library building. The center plays host to the National Catholic Arts Biennial and also hosts contemporary shows, student and faculty exhibits, and exhibits featuring aspects of the extensive Saint Vincent art collection.
In addition to the century-old Archabbey Basilica, the Seminary’s Saint Gregory Chapel is nestled in between the Elizabeth Roderick Center and Leander Hall. The Brownfield Center plays host to most classes, and features a teaching chapel as well as a new (2021) technology classroom.
Walking trails, a nature reserve, and the idyllic campus with a view of the Chestnut Ridge to the east provide an quiet, yet energetic place for those undertaking graduate studies here.
Facilities on campus are available to those interested in swimming, weightlifting, basketball, and physical conditioning. The College and Seminary Corporation maintains soccer and lacrosse fields, and tennis courts as well as baseball, softball, and football fields for students interested in outdoor sports. A fitness trail and numerous areas for jogging and hiking are also located on the campus grounds, and skiing facilities are within a half-hour drive from the school; special group rates for skiing are available in cooperation with the College. The Seminary also has a fitness room in one of its Seminary residences for the convenience of the seminarians.
The campus bookstore is housed in the Robert S. Carey Student Center. Here one can purchase assigned textbooks, supplementary texts, all school supplies, campus-style clothing, toiletries, gifts, cards, and miscellaneous items.
Throughout the academic year, the College sponsors various art shows, concerts, exhibits, lectures, movies, plays and other events. Seminary students are permitted and encouraged to attend these functions. Usually admission is free, although some of these activities may charge a nominal fee. Occasionally I.D. cards and/or reservations may be necessary. Specific information regarding these events is posted on Seminary bulletin boards and the College bulletin board opposite the Post Office in Headmasters Hall. Inquiries and requests for a schedule of events may be directed to the Events and Conference Services secretary in the Fred M. Rogers Center. The schedule may also be found on the College’s website.
Seminarians making the short walk from the Roderick Center to the new Seminary dining facility are greeted by the Christ the King Triptych, gifted to Saint Vincent by Father Thomas McClellan from the now-closed Calvary Episcopal Church, Conshohocken. Painted by artist Paula Himmelsbach Balano (1877-1967) the triptych was created in 1927.
One of the features of the new dining facility is a massive fireplace, suitable for cooler weather. A professional food service provides meals in the Seminary dining room five days a week. The times of the meals are as follows:
Breakfast: Monday—Friday 7:30 a.m.— 9:00 a.m.
Lunch: Monday—Friday 11:15a.m.—12:45p.m.
Dinner: Monday—Friday 5:45 p.m.
In general, on weekends the last meal in the dining room is the evening meal on Friday. Regular service begins again at the evening meal on Sunday. Seminarians take their other meals on weekends in the College cafeteria.
The prices for these meals are determined by the food service. A resident student pays a board fee per semester. Non-resident students can participate in a meal plan if they choose by contacting the Academic Dean’s secretary.
A new technology classroom, which provides for remote learning, is the latest addition to the John and Annette Brownfield Center, where most Seminary classes take place.
The ground floor of the center features a teaching chapel and offices, while the first and second floors include classroom spaces.
Saint Gregory Chapel
The Saint Gregory Chapel provides a quiet place for prayer and reflection, as well as worship space for seminarians on a daily basis.
The two Seminary residence halls—Leander Hall and the Elizabeth J. Roderick Center—are reserved for seminarians. The arched facade of Leander Hall with its massive front porch overlooks the Basilica and the Chestnut Ridge, with Lawson Heights in Unity Township in the foreground. The Roderick Center houses seminarians on its third floor, Archabbey and Seminary offices on the second, and Seminary administrative and faculty offices on the first floor. Leander Hall houses laundry and exercise areas on its ground floor; some offices and Archabbey guest rooms on the first floor, and seminary dorm rooms from floor two up.
Most buildings on the eastern end of campus are connected for travel to and from classes in every weather condition. Nestled along the west side of Leander Hall and the east side of the Roderick Center is the Saint Gregory Chapel, a quiet place for prayer and liturgical celebrations for seminarians.
Latimer Family Library
The Saint Vincent library is known as the Dale P. Latimer Library in honor of Dale P. and Darlene M. Latimer who made a generous gift for the renovation, enhancement, and endowment of the library. The Larimer’s gift was designed to recognize the treasured role that the Library has in Saint Vincent Benedictine educational tradition.
The original Saint Vincent Library collection began with 100 books that founder Boniface Wimmer brought with him from Germany in 1846. Through the early leadership of the late Fr. Valentine Koehler, O.S.B., and Fr. Fintan R. Shoniker, O.S.B., the Library has grown into an internationally known collection that includes 209,00 books and periodicals; 16,000 microforms such as microfilm, microfiche, and cards; and 3,000 musical scores. The collection also has more than 100 rare books that are at least 500 years old, including a copy of The Canterbury Tales produced in 1478 by William Caxton, the first printer in England, William Caxton.
The Library fulfills the mission of the Seminary and maintains the tradition of the Archabbey both through its purchases and through its acquisition of gift items for the collection. While fulfilling its mission, the Library puts extra emphasis on preserving the institution’s Benedictine patrimony by giving special attention to the acquisition and preservation of “Benedictina.” The Library’s renowned collection of rare, valuable, and unusual theological books and manuscripts, kept in a climate controlled special collection area, is evidence that these traditions are being well preserved.
The Library’s large holdings cover relevant materials from cognate disciplines, as well as basic texts from various other religious traditions. There is also a collection of DVDs, audio tapes, and CDs.
Materials not available at Saint Vincent Library may be requested from other libraries through the Interlibrary Loan service (ILL). This service is available through the Interlibrary Loan Librarian, at the Circulation Desk, or by the completion of an online ILL Request Form on the Saint Vincent College website.
The Library uses a fully automated online public access catalog (OPAC), and patrons can search through sixteen EBSCOhost databases (including the American Theological Library Association Religion Database and LexisNexis Academic Universe, JSTOR and the EBSCO E-book collection). These databases provide online access to an extensive list of full-text resources. Pamphlets and maps are available to guide Library patrons in the use of these various services, and members of the Library staff are available to help. The Library also houses the Verotsko Center for the Arts, the Writing Center, the Center for Catholic Thought and Culture, and a small coffee area.
The Library employs five professional librarians and several paraprofessional and support staff members. These individuals work to maintain the quiet atmosphere of the Library and are available to assist patrons with research needs, directions to the contents of the collection, and access to the print and digital resources available in the Library. The Library has a high-speed wireless internet system which allows patrons access to the internet and the resources of the Library through their personal devices. When faculty members, students, staff members, and patrons are ready to settle down for some serious work they will find private study carrels, tables, and group study spaces available throughout the library.
The regular schedule of the Saint Vincent Library is as follows:
Sundays: 1:00 p.m.– 5:00 p.m.
Mondays—Thursdays: 8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Fridays: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturdays: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
During school breaks the Library operates on a reduced schedule. For specific hours, consult the Seminary bulletin boards, the signs posted at the Library entrance, or consult the Library website through the SV Portal.
Archabbey Basilica took 14 years to contruct and was completed and dedicated on August 24, 1905. Although construction was begun in 1891, four years after Founder Boniface Wimmer’s death, it had been his dream to someday build a magnificent church for the monks of the Archabbey, students at the College, Seminary and Prep School, as well as parishioners of Saint Vincent Parish. The dedication date was scheduled for the 50th anniversary of the elevation of Saint Vincent to the dignity of an abbey. Fifty years later, on August 22, 1955, Pope Pius XII designated the Archabbey Church a minor Basilica, to honor the spiritual and educational contributions of the Saint Vincent Benedictine Community and to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the elevation of the monastery to an Abbey.
Other Aspects of Student Life
The Seminary Bulletin, viewable and available for download on the Programs page of this website, details other aspects of student life, such as parking, public safety, ID cards, counseling services and similar aspects. Please visit this link to view it.