The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix is opening a full seminary, offering the opportunity for men to study to become priests, for the very first time in Arizona. 

Nazareth Seminary will house and educate seminarians within the Diocese of Phoenix. 

Priests are formed in homes, not institutions, said Bishop John P. Dolan in an announcement Tuesday morning. So rather than sending our guys away, we find that we can respect their love for family by keeping them in the community, our own portion of the Lords vineyard.

Previously, men who wanted to become priests had to go out of state to complete their higher education.

Those seminarians would often head to places like Denver after living in the Nazareth House, which was established in 2019, by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted.

What weve found is that as men are closer in a community setting, they experience more personal growth, said Fr. Paul Sullivan, in a press release.

The program will be offered in four stages at four Valley locations:

Stage 1: Nazareth House, near St. Gregory Parish in Phoenix – established in 2019 Stage 2: Campus of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Scottsdale – opened in August 2023 Stage 3: St. Marys Basilica in Phoenix – set to open in fall 2024 Stage 4: St. Josephs House – set to open in fall 2026

Bishop Dolan said the addition of a seminary program seemed like a fitting expansion as the Diocese of Phoenix is the seventh-largest diocese in the country.


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