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Saint Joseph Seminary College


St. Benedict, LA

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Coordinates: 30°31′36″N 90°06′41″W / 30.5267°N 90.1115°W / 30.5267; -90.1115 Saint Joseph Seminary College, also known as St. Ben or St. Ben's, is a private four-year seminary college founded in 1891. It is operated by the Benedictine Monks of Saint Joseph Abbey and the dioceses of the ecclesiastical provinces of New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama. The 1,200-acre (4.9 km2) piney woods campus is located in St. Benedict, Louisiana, north of Covington.

The college is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and offers bachelor of arts degrees in philosophy in either liberal arts or religious studies to men seeking eventual ordination as priests in the Roman Catholic Church. The college also has a two-year pre-theology program for students who have already attained a college degree. After attending Saint Joseph Seminary College, seminarians wishing to continue priestly studies will attend a graduate seminary. In the past, Saint Joseph Seminary College has also offered degrees with majors in psychology, history, and English.

It has a long history of forming men to the priesthood for the Gulf South region. Those who attend St. Ben's experience the unique gift of the Benedictine Order, a refined liturgy. The Liturgy of the Hours sung in community as well as the special liturgies throughout the year are a source of spiritual inspiration to the seminarians and the locals.

There is also the tradition of a flag football game, called Bonfire, between St. Ben's and the graduate seminary of New Orleans, Notre Dame. This tradition has gone on for well over 70 years. The annual game takes place in a field on the vast property of the Abbey the Friday before Thanksgiving. The students at St. Ben's spend weeks building a massive bonfire out of the downed trees on the surrounding forests owned by the Abbey. After the game, the two seminaries join together to share in fellowship and traditional Louisiana foods around the bonfire.

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