Belmont Abbey and its College have long been a bastion of Catholicism in the region. Founded in 1876, its twenty monks pray, work, and teach together according to the Gospel and the wisdom of Saint Benedict of Nursia. Through the direct support and influence of the pioneer Abbey monks and their successors, Catholicism in North Carolina has not only grown, but flourished. The Abbey has generously offered to donate over 5 acres on which to build the St. Joseph College Seminary, and is the perfect location for these reasons and more: Pro-life Commitment: Belmont Abbey stands apart for its commitment to life by hosting MiraVia—a home and safe haven for pregnant mothers and their children so they can continue their college studies. Unflagging Fidelity: Belmont Abbey College is one of only 20 schools in the country recognized for its strong Catholic identity by the Cardinal Newman Society. Religious Liberty: Belmont Abbey College was the first institution to file suit against the federal government in response to the HHS “contraception mandate.” Youth and Vibrancy: Belmont Abbey College attracts committed young Catholics to its campus throughout the year—for studies, talks, summer camps, homeschooling conferences, the Diocesan Youth Conference, and the annual Quo Vadis vocation discernment retreat.