Our New Home

Finding the Land to Grow Priests

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The ideal seminary environment is designed to assist in the formation of the “whole man.” It should form the spirit and turn the soul toward God. As such, we searched for property that was quiet, remote, and removed from the noise of secular society—fertile ground for the seed of a priestly vocation to grow.

“Part of the difficulty that we all have in a transient age is that everyone is rootless,” explains Rev. Matthew Kauth, Rector of St. Joseph College Seminary. A vocation is a seed of the priesthood, and a seminary by definition is a seedbed. “It’s necessary to create a bit of a buffer, a raised bed as it were, to plant that seed so a young man’s vocation can take root. We want to make sure these men are first rooted in Christ and secondly, organically connected to each other. As such, even their roots are entangled in the Diocese and with their brother priests.”
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On September 8, 2017, the Diocese purchased 86 acres of wooded land—plenty of room to put down roots deep enough to grow and support seminarians in our Diocese for generations to come.

The property is located just two miles from Belmont Abbey College at 1212 Perfection Avenue where St. Joseph’s seminarians will work toward an undergraduate degree in Philosophy as part of their priestly formation. It connects two parcels straddling the municipalities of Belmont and Mt. Holly and backs up to 50 acres of pasture, creating a buffer to allow for silence, contemplation, and recreation. Strong bonds will be formed between brother priests as they cookout, camp out, and work the land.
“The building, the structure — beautiful as it is — is attempting in its nobility and strength to be an image of that: a reminder of what we are supposed to become as men of virtue.”
Fr. Matthew Kauth, Rector

Sacred Spaces

The seminary building’s concept addresses the need for contemplative silence by providing partially cloistered, inward-directed spaces, places for peaceful gatherings, and areas for quiet study. It also provides the classrooms and common areas necessary for fostering theological and philosophical thinking. It will be a sacred space that evokes the presence of God in its buildings and in the details in and around the seminary itself.

The first phase of construction included 40 seminarian rooms, a refectory and kitchen, a conference room, classrooms, administrative offices, faculty rooms, guest rooms, a cloister walk, and a temporary chapel.
Aerial Photo
Aerial Photo
Site Plan
Site Plan
Main Level Floor Plan
Main Level Floor Plan
Second Level Floor Plan
Second Level Floor Plan
Anticipating future growth in the number of seminarians, Phase II will include additional seminarian rooms and a larger, permanent chapel. When complete, the seminary will be split into three different zones with the chapel and residential wings acting as ‘bookends’ to the academic and administration building. A capital campaign is currently underway to fund the construction of this project.
SUMMARY OF PROJECTED COSTS
Land Acquisition $1,397,000
Site Development $2,520,000
Professional Fees $1,434,000
Construction $11,347,000
Equipment, Fixtures, and Furnishings $1,052,000
Financing/Other $1,100,000
Campaign Costs $1,150,000
TOTAL $20,000,000

September 15, 2020 – Two years after breaking ground, we celebrated the official ribbon cutting and blessing of the new seminary building with Bishop Peter Jugis. September 12, 2020 – The seminarians were hard at work preparing the seminary grounds for the ribbon-cutting ceremony that took place on September 15. They prayed and worked from 8:30am to 8:30pm, and we were blessed with a bow in the sky towards the end of the day. September 12, 2020 – The seminarians were hard at work preparing the seminary grounds for the ribbon-cutting ceremony that took place on September 15. They prayed and worked from 8:30am to 8:30pm, and we were blessed with a bow in the sky towards the end of the day. September 12, 2020 – The seminarians were hard at work preparing the seminary grounds for the ribbon-cutting ceremony that took place on September 15. They prayed and worked from 8:30am to 8:30pm, and we were blessed with a bow in the sky towards the end of the day. September 12, 2020 – The seminarians were hard at work preparing the seminary grounds for the ribbon-cutting ceremony that took place on September 15. They prayed and worked from 8:30am to 8:30pm, and we were blessed with a bow in the sky towards the end of the day. September 12, 2020 – The seminarians were hard at work preparing the seminary grounds for the ribbon-cutting ceremony that took place on September 15. They prayed and worked from 8:30am to 8:30pm, and we were blessed with a bow in the sky towards the end of the day. September 12, 2020 – The seminarians were hard at work preparing the seminary grounds for the ribbon-cutting ceremony that took place on September 15. They prayed and worked from 8:30am to 8:30pm, and we were blessed with a bow in the sky towards the end of the day. September 12, 2020 – The seminarians were hard at work preparing the seminary grounds for the ribbon-cutting ceremony that took place on September 15. They prayed and worked from 8:30am to 8:30pm, and we were blessed with a bow in the sky towards the end of the day. September 12, 2020 – The seminarians were hard at work preparing the seminary grounds for the ribbon-cutting ceremony that took place on September 15. They prayed and worked from 8:30am to 8:30pm, and we were blessed with a bow in the sky towards the end of the day. September 12, 2020 – The seminarians were hard at work preparing the seminary grounds for the ribbon-cutting ceremony that took place on September 15. They prayed and worked from 8:30am to 8:30pm, and we were blessed with a bow in the sky towards the end of the day. August 2, 2020 – For the first time, upperclassmen help the new Echo Class move their belongings into the residential wings of the seminary. July 21, 2020 – The new building is standing at ready for its seminarians to move in shortly. May 18, 2020 – After seeing clay and mud for so long, we are blessed with a nice green lawn in front of the seminary! May 14, 2020 – The seminarians are working hard as they transfer boxes from the former four house of the seminary to the new seminary in Mount Holly. April 23, 2020 April 23, 2020 April 17, 2020: The new seminary glows in the night! April 10, 2020: The men get into the spirit of Good Friday by walking the Way of the Cross on the new seminary grounds. April 10, 2020: The men get into the spirit of Good Friday by walking the Way of the Cross on the new seminary grounds. April 10, 2020: The men get into the spirit of Good Friday by walking the Way of the Cross on the new seminary grounds. March 19, 2020 – Four years ago, we began. One year ago we laid the first footing. Here we are today. March 19, 2020 – Four years ago, we began. One year ago we laid the first footing. Here we are today. March 9, 2020 March 9, 2020 March 9, 2020 March 4, 2020 March 4, 2020 March 4, 2020 March 4, 2020 March 4, 2020 December 11, 2019 - Framing for the seminary’s tower and pointed arches began this week, as did the stonework on our front façade. December 11, 2019 - Framing for the seminary’s tower and pointed arches began this week, as did the stonework on our front façade. December 11, 2019 - Framing for the seminary’s tower and pointed arches began this week, as did the stonework on our front façade. December 10, 2019 – Our cloister walk is essentially complete, painting of the interior walls has begun, and our brickwork is just about finished! December 10, 2019 – Our cloister walk is essentially complete, painting of the interior walls has begun, and our brickwork is just about finished! December 10, 2019 – Our cloister walk is essentially complete, painting of the interior walls has begun, and our brickwork is just about finished! December 10, 2019 – Our cloister walk is essentially complete, painting of the interior walls has begun, and our brickwork is just about finished! November 14, 2019 - Our brick work is coming along beautifully, and the cloister and buttresses are now finished. This section you see here shows the exterior of our temporary chapel (which will later become the refectory) on the second floor. November 14, 2019 - Our brick work is coming along beautifully, and the cloister and buttresses are now finished. This section you see here shows the exterior of our temporary chapel (which will later become the refectory) on the second floor. October 30, 2019 - As our cloister arches go up, we can start to imagine the seminarians quietly walking through them as they pray their rosary and and meditate on His mysteries. October 30, 2019 - As our cloister arches go up, we can start to imagine the seminarians quietly walking through them as they pray their rosary and and meditate on His mysteries. October 30, 2019 - As our cloister arches go up, we can start to imagine the seminarians quietly walking through them as they pray their rosary and and meditate on His mysteries. October 30, 2019 - As our cloister arches go up, we can start to imagine the seminarians quietly walking through them as they pray their rosary and and meditate on His mysteries. October 11, 2019 - The craftsmen constructing our brickwork have been very busy this week…and doing beautiful work! As we move toward the more communal and therefore celebrated part of the seminary building, the language of brick and stone becomes more elegant. October 11, 2019 - The craftsmen constructing our brickwork have been very busy this week…and doing beautiful work! As we move toward the more communal and therefore celebrated part of the seminary building, the language of brick and stone becomes more elegant. October 11, 2019 - The craftsmen constructing our brickwork have been very busy this week…and doing beautiful work! As we move toward the more communal and therefore celebrated part of the seminary building, the language of brick and stone becomes more elegant. September 30, 2019 - It was standing room only when the Diocese of Charlotte's Vicar General (Fr. Patrick Winslow) and CFO (Bill Weldon) joined our seminarians for lunch last week. September 30, 2019 - It was standing room only when the Diocese of Charlotte's Vicar General (Fr. Patrick Winslow) and CFO (Bill Weldon) joined our seminarians for lunch last week. September 26 - Members of the Alpha Class stopped by the property to write prayers of thanksgiving on the walls of the seminary and to thank the construction crew for their hard work. September 26 - Members of the Alpha Class stopped by the property to write prayers of thanksgiving on the walls of the seminary and to thank the construction crew for their hard work. September 26 - Members of the Alpha Class stopped by the property to write prayers of thanksgiving on the walls of the seminary and to thank the construction crew for their hard work. September 26 - Members of the Alpha Class stopped by the property to write prayers of thanksgiving on the walls of the seminary and to thank the construction crew for their hard work. September 26 - Members of the Alpha Class stopped by the property to write prayers of thanksgiving on the walls of the seminary and to thank the construction crew for their hard work. September 26 - Members of the Alpha Class stopped by the property to write prayers of thanksgiving on the walls of the seminary and to thank the construction crew for their hard work. September 20, 2019 - Brickwork for our new building is nearly half complete! September 20, 2019 - Brickwork for our new building is nearly half complete! September 20, 2019 - Brickwork for our new building is nearly half complete! September 20, 2019 - Brickwork for our new building is nearly half complete! September 20, 2019 - Brickwork for our new building is nearly half complete! September 20, 2019 - Brickwork for our new building is nearly half complete! September 15, 2019 - On the anniversary of our groundbreaking, we processed and chanted the Vexilla Regis, litanies, and Te Deum before planting His cross on the hill behind our seminary – the area where the wood was first taken from. September 15, 2019 - On the anniversary of our groundbreaking, we processed and chanted the Vexilla Regis, litanies, and Te Deum before planting His cross on the hill behind our seminary – the area where the wood was first taken from. September 15, 2019 - On the anniversary of our groundbreaking, we processed and chanted the Vexilla Regis, litanies, and Te Deum before planting His cross on the hill behind our seminary – the area where the wood was first taken from. September 15, 2019 - On the anniversary of our groundbreaking, we processed and chanted the Vexilla Regis, litanies, and Te Deum before planting His cross on the hill behind our seminary – the area where the wood was first taken from. September 15, 2019 - On the anniversary of our groundbreaking, we processed and chanted the Vexilla Regis, litanies, and Te Deum before planting His cross on the hill behind our seminary – the area where the wood was first taken from. September 15, 2019 - On the anniversary of our groundbreaking, we processed and chanted the Vexilla Regis, litanies, and Te Deum before planting His cross on the hill behind our seminary – the area where the wood was first taken from. September 15, 2019 - On the anniversary of our groundbreaking, we processed and chanted the Vexilla Regis, litanies, and Te Deum before planting His cross on the hill behind our seminary – the area where the wood was first taken from. September 15, 2019 - On the anniversary of our groundbreaking, we processed and chanted the Vexilla Regis, litanies, and Te Deum before planting His cross on the hill behind our seminary – the area where the wood was first taken from. September 15, 2019 - On the anniversary of our groundbreaking, we processed and chanted the Vexilla Regis, litanies, and Te Deum before planting His cross on the hill behind our seminary – the area where the wood was first taken from. September 15, 2019 - After planting the cross, we prayed the chaplet of our Lady of Sorrows along our newly built path to the house of Magistra (joined by her dog, Rupertus). September 15, 2019 - After planting the cross, we prayed the chaplet of our Lady of Sorrows along our newly built path to the house of Magistra (joined by her dog, Rupertus). August 21, 2019 - Progress on our new seminary is moving rapidly along. The framed Gothic arch windows are finished and another brick wall is nearing completion. Looking at the full moon over the building in the early morning, it is easy to imagine our men seeing and feeling God’s presence on this beautiful land. August 21, 2019 - Progress on our new seminary is moving rapidly along. The framed Gothic arch windows are finished and another brick wall is nearing completion. Looking at the full moon over the building in the early morning, it is easy to imagine our men seeing and feeling God’s presence on this beautiful land. August 21, 2019 - Progress on our new seminary is moving rapidly along. The framed Gothic arch windows are finished and another brick wall is nearing completion. Looking at the full moon over the building in the early morning, it is easy to imagine our men seeing and feeling God’s presence on this beautiful land. August 21, 2019 - Progress on our new seminary is moving rapidly along. The framed Gothic arch windows are finished and another brick wall is nearing completion. Looking at the full moon over the building in the early morning, it is easy to imagine our men seeing and feeling God’s presence on this beautiful land. August 21, 2019 - Progress on our new seminary is moving rapidly along. The framed Gothic arch windows are finished and another brick wall is nearing completion. Looking at the full moon over the building in the early morning, it is easy to imagine our men seeing and feeling God’s presence on this beautiful land. August 21, 2019 - Progress on our new seminary is moving rapidly along. The framed Gothic arch windows are finished and another brick wall is nearing completion. Looking at the full moon over the building in the early morning, it is easy to imagine our men seeing and feeling God’s presence on this beautiful land. August 21, 2019 - Progress on our new seminary is moving rapidly along. The framed Gothic arch windows are finished and another brick wall is nearing completion. Looking at the full moon over the building in the early morning, it is easy to imagine our men seeing and feeling God’s presence on this beautiful land. August 7, 2019 - The residence is now enclosed, the roof is on, and one wall is finished. Jacob Wolf and Mark Read were on hand yesterday crafting the main entry doors. August 7, 2019 - The residence is now enclosed, the roof is on, and one wall is finished. Jacob Wolf and Mark Read were on hand yesterday crafting the main entry doors. August 7, 2019 - The residence is now enclosed, the roof is on, and one wall is finished. Jacob Wolf and Mark Read were on hand yesterday crafting the main entry doors. August 7, 2019 - The residence is now enclosed, the roof is on, and one wall is finished. Jacob Wolf and Mark Read were on hand yesterday crafting the main entry doors. August 7, 2019 - The residence is now enclosed, the roof is on, and one wall is finished. Jacob Wolf and Mark Read were on hand yesterday crafting the main entry doors. August 7, 2019 - The residence is now enclosed, the roof is on, and one wall is finished. Jacob Wolf and Mark Read were on hand yesterday crafting the main entry doors. June 28,2019 - Here’s a look at the mock up wall which shows the brick and cast stone which will adorn our building. June 28,2019 - Here’s a look at the mock up wall which shows the brick and cast stone which will adorn our building. June 28,2019 - Here’s a look at the mock up wall which shows the brick and cast stone which will adorn our building. June 27, 2019 - Here’s a look at the mock up wall which shows the brick and cast stone which will adorn our building. June 27, 2019 - Here’s a look at the mock up wall which shows the brick and cast stone which will adorn our building. June 27, 2019 - Here’s a look at the mock up wall which shows the brick and cast stone which will adorn our building. June 11, 2019 – Young men participating in Quo Vadis Days 2019 tour the construction site of St. Joseph College Seminary. May 16, 2019 - It's been a great week of work on the new home for our seminarians. The trusses are going up on the residence, as well as the steel for the academic and administration side. May 16, 2019 - It's been a great week of work on the new home for our seminarians. The trusses are going up on the residence, as well as the steel for the academic and administration side. May 16, 2019 - It's been a great week of work on the new home for our seminarians. The trusses are going up on the residence, as well as the steel for the academic and administration side. May 1 2019 - Decking is finished on our residential wing, and the final footings are going in today! Stay tuned – next week the slab on the deck will go in! May 1 2019 - Decking is finished on our residential wing, and the final footings are going in today! Stay tuned – next week the slab on the deck will go in! May 1 2019 - Decking is finished on our residential wing, and the final footings are going in today! Stay tuned – next week the slab on the deck will go in! May 1 2019 - Decking is finished on our residential wing, and the final footings are going in today! Stay tuned – next week the slab on the deck will go in! May 1 2019 - Decking is finished on our residential wing, and the final footings are going in today! Stay tuned – next week the slab on the deck will go in! April 28, 2019 - Seminarians Luke Martin, Clement Akerblom, and Sebastian Alvarez look very serious as they supervise construction on their future home! (Note the name of our steel erectors on their company truck!) Fr. Kauth and Fr. Buettner access the progress. April 23, 2019 - Father Kauth with his mother and sister, Sister Catherine Marie, are on site to watch as steel goes up for the residential building today! April 23, 2019 - Father Kauth with his mother and sister, Sister Catherine Marie, are on site to watch as steel goes up for the residential building today! April 23, 2019 - Father Kauth with his mother and sister, Sister Catherine Marie, are on site to watch as steel goes up for the residential building today! April 18, 2019 – The slab for our building was poured on Holy Thursday, the day of the priesthood, right after Fr. Kauth and Sr. Mary Raphael placed Miraculous Medals, St. Benedict Medals, and palm branches around the perimeter. The white habit amidst the wet clay drew curious looks from the construction crew. March 19, 2019 - After months of rain, and thus delays, crews laid the foundation for our new college seminary on the Feast of St. Joseph, three years to the day after the canonical erection of St Joseph Seminary. What could be more fitting? March 19, 2019 - After months of rain, and thus delays, crews laid the foundation for our new college seminary on the Feast of St. Joseph, three years to the day after the canonical erection of St Joseph Seminary. What could be more fitting? February 5, 2019 – Creek Crossing has begun! The ground is finally dry enough to fill in the culvert to allow heavy equipment onto the property to start cutting footings! Nov. 16, 2018 - Happy to see the sun shining over the site of our seminary building project! Need things to dry out so we can get building again! October 31, 2018 - Cassocks on the construction site! Several seminarians stopped by to check out the progress on their new home as the sun was setting on the land. September 15, 2018 - No umbrellas were needed as the bishop, formators, and special guests tossed ceremonial shovels of dirt while a choir of seminarians sang Psalm 126 with its antiphon, “May the Lord build us a dwelling.” September 15, 2018 - No umbrellas were needed as the bishop, formators, and special guests tossed ceremonial shovels of dirt while a choir of seminarians sang Psalm 126 with its antiphon, “May the Lord build us a dwelling.” September 15, 2018 –Seminarians held 12 poles symbolizing the 12 apostles for nearly an hour. The Bishop told the men that they held up the canopy like St. Francis held up the Church in the Pope’s dream. He said they would be the ones to hold Her up in the near future and renew Her. September 15, 2018 - The winds picked up a bit as Deacon Peter Tonon read Matthew 7:25, “The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.” September 15, 2018 – “It is His work that we are cooperating with, collaborating with, and it is all of course for the greater glory and honor of His name,” said Bishop Jugis. September 15, 2018 - “We’re here today to ask God’s blessing on St. Joseph College Seminary,” Bishop Jugis said. “We pray that what we begin today, He will be happy to bring to a successful completion, because this is the Lord’s work after all.” September 15, 2018 - The crowd chuckled when the bishop said, “We pray that God will continue to shower down His blessings upon this effort of ours.” September 15, 2018 - The bishop presided over the ceremonies attended by St. Joseph College seminarians, priests from throughout the diocese, dignitaries from the cities of Belmont and Mt. Holly, Belmont Abbey College faculty, and members of the laity. September 15, 2018 - Despite torrential downpours from Tropical Storm Florence the evening before, the rain stopped just before the groundbreaking ceremony for St. Joseph College Seminary began and did not start again until the bishop offered a final blessing over the seminarians. September 14, 2018 - The Charlie Class of seminarians planted a cross at the future entrance of the new seminary on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. Perfect preparation for the groundbreaking which took place the next day! September 14, 2018 - The Charlie Class of seminarians planted a cross at the future entrance of the new seminary on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. Perfect preparation for the groundbreaking which took place the next day! September 14, 2018 - The Charlie Class of seminarians planted a cross at the future entrance of the new seminary on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. Perfect preparation for the groundbreaking which took place the next day! October 22, 2017 – St. Joseph College seminarians celebrate with Bishop Jugis after he blessed the land where the seminary will be built. October 22, 2017 - Bishop Jugis blesses the land where the seminary will be built. October 22, 2017 - Bishop Jugis blesses the land where the seminary will be built. October 22, 2017 - Bishop Jugis arrives in style to bless the land! On September 8, 2017, the Diocese purchased the 86 acres of wooded land – plenty of room to put down roots deep enough to grow and support seminarians in our Diocese for generations to come. October 22, 2017 - Bishop Jugis was transported to the seminary’s undeveloped site on a large green four-wheeler, cheered on by 16 enthusiastic college seminarians.

Check Out Our Building Progress

A divine break in the weather during Tropical Storm Florence allowed us to break ground on our new college seminary on September 15, 2018, the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows. We are now well down the path to building our new home!

We still need your support to raise the $20 million for this project. We hope you will help build our seminary and support the formation of good and holy priests here in our Diocese where they will serve.

"Do you wish to be great? Then begin from what is slightest. Do you plan to construct a high and mighty building? Then think first about the foundation of humility. When people plan to erect a lofty and large building, they make the foundations all the deeper. But those who lay the foundation are forced to descend into the depths."
St. Augustine of Hippo (excerpt from Sermon 69, 2)

Moving In

In April of 2020, we were able to start moving into the newly built seminary. We emptied four houses worth of belongings and put them in their now permanent locations. The Echo class was the first incoming class to be welcomed into the new seminary building, where they are for the first time living in community with the other three classes under one roof.
Aula Magna
Aula Magna
Seminarian Bedroom
Seminarian Bedroom
Caverna
Caverna
Chapel
Chapel
Classroom
Classroom
Cloister
Cloister
Facade
Facade
Refectory
Refectory