Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary….makes itself heard at Papal visit to New York!
Papal visits always generate excitement whenever and wherever they happen. As I am watching the youth rally with Benedict XVI…the familiar strains of the Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary’s, Domine Salvum fac….clearly are heard from the crowd. The singing is characteristic of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary students, fiercely loyal in obedience and fidelity to the Successor of Saint Peter.

It did not surprise me the narrator did not know the tradition of the song that was being sung by my fellow Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary students, over the voice of the crowd. Congratulations to all of the guys from the Brook. You got in Philadelphia’s traditional welcome for the Bishop of Rome despite the fact that the Holy Father was visiting Saint Joseph’s Seminary in New York. While the Archdiocese of New York is celebrating the 200th anniversary of it’s founding with the sister Archdiocese of Philadelphia…Overbrook is senior to Dunwoodie. Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary is 175 years old.

As a graduate of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, I am proud to be part of the media covering the papal visit to Washington and New York. As a seminarian, I was present for the great visit of John Paul in 1979. Many of the bishops present today were either seminary professors at Saint Charles, or peers in the seminary community. So much has changed since 1979, men formed at Saint Charles Seminary are Bishops…Thomas, Burbidge, Rhodes, McFadden,Green, Kurtz and more. Former seminary graduates are Cardinals, Keeler and Foley and present at this historic apostolic journey. After all, of these years, the traditions of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary are continued in the long black line that extends from Overbrook to around the world.

It is a great thing to hear the strains of the, Domine Salvum Fac…even at a rival seminary in a rival archdiocese 30 years later. Regardless of the time between papal visits, the Seminary community at Saint Joseph’s Seminary and Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, both great schools represent the unwavering traditions of fidelity, loyalty and obedience to the Bishop of Rome.

On a personal note, I need to congratulate the seminary Rector, Msgr. Joseph Prior for his continued zeal and activity in making Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary a world recognized institution….never afraid to spread the Philadelphia tradition of faithful Philadelphia clergy even outside of the See of the City of Brotherly Love……Ad Multos Annos.

Hugh McNichol is a Catholic author and journalist that writes on Catholic topics and issues. He is also a graduate of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia. He writes for &

Hugh McNichol is covering the Papal visit of Benedict XVI for Catholic News Agency in both Washington, D.C. and New York City. His regular column:”Nothing Left Unsaid !” will resume on Monday when Peter returns to the City of Rome.

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