Seminarian Connor Penn of the Diocese of St. Petersburg in his third year of formation at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary (far left in black) and Deacon Derek Saldanha, a seminarian of the Diocese of Orlando in his fourth year of seminary studies, (far right in black) meet and talk to people as they leave the seminaries chapel Aug. 29. The public was welcomed with open arms during the seminary's first public Mass of the new school year. The Masses are held Wednesdays at 12:15 p.m. All are encouraged to attend and pray with the seminarians and show them support.

Sessions, public Masses are open at the seminary

BOYNTON BEACH | Father Remek Blaskowski, vice rector and dean of human formation at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, greeted all joining the midday Mass Aug. 29 at the seminary.

“Welcome back to our seminary’s Wednesday Mass,” he said as he looked around at the filled pews.

“We all face a great sadness in our Church,” he continued, referring to the recent headlines of grand jury reports detailing investigations of clergy sex abuse claims in Pennsylvania. “We are all brokenhearted.”

Father Blaszkowski said it was a delight to see so many people gathered for the celebration of Mass with Father Greg Caggianelli, dean of pastoral formation, serving as main celebrant. He said the number of faithful in the pews was a testimony of support for the seminarians in studies and formation at St. Vincent de Paul. He thanked all for their witness of faith and for continued support of the seminary, a professional school of theology opened to serve 55 years ago, to provide continuing education for clergy and religious, and laity.

The school opened with its new pre-theology program for undergraduate work for the second year. The program has seven students, according to school representatives. A total of 19 men are among first-year seminarians and, in total, enrollment includes 118 seminarians. A total of 35 men from various dioceses are also studying to be permanent deacons.

All are welcome to the seminary Wednesdays for the 12:15 p.m. Mass. Seminarians, some of whom make up the seminarian choir, attend the Mass along with faculty and seminary leaders. The seminary gates open shortly before the Mass.
“Thank you for your prayers and your support,” said Father Blaszkowski, adding the power of prayer is great and what the Church needs today.