Heading off to Yonkers and other seminaries



For seminary studies, Bishop Dennis Sullivan has sent one young man back home — back to the Camden leader’s seminary home, that is.

Henry Laigaie, 22, recently began first Theology Studies at Saint Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, New York. Before that time, he had spent four years in South Orange, New Jersey, at the College Seminary of the Immaculate Conception at Saint Andrew’s Hall, Seton Hall University.

Born in the Bronx, Bishop Sullivan attended Iona College in New Rochelle, New York, but left after sophomore year to enter Saint Joseph’s Seminary, where he earned a bachelor’s in 1967, and a masters of divinity three years later.

During his time there, Bishop Sullivan “grew in my understanding of the priesthood, grew through its academic rigors, and developed friendships,” he recalled.

After a meeting with the seminary’s current rector, Msgr. Peter I. Vaccari, and consultation with seminarians and fellow priests, Bishop Sullivan made the decision to send Laigaie to New York. In addition to Laigaie, the Diocese of Camden has three seminarians studying at the North American College in Rome; seven studying at Immaculate Conception at Seton Hall University; and eight studying at Saint Andrew’s Hall, Seton Hall.

The 19 seminarians currently in formation are a “very mature, lively group, in their interactions among themselves, and with others,” Bishop Sullivan said. “With the help of the Holy Spirit, they are going through the discernment process.

Founded in 1896, Saint Joseph’s Seminary and College is the major seminary of the Archdiocese of New York, dedicated to the four pillars of human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral formation of young men.

Beginning in 2012, Saint Joseph’s has functioned as the principal institution of priestly formation for the Archdiocese of New York, the Diocese of Brooklyn, and the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Saint Joseph’s also welcomes seminarians from other archdioceses, dioceses, eparchies and religious congregations.