Mission and History
Our Mission Statement
Inspired by the love of God, St. Peter's Seminary serves the Church in Canada and beyond as the Roman Catholic Seminary of the Diocese of London, providing an integrated program of spiritual, human, intellectual and pastoral formation and discernment for those preparing for priestly ministry according to the heart of Christ. The Seminary also provides an integrated program for those preparing for the permanent diaconate and lay ministry, and for those seeking to enrich their faith education.
In admitting candidates to the program of priestly formation, the Seminary accepts candidates from dioceses and religious communities across Canada. While no American dioceses are represented among the student body at present, the Seminary has a long list of graduates from various locations in the United States. Seminarian applicants must be sponsored by the bishop of their diocese or by the Superior of their religious community.
The Seminary also provides an opportunity for education in theology and philosophy to both men and women, religious and lay. The laity play an integral role and form part of the wider Seminary community, thus representing the fullness of the Church within the Seminary. A distinct formation program exists to foster the total growth of lay candidates for ministry in the Church.
St. Peter's Seminary: Our History
Since its beginning, the Seminary has seen more than 1,000 students ordained to the presbyterate, serving in more than fifty dioceses and religious communities in Canada, the United States, and abroad. Twenty (20) members of the alumni have been named to the episcopate. In addition, approximately sixty lay graduates of the theological program are serving the Church in various capacities. The Seminary was founded by the Right Reverend Michael F. Fallon, OMI, Fifth Bishop of the Diocese of London (1909-1931), and opened on the 14th, September 1912. In the early years, the students were housed in the Bishop's House, now the rectory of St. Peter's Cathedral.
Inauguration of St. Peter's Seminary Opening Class - September 23, 1912
Top row (from left to right)
~~ Seminarians ~~ Messrs. J.Fallon, J.A. Harding, R.H. Dignan, J.L. Bell, W.D.J. Langlois, Rev. J.P. Gleason, W.T. Moran, J.R. Quigley, T.M. McCarthy, Rev. W.T. Corcoran
Second row (from left to right)
~~ Faculty ~~ Revs. F.R. Brennan, E.L. Tierney, Rt. Rev. Mgr. Aylward, Rt. Rev. M. Fallon, Revs. J.V. Tobin, D. O'Connor, G. Labelle
Lower row (from left to right)
~~ Seminarians ~~ F.R. Costello, A.R. Rondeau, T. Grenier, J.Emery, A.P. Mahoney, J.A Finn, J.J. Young, F. McCarty
The present Seminary building was opened and dedicated on 29th, September 1926. The seminary building is designed in the collegiate gothic style and constructed of Credit Valley stone with Tyndall stone decoration. The chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the finest works of collegiate architecture, was dedicated on 18th, June 1930, in what was one of the last public appearances of Bishop Fallon before his death in February of the next year.
A wing was added to the Seminary in 1957, providing a new auditorium and recreational facilities. The Library was also expanded at that time by changing the cloister into a reading room. In 1968, the Chapel was renovated to reflect the liturgical directives of the Second Vatican Council. Another construction project in 1983 saw further expansion of the A. P. Mahoney Library. In 1995, the lower floor of the Library was completed for greater public use. Click here for more information on the Library Archives.
In 1987, St. Peter's Seminary purchased the St. Thomas Scholasticate located on the Seminary's grounds. This had been the house of formation for students of the Congregation of the Resurrection until their move to Toronto in 1981. A complete renovation of the house was undertaken and the newly-named Aquinas House was blessed and opened by Most Reverend John M. Sherlock, DD, Ninth Bishop of the Diocese of London on the 27th, October 1991. Aquinas House now serves as a residence for guests and those enrolled in the Permanent Diaconate program, as well as being used by a number of groups for day-long or weekend retreats. The Marriage Tribunal for the Diocese of London is currently housed in Aquinas House along with St. Peter’s Seminary Foundation.