L.A. ARCHDIOCESE SEMINARY ST. JOHN’S IN CAMARILLO CELEBRATES 80 YEARS OF SERVICE TO THE CATHOLIC COMMUNITY
This year marks 80 years since St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo – one of America’s historic seminaries – opened its doors in September 1939. Since its inception, St. John’s Seminary has prepared students for a vocation to serve the Catholic Church with nearly 1,300 men ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles as well as for other dioceses in the United States and other countries.
St. John’s Seminary opened its doors to about 70 students on September 12, 1939 on 100 acres of what had been farmland donated to the Archdiocese by Juan Camarillo. The seminary offers programs for those interested in becoming a priest, deacon, theologian, or lay minister (an unordained pastoral minister that serves the church). The fully accredited graduate program and school of formation offers an advanced program of study that prepares seminarians for service as Roman Catholic priests for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and other dioceses, as well as religious communities throughout the world.
The Seminary celebrated its 80th anniversary with a gala event on the plaza of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels which was attended by alumni, priests, and bishops from across the Archdiocese, and the Seminary’s numerous supporters.
“This was a night of joy and thanking God for his many blessings over these past 80 years,” said Archbishop José H. Gomez. “As we celebrate what we have accomplished with God’s grace, we also want to thank our many benefactors who continue to help us in this beautiful mission of forming men for the priesthood.”
Presently, St. John’s serves 104 seminarians and is overseen by former St. John seminarian and professor, Father Marco Durazo, Rector of the Seminary.
The Seminary’s population has transformed since it opened, reflecting the diversity of the Church of Southern California in its student body, faculty and staff. Its student body is increasingly involved in the world, in which the future priests will serve, with an expanded curriculum and understanding of what the Call to Holy Orders entails.
“We celebrate the 80th anniversary of St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, grateful for the generosity and foresight of Archbishop John Cantwell, Carrie Estelle Doheny, Juan Camarillo and so many others who saw the importance of providing a place for formation of priests for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles,” said Bishop Marc V. Trudeau, Auxiliary Bishop for the San Pedro Region of the Archdiocese. “In our secular society, St. John’s continues to courageously educate and form men for service in the Church, disciples of Jesus Christ who are shepherds proclaimers of the Gospel.”
The seminary counts many notable alumni, four of which were honored at the Seminary’s gala celebrating the anniversary: Bishop Trudeau, former St. John’s rector; Bishop Joseph Brennan of Fresno, former Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and former Archdiocese’s Moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese; Monsignor Gregory A. Cox, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of Los Angeles; and Father James Anguiano, Associate Vicar for Clergy for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and former director of the Queen of Angels Center for Priestly Formation. All received theological formation from St. John’s and have served the church through parish life, diocesan leadership and education.
Lay Catholic leaders and philanthropists, John and Dorothy Shea, were presented the Evangelii Gaudium award at the gala for their tireless dedication to the Church.
PHOTO CAPTION (left to right) – Honorees of the St. John Seminary 80th Anniversary Gala with Archbishop José H. Gomez: Monsignor Gregory A. Cox, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of Los Angeles; Bishop Joseph Brennan of Fresno; John and Dorothy Shea; Archbishop Gomez; Father James Anguiano, Associate Vicar for Clergy for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and Bishop Marc V. Trudeau, Auxiliary Bishop for the San Pedro Region of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is the largest Archdiocese in the United States with approximately five million Catholics. For the latest news, events and to subscribe for media alerts visit media.la-archdiocese.org. Follow us on social media at LACatholics on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Video archives and footage of Masses celebrated by Archbishop José H. Gomez are also available.