100 Years Since Nazareth Hall (Pt. 1)

Nazareth Hall Preparatory Seminary is the essential prequel to the story of Saint John Vianney College Seminary. How could we celebrate 100 years of college seminary formation in this Archdiocese without acknowledging where the first 47 years quietly took place along the beautiful shores of Lake Johanna, north of St. Paul?

John Paul Sonnen (SJV ’01) has written extensively on the history of St. Paul’s first high school and college seminary in the article “The 100th Anniversary of the ‘Our Lady of the Annunciation’ Chapel at Nazareth Hall Preparatory Seminary” published by Liturgical Arts Journal. Beyond the fascinating institutional memories of Nazareth Hall – marvelously detailed in his article – personal stories abound. SJV was delighted to sit down with four alumni and capture their remembrances from four years of high school and two years of college at the hallowed grounds of 3003 Snelling Avenue North.

Our interview with Father George Welzbacher (Nazareth Hall ’40-45) will be published next week.

This article was originally published in the Fall 2023 Vianney News magazine.

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