100 Years Since Nazareth Hall (Pt. 3)

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? 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.

Pat Shannon
Nazareth Hall 1960-1966
Classics Major from the University of Minnesota,
Husband, Father of Three, Grandfather of Ten,
Archaeologist, NFP Practitioner, Technical Writer

Q: What led to your enrollment at Nazareth Hall?
A: I was an altar boy in grade school. I think that’s important to be at the altar as part of the discerning process. Our associate pastor took a bunch of us out to tour, and Nazareth Hall itself had an open house for prospective students.

Q: How did Nazareth Hall prepare you for your vocation?
A: It’s a very high-quality academic environment. Six years of Latin, two years of Greek, two years of French, two years of German; they like languages! I went to the University because I wanted to be a Classics major, so I continued with Latin and Greek and of course had more Latin and Greek than anybody. I ended up basically in graduate school! I attribute that preparation to Nazareth Hall too.

Q: What advice would you give young men who are discerning?
A: You don’t have to figure this out on your own. It’s a good idea to talk to people who are in the midst of it, ordained and students. Discussions with them would probably be a good approach.

Our interview with Jim Cahill (Nazareth Hall ’59-61) will be published next week.

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

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