1968 – Saint John Vianney College Seminary is founded. Seminarians live on the South Campus of the University of St. Thomas before moving to Brady Hall on the North Campus.


Fr. John Roach, Rector (later appointed Archbishop of Saint Paul & Minneapolis)


Fr. Ken Pierre, Rector


Fr. Richard Pates, Rector (now Bishop Emeritus of Des Moines)

1982 – Archbishop John Roach and Rector Msgr. Richard Pates break ground on the new SJV building in the northeast corner of the campus.

1984 – Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) visits SJV and meets with then Rector Richard Pates. The community gathering space at SJV is now called the Pope Benedict Room where the Pontiff’s zucchetto is on display.


Fr. Kevin McDonough, Rector


Fr. Dale Korogi, Rector


Fr. Peter Christensen, Rector (now Bishop of Boise, Idaho)

1998 - The first group of SJV seminarians study at the Dominican Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum) in Rome for a semester. Twenty years later, more than 90 percent of the men participate in the Rome Program.


Fr. William Baer, Rector

2000 – The SJV JAXX face The Saint Paul Seminary Sons of Thunder in the first Rectors’ Bowl, an annual football game played on the University of St. Thomas football field. The winning team goes back to their seminary with bragging rights and the Rector’s Trophy.

2002 – Pastores 21 begins, providing opportunities for seminarians to interact with local professionals who live their Catholic faith in the workplace. Renamed Virtuous Business Leaders, this large-group presentation format, followed by small-group discussions, provides SJV seminarians with the same valuable interaction with Catholic businessmen throughout the academic year.

2004 – The first Vianney Cup is held to benefit seminarian formation.

2005 – The First Annual Borromeo Weekend is held as a way to increase fraternity among the SJV men and their brother seminarians at the Saint Paul Seminary. The weekend begins with a Friday evening Mass in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas, followed by a candlelight procession to St. Mary’s Chapel on the south campus. Forty hours of prayer and Eucharistic adoration concludes on Sunday morning.

2006 – Fr. Bill Baer celebrates the first Last Chance Mass for members of the football team who could not get to Sunday Mass. Today, approximately 300 people attend the popular 9:00 PM Sunday Mass celebrated during the academic year.

2008 – University of St. Thomas Head Football Coach Glen Caruso and the SJV seminarians establish “Caruso’s Crew” to cheer on the Tommies at home games.


Fr. Michael Becker, Rector

2013 – The First Spring Mass and May Crowning is celebrated with friends of SJV.

2016 – Fifteen SJV seminarians studying abroad in Rome reside at the Pontifical Irish College.

2016 – Go out into the world! SJV seminarians begin taking mission trips to Honduras to work with the poor and marginalized. Trips to India begin in 2017 and the Dominican Republic in 2018.

2018 – More than 500 SJV alumni are serving as ordained priests today, including four bishops and one cardinal. Many more are serving as lay leaders and faith-filled witnesses building up the Catholic Church throughout the world.

2018-2019 – SJV celebrates 50 years of faith, formation, fraternity, discernment and fidelity.


Fr. Jonathan Kelly, Rector

2021 - Renovations to SJV building completed, including updated dormitories, bathrooms and residential common areas.

2023 - The new chapel of SJV is dedicated by Archbishop Bernard Hebda.

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