Seminarians return to Iowa

by Diocese of Des Moines | March 27, 2020


The coronavirus COVID-19 has affected our seminarians along with everyone else.

Our seminarians and priest studying at the Pontifical North American College in Rome (Reed Flood, Alex Kramer, Michael Mahoney, and Father James Downey) returned to the United States this past week after recent closure of the college because of the pandemic. They arrived in Des Moines late Wednesday evening and drove in shifts with some of their peers from the Sioux City and Davenport dioceses to the “Vianney House” lakeside residence owned by the Sioux City diocese at Lake Okoboji, where they will self-quarantine for 14 days.

Undergraduate seminarians studying at St. John Vianney Seminary in St. Paul have returned home to our diocese after the closure of the University of St. Thomas, and will continue their studies remotely as part of their academic formation.

Major seminarians at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul remain at the seminary pursuing their comprehensive formation in a sort of “enclosed” rule of life, where they are not allowed to move freely back-and-forth into the community.  The intention is to complete their semester there, but this will be a matter that remains monitored and discerned by seminary administration and respective dioceses.  A good number of men departed for home a few weeks ago, but our Des Moines seminarians were encouraged to remain and have done so.

Please keep our seminarians and all those affected by the coronavirus in your prayers. 

Diocese of Des Moines

The Diocese of Des Moines, created in 1911, serves people over a 12,446 square mile area in the southwestern quadrant of Iowa, including 23 counties.