Rector's Welcome


Welcome to the website of the National Seminary, St Patrick’s College, Maynooth.

St Patrick’s National Seminary has been at the heart of priestly formation in Ireland since its foundation by an Act of Parliament in 1795. In 2020, the seminary celebrated its 225th anniversary. A wide variety of events had been planned on campus but, due to the coronavirus pandemic, some had to be postponed and others went online. While the current situation presents challenges for priestly formation, the seminary has proved itself to be equal to challenges in the past, as it does in the present and will do in the future, le cúnamh Dé.

The seminary is built on the strong foundations of the twin-missions of St Patrick’s College: that of priestly formation and that of Catholic education. We are blessed to be situated in a beautiful campus, with iconic buildings and exceptional grounds. We are blessed to share this campus with the Pontifical University, where almost 800 students actively engage with learning and research in Philosophy, Theology, Canon Law, Education and related disciplines. We also share the campus and resources with Maynooth University, a university of the National University of Ireland, where some 14,000 students are currently studying a wide variety of academic disciplines in the Humanities and Sciences.

St Patrick’s National Seminary is above all a community of faith and formation, where seminarians live, work and pray together as men discerning the call to serve the Lord and his people in the diocesan priesthood. In this sense, the seminary is both a place and a way of life. During their time in formation, seminarians are on a journey of discovery in the light of faith. Each day, the formation journey asks each person to be open to learning from the rich insights on offer in the four dimensions of formation: human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral. These four dimensions or areas form part of an integrated journey, where the seminarian is invited to learn more about himself, about God and the Church, and about human life and its flourishing, so that he will be as well-prepared as possible to go out from this place as theactaire Chríost, a messenger of Christ and of the good news of salvation. The well-formed priest goes out as an ambassador for Christ. He is equipped with the skills and aptitudes he will need to serve God and His people because, during his time in formation, he has come to better understand the presence of God in his own life and in the life of the Church. He has learned to recognise the signs of God’s presence in others and in the culture and world in which he lives.

As you browse through our website, whether as a prospective seminarian, or an alumnus of the college, or simply out of interest in priestly formation, I hope that you get a sense of a community of intentional disciples, gathered around the Risen Lord, who is present in the midst of those who assemble in his name.

May that same Lord continue to bless the life and work of the staff, seminarians, alumni, donors and patrons of St Patrick’s National Seminary and may he continue to bless the life and work of their homes and families. As we continue the journey of faith, hope and love together, may we make our own the words of our Patron, Saint Patrick:

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.

Fr Tomás Surlis



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