When seminarians from the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity of the University of St. Thomas gather for their annual group photo at the start of the school year on Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 8, it will be the largest such gathering since 1981.

The seminary is welcoming 33 new seminarians this fall, bringing the total number of men studying for the priesthood to 92.  The residence hall there is at full capacity.

The seminarians come from 14 dioceses in the United States, and from Ghana, Uganda and Peru. Forty of the men are preparing to serve as priests of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

“Our strong enrollment reflects the growing number of men who are answering God’s call to the priesthood,” said Monsignor Aloysius Callaghan, rector of the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity. “Their witness offers hope for the future of our Church.”

In addition, 62 lay people and members of religious communities are studying in the School of Divinity for their master’s degrees in theology.

The traditional group photo will be taken at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 8, on the seminary’s campus at the western end of St. Paul’s Summit Avenue. Archbishop John Nienstedt of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis will celebrate Mass with the seminary community at 5 p.m. that day in St. Mary’s Chapel.