Mission and History


Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary is a Roman Catholic professional and graduate theological institution dedicated uniquely to the preparation of seminarians 30 years of age and older responding to a call to priestly ministry.

Our program fosters the human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral formation of its seminarians. We especially respect and utilize the life experiences and accomplishments of our mature seminarians, as we prepare them for priestly ministry.

The Seminary program is based on the Ratio Fundamentalis of the Holy See, the Program of Priestly Formation Fifth Edition, of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Post-Synodal Exhortation of Pope John Paul II, Pastores Dabo Vobis.


Sixty years ago Richard Cardinal Cushing saw the need for a Catholic seminary such as ours.

In 1964, with the encouragement and the explicit blessing of Pope Paul VI, Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary became the first seminary in North America established for the formation of men answering the call to priesthood at a later time in their lives.

In 1972 the Seminary was chartered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to grant the Master of Divinity degree.

In 1983 the Seminary became an accredited member of the Association of Theological Schools.

In the 2007 Fall Semester, our Seminary introduced a new optional Pre-Theology Program.  This program is for candidates whose Bishops or religious superiors deem it appropriate.

To date, candidates have come to the Seminary from more than 150 dioceses and 25 religious communities. Over 750 alumni serve in dioceses and religious communities throughout the world.