Since its re-founding in 1988, Sacred Heart Major Seminary is seeing some of its highest enrollment numbers in recent years, growing its student body to 496—an increase from last year’s enrollment of 488.
The rise in enrollment is a result of the high number of lay students enrolled at Sacred Heart, as well as an increase in seminarians. Of the 496 students enrolled at Sacred Heart, 377 are lay men and women, while 119 are seminarians. Compared to last year’s seminarian class of 108, seminarian enrollment has seen an increase of almost ten percent this year.
“That’s a significant uptick for a small place like us. When you add eleven men to about one hundred, we’re at a big percentage now,” said Vice Rector and Dean of Seminarian Formation Fr. Stephen Burr. “Already, priests and seminarians are saying to me that we’re seeing a lot of people on campus, we’re filling the seats of the chapel. It feels like a real community every day, which is really nice.”
Sacred Heart currently hosts seminarians from eleven different dioceses from Michigan and across the country, including three religious communities–the Companions of the Cross, Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT), and the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit.
“The uptick is not just in one area. If we were taking on a new diocese this year then we would expect it. As a total for Detroit men, we’re up four, Diocese of Winona doubled their numbers, Marquette added two more, Lansing added another… so everyone really contributed,” said Father Burr. “It’s from across the board. It means that vocation directors are doing well and that the faith is being lived.”