With more than 650 graduates ministering in parishes and communities across the Diocese of Buffalo, the mission of Christ the King Seminary to prepare future priests, deacons and lay people for local ministry is clearly being fulfilled. Throughout the month of September, Catholics in the diocese will have the opportunity to support this important mission through the annual Christ the King Seminary Appeal.
“The reach and impact of the seminary in our diocese is extensive. Long known for its role in the formation of priests and permanent deacons, Christ the King Seminary is also forming lay leaders who are ministering more and more to the faithful in every corner of the diocese,” said Bishop Richard J. Malone, bishop of Buffalo. “The seminary’s collaborative approach to formation is leading to collaborative ministry that is strengthening the Church. I hope the faithful will continue to support the seminary through this appeal.”
Graduates and supporters will speak at Masses in parishes throughout Western New York in September to share the stories of how Christ the King Seminary is truly a partner in ministry – offering outstanding educational opportunities and producing highly trained individuals engaged in fruitful ministry.
Alumni serve as priests, deacons, women and men religious, parish administrators, pastoral associates, directors of religious education, youth ministers, teachers in Catholic schools, hospital chaplains, campus ministers, prison chaplains and volunteers.
“The seminary really gave me the grounding in theology, Church history and tradition so that I was able to gain more clarity about my religion and beliefs,” said Sister Christine Steigerwald, Class of 2008, pastoral minister, Mount St. Mary’s Hospital and Health Center in Lewiston.
Christ the King Seminary mirrors today’s Church, where clergy, religious and laity are continually working together. At the seminary, lay people from varied backgrounds study alongside those pursuing ordained ministry, providing a valuable opportunity for mutual understanding. Christ the King is one of only a few U.S. Catholic seminaries using this educational model.
“Christ the King Seminary is a place that has provided countless services and programs that have supported me in my roles in ministry within the Catholic Church. Each of my experiences at the Seminary have enabled and empowered me to take the next step in my journey of service,” said Eileen Warner, Class of 2001, director of pastoral ministry, St. Gregory the Great Parish.
Students can take classes at the East Aurora campus and at distance learning sites in Niagara County, Cattaraugus County and the city of Buffalo.
During the 2011-2012 academic year, 86 graduate students and 154 continuing education students took classes at the fully accredited graduate school. Other resources that impact parishes include retreat opportunities on the seminary campus and at the St. Columban Center, and a theological library containing more than 198,000 volumes, including 47,000 periodicals.
Christ the King Seminary is a fully-accredited ecumenical graduate school of theology and pastoral studies for men and women seeking to minister in either a lay or ordained capacity. The seminary’s main mission is to educate sponsored candidates for ordained priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church, but it also serves individuals preparing for the Permanent Diaconate, and students pursuing a graduate theological education, a ministerial education program, or a program of continuing education. Lay people from varied faith traditions study alongside those pursuing ordained religious ministry. CKS students are teachers, engineers, accountants, nurses, retirees, and people from all walks of life seeking to deepen their faith and minister to others.
Visit CKS at www.cks.edu