August 4, 2012 (Romereports.com) This is home away from home for hundreds of American seminarians. It's
the North American College, just a short distance away from the Vatican.
MSGR. JAMES F. CHECCHIO
North American College Rector “Every room in the house is full. 250 seminarians, 250 students in the house at this time.”
There are seminarians from 100 dioceses in the U.S. Some of them followed their vocation early on in life. Others, held regular jobs before becoming seminarians and coming to Rome.
MSGR. JAMES F. CHECCHIO North American College Rector “Some were doctors, some were architects, some worked in the entertainment industry.”
Msgr. Checchio is the College rector. Before, he was also a student here. Over the years, the College has welcomed big names in the Church, like former rectors, Cardinal Edwin O'Brien, who is the Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepelchre and Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who now serves as the Archbishop of New York, and has led the fight against President Obama's controversial health care mandate, which required Church institutions to provide birth control to its employees.
MSGR. JAMES F. CHECCHIO North American College Rector “Health care for everyone is a goal of the Church too. It has been for a long time, before it was a concern of the government.”
The College was founded back in 1859 under Blessed Pope Pius IX, who gave the property to American bishops, so they could prepare American seminarians right in the heart of Catholicism, with close proximity to the Pope, saints and martyrs. The goal is to broaden their understanding of the universality of the Church, so they can then transmit that message back in the U.S.
MSGR. JAMES F. CHECCHIO North American College Rector “To respond to a call this day in age is not easy and it kind of makes the men more driven in response to the needs of the people.”
From the College, to a graduate house and even a continuing education institute for priests, the goal remains the same: To strengthen the formation of priests and seminarians who in turn can help strengthen the faith in the United States.