By David MaddenÂ
WYNNEWOOD, Pa. (CBS) —Â It’s back to school time at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, which usually means things are busy on the Montgomery County campus, just across City Line Avenue.READ MORE: Stimulus Check Latest: Is A Fourth Relief Payment Coming?
But the students and faculty there are also preparing for Pope Francis’ visit next month because they have a prominent role to play in it.
The Pontiff will spend the night there, and meet with some of the seminarians and staff during his weekend in Philadelphia as the culmination of the World Meeting of Families.
But first things first.
There are 52 “new men” either starting their nine-year path to ordination or making a move on the three-step process to it. 18-year-old Adam Klukiewski of South Philadelphia is beginning a four-year course to get his degree in Philosophy. He’s excited about the visit of Pope Francis, but concedes another Pope was his real driving force in making this potentially lifelong commitment.READ MORE: Ben Simmons 'Done Playing With Joel Embiid' Due To Style Of Play, Not Personal Issues, Report Says
“I found more of a devotion to John Paul II. More of like an ethnic kind of thing being Polish,” Klukiewski told KYW Newsradio. “But I like what he does too.”
Saint Pope John Paul II visited St. Charles Seminary during his 1979 visit to Philadelphia.
There are a team of leaders helping plan to make Pope Francis’ time at the Seminary comfortable. While Vice-Rector Father Joseph Shenosky won’t discuss specifics, given security concerns, he’s making it clear this is not just any normal start of a school year.
“I’ve said to some of the new men, they picked a wonderful first year to enter St. Charles Seminary,” he said ,”and I think for all of our seminarians this is an event that they will remember for the rest of their lives.”MORE NEWS: Delaware To Require COVID-19 Vaccine Or Weekly Testing For K-12 Educators, Contractors And Volunteers
The “new men” represent a 20% increase from those in the same status last year, which Father Shenosky notes is a good thing given the Catholic Church’s difficulty in recent years to convince more people to choose religious life as a professional calling.