It’s hard to believe that among the many honks, shops, and crowds of Westchester hides a haven for those on the path to holiness.
St. John Vianney Seminary has been in the heart of Westchester for over 50 years teaching men of all ages about the word of God and how to implement it in their lives. Above all, the seminarians are preparing to teach others the Gospel as well. Boasting an enrollment that has now surpassed 100 men, St. John Vianney Seminary is not only one of the most successful institutions for religious teaching in the country, but also one of the most (or perhaps even the most) prominent organizations in Westchester.
Despite the fact that this school has existed in the community for over 50 years, the majority of the population goes about its day completely unaware of these men. Contrary to popular belief, seminarians are very common in modern society. Coming from places around the world, such as: Cuba, Poland, and even Argentina, these men gather under a single mission: to learn and spread the word of God.
Due to the great success of St. John Vianney Seminary, the pre-theologian community is especially vibrant in Westchester. The students have many activities to take part in that allow them to travel around the town, from Frisbee competitions, to simply going out to eat or shop. One specific locale visited by the seminarians is the Publix Sabor, the shopping center that also supplies the majority of Westchester’s residents with food. This is only one of the many similarities shared between the two groups of residents, however.
Andrew Tomonto, a second year pre-theologian and Columbus graduate, emphasized the fact that the seminarians and he are, “normal people” who do normal things just like everyone else. While giving a tour through the school, Tomonto revealed that one of his personal favorite spots was Tropical Park- a nice place where the whole community could gather, regardless of occupation.
No matter what Westchester’s denizens are aware of, St. John Vianney Seminary has cemented its position in the heart of Westchester, and neither the institution nor its inhabitants plan on leaving anytime soon.
Gabriel Gonzalez and Sebastian Planas assisted in the production of this video.