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seminarian praying in a chapel

Propaedeutic Stage at the Mount

Blessed Stanley Rother House of Formation

Mount St. Mary’s Seminary has a long and illustrious history of forming priests. Since 1808 seminarians have lived, learned, worked, and prayed on Mary’s Mountain. The Mount has responded in each generation to the needs of preparing men for the Catholic priesthood.

If you are interested in hearing more about the Blessed Stanley Rother House of Formation and how to apply, please contact Seminary Admissions.

rother house dedication with archbishop lori and president trainor

The Mount is excited to have a home for the new stage of formation: the Propaedeutic Stage.

This stage of priestly formation takes place before beginning the Discipleship Stage (i.e., before the study of Philosophy). It introduces the new seminarian to the spiritual life and provides a solid foundation in human formation.

Knowing that individual dioceses may struggle to organize such a program in their own diocese and confident in the formation expertise of Mount faculty and formators already present on Mary’s Mountain, the Mount renovated a wing of the St. Joseph House of the Daughters of Charity, a complex of buildings that also houses the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. It is located two miles from the Mount.

Blessed Stanley Rother House

The House of Formation is dedicated to Mount graduate Blessed Stanley Rother, the first American martyr.


Listen to Seminary Rector Msgr. Andrew R. Baker, S.T.D., and Seminary Dean of Men Rev. Diego Ruiz talk about Rother House and the Propaedeutic Stage of formation.

A year ago, we published a video introducing the Blessed Stanley Rother House of Formation, the home of Mount St. Mary's new propaedeutic stage of seminary formation. Now that the Rother House is fully operational and forming our first class of propaedeutic seminarians, we would like to offer you an inside view of what that looks like.

Propaedeutic Stage Overview and Program

The men of the Rother House follow a schedule for liturgy, communal and individual prayer, and devotions. There are currently 26 zealous men from 9 Dioceses across the country.

The program is not an academic year but an opportunity within a formational community for new seminarians to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ, come to a greater knowledge of the Catholic faith, and grow in character and virtue.

Through various classes, conferences, and lively discussions, the seminarians learn about such things as discernment, scripture, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, time management, and how to maintain healthy physical and emotional health. They are given the opportunity to learn about the value of manual labor and the goodness of creation, by working on an organic farm and at the National Shrine Grotto of our Lady of Lourdes.

There are several days of recollections and retreats built-in to the yearly schedule. A technology “detox” takes place whereby each man practices detachment from his electronic devices and gradually learns how to virtuously use technology in view of possible priestly ministry.

The men of the Rother House are a community of discerners under the guidance of Rev. Daniel Hanley, S.T.L., coordinator of the propaedeutic stage. Fr. Hanley is from the Diocese of Arlington, has years of experience in seminary formation, as well as parish and diocesan ministry, and is known as a national expert in PPF6. They pray together, work together, and grow together as brothers, as they begin their journey of priestly formation.

rother house altar
rother house seminarians

Blessed Stanley Rother House Campaign

With the propaedeutic stage to begin in August, 2023, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary instituted the Blessed Stanley Rother House Campaign in October, 2022, to raise the required funds for the program. The three-year campaign has a goal of $5 Million. The first $2.5Million are earmarked for the projected costs of construction and renovations that are listed below. The remaining $2.5 Million is earmarked for the Seminary’s endowment, to ensure long-term sustainability.

Seminary Needs to Renovate and Support the Blessed Stanley Rother House

An estimated total of $5 million toward program support, endowment support and construction / renovations to areas including:

  • Chapel
  • Library
  • Classroom
  • Dining Room
  • 35 Seminarian Rooms
  • Bathrooms
  • Office Spaces
  • Community Room
  • Meeting Room
  • Fitness / Activity Room
  • Common Area
  • Priest Suites (2)

The Rother House Campaign To Date

The final costs for construction and renovations recently came in at $2,569,631.00, which increased the amount of our first goal. To date, the Campaign has reached over $2.4 Million in gifts and pledges from 184 Donors. It is imperative to secure the remaining funds to cover the construction and renovation costs. Once these costs are secured, we will begin raising funds for our endowment.

The Seminary Community prayerfully encourages support of this exciting program as the Mount continues forming better seminarians and better priests. The success of the Campaign will ensure the Mount continues as a national leader in forming tomorrow’s clergy.

Memorial Named Gift Opportunities

A wonderful and thoughtful way to honor and/or remember a loved one, is by making a memorial named gift for the Rother House Campaign. The Seminary is pleased that donors have named 40 of the 56 available memorial named gifts.

Memorial Named Gifts at the Rother House of Formation

  • Chapel - $500K (Reserved)
  • Statue of Sacred Heart of Jesus – at front enterance – $500K (Reserved)
  • Library - $500K
  • Classrooom - $500K
  • Dining Room - $250K
  • Community Room - $250K
  • Offices (2) - $100K each
  • Meeting Room - $100K (Reserved)
  • Fitness / Activity Room - $100K (Reserved)
  • Common Area - second floor with small kitchenette - $100K
  • Seminarian Rooms (35) - $10K each (35 Reserved)
  • Priest Suites (2) – $100K each (1 Reserved)
  • Chapel Items:
    • Altar – $200K
    • Tabernacle – $100K
    • Stained Glass Windows (5) – $50K each
    • Sacristy - $100K
    • Statues in Chapel ($100K each)
      • Blessed Stanley Rother
      • Pope John Paul II (Reserved)
    • Images / Paintings in Chapel: $100K each
      • Blessed Mother Mary (Reserved)
      • Saint Joseph

Read the Blessed Stanley Rother House of Formation Campaign Case Statement

Support the Rother House Campaign

For additional information about the campaign, please contact:

Diane L. Favret
Seminary Development & Alumni Engagement