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Holy Apostles College & Seminary

Cromwell, Connecticut

Ranney Hall, the oldest house in the small
central Connecticut town of Cromwell, has
been a focal point of service to the commu-
nity for one and one-quarter centuries. In
various forms, this building and subsequent
additions have housed a medical facility, a
Catholic seminary and then a Catholic college
and seminary.
Holy Apostles Seminary began as a mi-
nor seminary in 1957, founded by Father Eu-
sebe Menard, O.F.M. It was originally oper-
ated by the Society of the Missionaries of the quick facts
Holy Apostles, an order of priests also found- Founded: 1972
ed by Father Menard. An undergraduate col- Type of institution: Very small liberal
lege was opened for lay students in 1972, and arts college
the seminary became a major seminary in Setting: Suburban
1978. Undergraduate enrollment: 28 full-time and
Later, graduate, distance-learning and 13 part-time lay students (2008–09
non-degree graduate programs were added. academic year)
Today, Holy Apostles College & Seminary is Total undergraduate cost: $9,360 (tuition only
for 2009–10)
a unique, small-scale Catholic college with
Undergraduate majors: Four
modest university components. It also is one
that is firmly rooted in the Church.
Five Key Points
The seminary has long had strong his-
toric ties with the Bishop of the Diocese of 1. Seminary enhances strong Catholic
Norwich, who still serves as chancellor of identity.
the expanded institution. And for more than 2. Connecticut’s three bishops sit on the
two decades, he as well as the Archbishop of board of trustees.
Hartford and the Bishop of Bridgeport have 3. A 90-credit, philosophy-based core
served on the board of trustees. curriculum.
As one staff member told us, “This ex- 4. Lay students benefit from studying
pansion of the board gave the college and alongside seminarians.
seminary the benefit of episcopal oversight, 5. Very affordable, but no living on
along with ecclesial and professional exper- campus.

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Holy Apostles College & Seminary

Enrollment has been growing in recent
years and reached 276 in the fall 2008 semes- From the
ter, including 65 seminarians, 41 undergradu-
Financial Aid Office
ates and 170 graduate students. Twenty-three
dioceses as well as six religious communities
“Students enrolled at least part-time (six
are represented.
credits) per semester in undergraduate
But it was not until about six years ago,
programs are eligible to apply for Federal
according to Father Douglas Mosey, C.S.B.,
Pell Grants and Federal Stafford Loans.
the president-rector, that new attention was
All students wishing to be considered
directed to the undergraduate lay program.
for Federal title IV Financial Aid must fill
He said, “We realize the desire and need for
out the Free Application for Federal Stu-
truly Catholic colleges. We have right here
dent Aid (FAFSA) and the Holy Apostles
in our immediate area a number of Catholic
Financial Aid Application. The FAFSA is
high schools, and we are recruiting there for
available online at the Federal Financial
students and families who want a faithful
Aid Webpage. Students are urged to com-
Catholic education.”
plete their FAFSA at least 60 days before
The college remains a commuter school—
the start of coursework.
there are no residence halls for lay students
and no plans to build any. Father Mosey add- “When all forms and related documents
ed, “There also are a number of homeschool- are in the student’s file, the information
ing families who might want their sons and will be reviewed, and the student will
daughters to receive higher learning and per- be notified of the decision via an award
haps continue living at home.” letter. All financial aid is based on need
The recruitment of undergraduate stu- with the exception of the Federal Unsub-
dents is a critical element in the college’s long- sidized Stafford Loan and the Federal
range plan. PLUS/GradPLUS.
The opportunity to study in a Catholic
environment with seminarians is compelling “If you have questions regarding Finan-
to these students as is the strong core curricu- cial Aid, please contact Henry Miller,
lum, which covers 90 credits or about three- Financial Aid Director or call 860-632-
fourths of the graduation requirement. 3020.”
Also attractive is its affordability. Tuition
for the 2009–10 academic year was $9,360, less historic, picturesque and peaceful campus.
than a third of the average tuition for private Its oldest building was erected in 1751. There
institutions in Connecticut. Financial aid is are so many trees that students and visitors
available if needed, including federal loans. enjoy a guided trail tour known as the Tree
According to the college’s former direc- Walk. Many of these trees were planted by
tor of student recruitment, “Holy Apostles representatives of the firm of the noted 19th-
is the lowest-priced private college in New century landscape architect Frederick Law
England, a fact that I think many parents and Olmstead, who was a native of nearby Hart-
students would want to know because, at that ford.
cost, it is possible to graduate without incur- Students have the option to major in four
ring college-loan debt.” areas: philosophy, theology, English in the
Yet another appealing aspect of Holy humanities and history in the social sciences.
Apostles is the opportunity to study at an An associate of arts degree in theology also is

152 The Newman Guide
Holy Apostles College & Seminary

available. The college is accredited by its re- ly Catholic spirit.”
gional agency, the New England Association All interviewees emphasized the col-
of Schools and Colleges. lege’s Catholic identity with enthusiasm. One
philosophy professor, for example, said, “I
have taught in a number of colleges over the
Governance years, and Holy Apostles College by far has
the best atmosphere for orthodox teaching,
In addition to the three Connecticut bish-
camaraderie and friendship. These are rein-
ops, the Holy Apostles board of trustees in-
forced with an integrated liberal arts educa-
cludes five priests of the Missionaries of the
tion. It has the complete package.”
Holy Apostles and nine lay members. One of
And a full-time student told us, “The
the lay members is Dr. Marie Hilliard, R.N.,
college has the strongest Catholic identity
former executive director of the Connecticut
I’ve ever seen. When you’re hanging out with
Catholic Conference and currently director of
seminarians in class and on campus all day,
bioethics and pub-
you can’t get much
lic policy at The
more Catholic iden-
National Catholic
tity than that.”
Bioethics Center.
One senior
The Missionaries
administrator said
of the Holy Apos-
that there is “a
tles turned over the
constant stream
seminary and col-
of visitors to the
lege to the board of
campus during
trustees in 1984.
the academic year,
Father Mosey,
including bishops,
who holds a Ph.D.,
deacons and mem-
is the seventh pres-
bers of various re-
ident of the college
ligious communi-
and seminary. He
ties. These invited
is in his 14th year
guests come to
as president. He
address the study
also serves as di-
body on a wide range of topics, including the
rector of the permanent diaconate formation
Catholic faith, moral issues and bioethics.”
program for the Diocese of Norwich.
Among recent speakers are Father Bene-
All presidents of Holy Apostles have
dict Groeschel, C.F.R., and Father Frank Pa-
been priests.
vone, national director of Priests for Life. The
commencement speakers for 2008 and 2009,
Public Identity respectively, were Cardinal Newman Society
President Patrick Reilly and Bishop Michael
Holy Apostles is committed to cultivating or- Cote of Norwich.
dained, consecrated and lay Catholic leaders Bishop Cote, who is also chancellor of
for evangelization. One of the college’s five Holy Apostles, is very supportive of the in-
goals—all related to faith—is: “To animate the stitution. He has said, “In every regard Holy
entire college and seminary experience in a Apostles is a center of influence for living in
recognizable, distinctive, and unambiguous- the true Catholic spirit. The devotion to the

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Holy Apostles College & Seminary

Eucharist, love for the Church, and respect which range from Catechism I and II to Lit-
for human life grow in this spiritual environ- urgy. There also are eight specific philosophy
ment and prepare all studying at the college courses, including Philosophy of God. The
and seminary to go forth and evangelize.” philosophy requirement is only two cours-
es short of a major. One student said, “The
strength of [the college] is in the theology and
Academics philosophy courses.”
Other required courses include two in
The college emphasizes that the curriculum
Latin and work in the traditional liberal arts
is especially philosophy-based and in the
disciplines, especially in literature and his-
Catholic liberal arts tradition. The 90-credit
tory (together accounting for 10 courses). The
core includes six Catholic theology courses,

Message from the President

Dear Parents and Prospective Students:

Thank you for your interest in Holy Apostles College & Seminary.
Our mission is to cultivate lay, consecrated and ordained Catholic lead-
ers for the purpose of evangelization.

Towards this end, we offer a philosophically-based, Catholic, liberal arts undergraduate
degree program to prepare students for what Pope Paul VI called “the greatest drama of our
time”—i.e., the split between the Gospel and culture. A degree from Holy Apostles prepares
students to be active participants in the culture of life and to succeed in their chosen secular

Holy Apostles is one of the few Catholic colleges in America where lay students, religious
and seminarians attend many of the same classes together, worship together and grow intellec-
tually and spiritually together. We are also one of a few Catholic colleges where all members of
the faculty must be approved by the bishop in order to ensure fidelity to the magisterium.

Our Catholic identity is very strong and we are committed to providing an affordable edu-
cation to educate young men and women while forming moral and ethical leaders who know
and love God.

I invite you to visit or call to learn more about the exciting opportunities we offer. You are
always welcome.

Yours in Christ,

The Very Reverend Douglas L. Mosey

154 The Newman Guide
Holy Apostles College & Seminary

core curriculum helps satisfy the college’s ob- One professor praised the scholarship
jective: “To prepare college seminarians for at the college, but said, “Everything is sub-
the study of theology and to prepare lay stu- ordinated to spiritual formation. You need
dents for graduate study and most especially a school where you can maintain your faith
for life.” and receive the intellectual component as
Accordingly to Father Mosey, the college well, and Holy Apostles College does this.”
developed its curriculum, with an emphasis Students especially praised two profes-
on philosophical foundations, after studying sors: Monsignor James Turro, Ph.D., who
a 1961 college catalogue that described Ford- teaches courses on Sacred Scripture, Old and
ham University’s Jesuit approach to the cur- New Testaments; and Sister Mary Ann Linder,
riculum. Fordham has long since abandoned F.S.E., an associate professor of catechetics,
it. who teaches courses in humanities.
Some of the courses are taught in an A number of professors participate in a
interdisciplinary manner, which fits well at campus faculty seminar series on the Catho-
a school of such small size. One example of lic intellectual tradition. This was begun sev-
an interdisciplinary, team-taught course is eral years ago as a follow-up activity to the
one offered on the development of the social Fides et Ratio seminar, a national program of
sciences by Dr. Angelyn Arden, an associ- faculty development. According to Dr. Arden,
ate professor of humanities. She is a licensed one of the seminar participants, “It has been
clinical psychologist who previously taught a great value to have faculty together to talk
in the Great Books program at the University about Catholic thought and great books; it im-
of Dallas. pacts the Catholicity of every course.”
Recently added interdisciplinary elec- The college has attracted a wide range of
tives include religion and law, Catholic ap- students, from traditional recent high school
proaches to counseling and bioethics. graduates to senior citizens. Some come for
Faculty members teaching philosophy two years to get the personal formation, we
and theology make are told, and then
a profession of faith move on. Some
and also promise opt to take the
obedience to the two-year associ-
bishop and the ate of arts degree
Magisterium. This and return later to
is done annually Holy Apostles or
when Bishop Cote elsewhere to com-
comes to campus to plete a bachelor’s
celebrate the Mass degree.
of the Holy Spirit There are
at the beginning of some undergradu-
the academic year. ate seminarians
All members of the who take courses
academic and for- with lay college
mational faculty of students. The lay
the seminary are students we spoke
approved by the bishop on the recommenda- to considered this to be an important ben-
tion of the rector of the seminary. efit. A college administrator said, “Because

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Holy Apostles College & Seminary

seminarians and lay students study, pray and with the work of a choir director. Masses at-
interact in class, they are able to share their tract some people from the community, and
unique perspectives and thus deepen each there are plans to begin construction on a
other’s overall learning experience.” new chapel in 2009 that will double the cur-
The college also has hosted the Pope rent capacity.
John Paul II Bio- There is a holy
ethics Center for hour with exposi-
the past 25 years. tion of the Blessed
The center spon- Sacrament and an
sors lectures and international Ro-
publications. The sary every Wednes-
center will be en- day. Confessions are
hanced in the fall available. Weekly
2009 when Father Lenten conferenc-
Tad Pacholczyk, es were offered in
Ph.D., director of 2009.
education for The One profes-
National Catholic sor said, “It is not
Bioethics Center unusual to see lay
and an expert on students at the cha-
embryonic stem pel or meeting else-
cell research, joins where to say the
it as an adjunct Rosary together.
professor. The two centers will jointly pro- Catholic spiritual life is a major focus at Holy
vide a dual certification/degree program in Apostles College.”
Catholic bioethics. Lay students are clearly influenced by
Another new initiative starting in the the presence of the seminarians. Sean Forrest,
2009-2010 academic year is TAKE CREDIT!, an a student at Holy Apostles as well as a Catho-
opportunity for high school students to take lic contemporary musician, said, “We have
a college course for credit at Holy Apostles. the chance to see the seminarians’ strong de-
Courses will cover topics of interest to high sire to study and to serve others. Having this
school students and be taught with fidelity to exposure to the seminarians makes me love
Church teachings. the priesthood even more when I see their
Lay students and seminarians work to-
Spiritual Life gether on promoting pro-life activities, which
includes going to an abortion clinic in near-
Two early morning Masses are held daily at
by Hartford on Saturdays and participating
the 120-seat Queen of Holy Apostles Chapel.
in the annual March for Life in Washington,
Students are welcome, but due to the early
D.C. There is a tomb on campus marking the
hour at the commuter school (7:15 a.m. and 9
grave of an unborn child, a victim of an abor-
a.m.), we are told that not many students at-
tend; most of the attendees are seminarians.
Holy Apostles, along with the Cromwell
More students attend 5 p.m. Evening Prayer.
Christian Clergy Association, sponsors the
Masses are reported to be “very solemn
Cromwell Ecumenical Lay Theology School
and absolutely beautiful.” Music is provided

156 The Newman Guide
Holy Apostles College & Seminary

(CELTS), which offers informal courses. This perspective resonated with the
Students have the option of participating mother of a daughter who is a current student.
in Mass and other spiritual activities, includ- She said, “The atmosphere on campus is com-
ing perpetual adoration, at St. John Church in fortable and peaceful. Everyone—whether
Cromwell. The parish is staffed by Coventual they know you or not—is kind and thought-
Franciscan Friars. ful. This is truly a Catholic institution that is
thriving in spite of its size.”
Student Activities
Residential Life
Not surprising for a small, all-commuter col-
lege, there are few student activities. There There are no residential facilities for lay stu-
is one organized club, the student-run Holy dents. Some share local apartments, but most
Apostles Life League, which coordinates pro- commute from their homes. Here, too, the
life activities. These include weekly praying college views its lack of facilities as a posi-
at a nearby abortion facility which is followed tive point, citing how residential life can eas-
by a Mass on campus. ily distract students from their studies. Resi-
Among other pro-life activities are dential life, they also note, is costly for the
participation in college—and the
the annual March st udent—because
for Life in Wash- it requires health
ington, D.C., and services, resident
the 40 Days for advisors, campus
Life initiative in social activities and
the Hartford and personnel to super-
Norwich dioceses. vise them, and a
The Life League security force.
also maintains a Further, they
pro-life section in say, commuter
the college library. students living at
Many un- home “can bring
dergraduate stu- the Truth you have
dents are involved learned back to
in campus liturgi- your community
cal life and spiri- and start sharing it
tual activities. Social events are informal and and living it immediately.”
student-initiated, and include cookouts, going To help students looking for local hous-
to movies or playing soccer. ing, the college has been developing a data
The campus is quiet, but the college sees base of “host families” from local parishes for
this as a plus. The campus website comments: possible residential accommodations.
“Students treasure the abundant peace and While students may come from several
extraordinary beauty of Holy Apostles’ hill- nearby communities, health services are avail-
side campus above the Connecticut River be- able at two hospitals, Middlesex Hospital and
cause moments of quiet and beauty are often Connecticut Valley Hospital, each located five
times when you learn the most about God minutes away in Middletown.
and yourself.”

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Holy Apostles College & Seminary

The Community The Bottom Line
Cromwell is a town of 13,500 people One representative of Holy Apostles College
which is 15 minutes from the state capital of said they like to promote the institution as
Hartford and about one-half-hour from New being “really Catholic, really close and really
Haven. The quiet town also is a safe one, with affordable.” Add to that, “really supportive of
virtually no violent crime and a crime rate the Catholic intellectual tradition,” and you
only about 40 percent of the national crime have a rather impressive mix.
index. The college, long dedicated to training
Hartford, a long-time center of the in- seminarians, wants to expand its very small
surance industry, lay presence. It
has a population does not have
of 125,000. It has a residential facili-
number of attrac- ties, and social ac-
tions including the tivities on campus
Mark Twain House are limited. But
and the Hartford the college sees
Civic Center, which all these as ma-
hosts cultural and jor selling points
sports events. in presenting an
The north- environment that
south Interstate 91 sticks to the es-
serves Cromwell, s e n t i a l s —f a i t h
while the east-west formation and lib-
Interstate 84 and eral arts education
Interstate 91 meet without frills.
in downtown Hartford. Amtrak serves Hart- At this point, the college is unlikely
ford, and the city’s Bradley International Air- to draw many students from around the
port provides non-stop service to several ma- country. It is, however, an attractive option
jor cities, including Los Angeles, on national for students living in central Connecticut and
carriers. perhaps the rest of the state as well. If fidel-
ity to mission is any indicator, Holy Apostles
College & Seminary has a bright future.

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