Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary (Winona, Minnesota)

name =Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary
native_name =
latin_name =Seminarii Immaculati Cordis Mariæ

motto ="Ecce Quam Bonum"
mottoeng = Behold How Good
established =1948
type =Diocesan, Roman Catholic Seminary
endowment =Created 1989; Incorporated 1991
staff =
faculty =
president =Most Rev. Bernard J. Harrington, DD
provost =
principal =
rector =Very Rev. Andrew J. Beerman, STL
chancellor =
vice_chancellor =
dean =Very Rev. R. Paul Heiting, JCL, JV
head_label =Resident Spiritual Director
head =Rev. Thomas Melvin
students =≈50–60
undergrad =
postgrad =
doctoral =
profess =
city =Winona
state =MN
country =USA
campus =
free_label =Sponsoring Diocese
free =Diocese of Winona
colors =Red, White, & Blue
colours =
mascot =
nickname =
affiliations =
footnotes =
website = []
address =700 Terrace Heights #43, Winona, MN 55987
telephone =507-457-7373
coor =
logo =

Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) Seminary is a Roman Catholic, Diocesan-sponsored college seminary in Winona, Minnesota. Located adjacent to the campus of Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, IHM Seminary has provided college-level seminary training since 1948. Seminarians from various different dioceses across the United States live at IHM Seminary and take classes from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota. While the current bishop of the Diocese of Winona, the Most Reverend Bernard J. Harrington, DD, is the true head of the seminary and Chairman of the Board, the rector of the seminary oversees the day-to-day activities at the seminary. The current rector of IHM Seminary is the Very Reverend Andrew J. Beerman, STL, a priest of the Diocese of Winona. Father Beerman replaced Father James P. Steffes on July 1, 2008. Father Steffes accepted the position of Executive Director of the Secretariat for Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, DC. Father Beerman was previously the Dean of Formation at IHM Seminary until he was named rector. The Very Reverend R. Paul Heiting, JCL was named the Dean of Formation on July 22, 2008 in addition to his duties as Judicial Vicar for the Diocese of Winona. The Reverend Thomas Melvin was named Resident Spiritual Director, a position previously held by Father Paul Heiting, also on June 22, 2008, in addition to his duties as Diocesan Director of Vocations.


The Early Years

In 1912, Bishop Patrick Heffron of the Diocese of Winona, founded Saint Mary's College (now Saint Mary's University) on the terraced heights of Winona's Gilmore valley. Bishop Heffron founded the all-male college just two years after being ordained the second bishop of the Winona Diocese. Saint Mary's was founded for the higher education of all young men, but especially for the formation and education of future priests.

By 1933, Saint Mary's College was transferred from the Diocese of Winona to the Brothers of the Christian Schools (De La Salle Christian Brothers). This transfer, however, was not completed for ten years due to the fact that the Holy See viewed Saint Mary's as an approved seminary. The transfer was began was Bishop Francis Kelly and completed by Coadjutor Bishop Leo Binz.

By 1947, five years after the completed transfer of Saint Mary's to the Christian Brothers, Bishop Binz requested advice from Archbishop Amleto Giovanni Cicognani, the Apostolic Delegate at the time, about beginning a diocesan seminary in Winona where seminarians would live at Saint Mary's and take classes therein. By the fall of 1947, a core group of students became the first seminary students at Saint Mary's and were taught by Fathers George Speltz and William Magee, both priests of the Diocese of Winona.

The Founding Years

Just a year after Bishop Binz's request for advice from Archbishop Cicognani, Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) Seminary was founded and canonically erected on July 16, 1948. Father George Speltz, one of the priest-faculty members of Saint Mary's College, was named the first rector. During its founding year, IHM had an enrollment of twenty-five students. The following year, 1949, the first seminarian, Paul Halloran, graduated from IHM Seminary.

In 1950, Bishop Edward Fitzgerald became the fourth bishop of Winona and completed the architectural plans for a new seminary dormitory. The Christian Brothers deeded a plot of land from Saint Mary's College to the Diocese of Winona for the construction of the seminary building. Ground was broken by Bishop Fitzgerald on May 1, 1950 and the cornerstone was laid by Archbishop Binz, then the coadjutor of Dubuque.

In the spring of 1951, just four years after the request of advice from Archbishop Cicognani, the first students moved into the new seminary building, Kelly Hall, named in honor of Bishop Francis Kelly, the third bishop of Winona and the bishop who began the process of transferring Saint Mary's College to the Christian Brothers. The altar in the Saint John Vianney Chapel of Kelly Hall was dedicated on April 22, 1951 by Bishop Fitzgerald and on March 2, 1952, the first Solemn Mass was celebrated by Father Speltz in the chapel.

The Continuing Years

Shortly after the completion of Kelly Hall, construction on Mary Hall (nowadays referred to as the "Convent" or "Guesthouse") was undertaken. May Hall was completed in 1954 and became the home for the first Dominican Sisters who undertook domestic duties at the seminary.

Ten years after the completion of Kelly Hall, Saint Leo the Great Hall was completed in 1961. It was blessed by the Apostolic Delegate, Archbishop Egidio Vagnozzi, on March 25, 1962. Archbishop Leo Binz, in whose honor the building was named, was present during the blessing ceremony. By 1974, the Fitzgerald Retreat Center would be housed in Leo Hall. The Retreat Center, named in honor of Bishop Fitzgerald, would be the home of diocesan priest retreats.

In 1963, Father Speltz was named Auxiliary Bishop of Winona and Bishop Fitzgerald named Monsignor Joseph McGinnis as the second rector of IHM Seminary. Shortly thereafter, during the 1966-1967 academic year, the highest total enrollment was reached at ninety seminarians studying at IHM Seminary. The third rector, Monsignor Roy Literski, was appointed by Bishop Fitzgerald in 1968.

1970 brought some changes to IHM Seminary. Post-conciliar reform lead to the remodeling of the Saint John Vianney Chapel. Bishop Loras Watters, fifth bishop of Winona, named Father Robert Brom as rector. Other changes occurred with the religious sisters as the Dominicans returned to Switzerland and the School Sisters of Notre Dame took over domestic duties.

The Post Silver Anniversary Years

1973 brought the twenty-fifth anniversary of IHM Seminary; an alumni gathering was held in June of that year. In 1979, Bishop Watters named Father Gerald Mahon as rector as Father Brom was named Bishop of Duluth and then later San Diego. During 1986-1987, IHM Seminary was studied under the Papal Seminary Study and the chapel was renovated again in 1986. In June 1988, a fortieth anniversary alumni reunion was held at IHM. Just a year later, in 1989, the IHM Seminary Endowment fund was created and Bishop John Vlazny, sixth bishop of Winona, named Father Timothy Reker as rector.

Beginning in 1994, IHM Seminary and the priest faculty and staff began all sacramental ministry at Saint Mary's College, which was renamed a University in 1995. 1996 brought the wiring of the seminary building for modern computer technology and Bishop Vlazny appointed Father William Becker as rector. Two years later, Father David Kunz, a priest of the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin, was named rector by Father (later bishop) Michael Hoeppner, the diocesan administrator between Bishops John Vlanzy and Bernard Harrington. Bishop Harrington was appointed in 1999 and appointed Father James Steffes as rector in 2002.

The second Papal Seminary Study was undertaken in the fall of 2005 and minor renovations of Kelly Hall were completed throughout 2002-2008. In August of 2006, ground was broken on the Pope John Paul II Memorial Garden, located in front of Kelly Hall. The garden, completed by the summer of 2007, was the idea of Father Steffes and is formed in the shape of the Celtic cross that is located atop of the bell tower of IHM Seminary. Located within the garden are the Stations of the Cross by American artist Lynn Kircher, a fountain, and an outdoor grotto with altar for outdoor Masses.

In the spring of 2008, Father Andrew Beerman was appointed rector of IHM Seminary by Bishop Harrington. Father Steffes accepted the position of Executive Director of the Secretariat for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, DC. Father Beerman was previously the Dean of Formation at IHM Seminary until he was named rector.

Campus Buildings

*Kelly Hall is the original seminary building, built during 1950-1951. The construction contracts were awarded on April 25, 1950 and Bishop Edward Fitzgerald broke ground for the building on May 1, 1950. The cornerstone of Kelly Hall was laid by Archbishop Leo Binz on June 15, 1950 with all priests of the diocese present. Students moved into the building on March 3, 1951. Kelly Hall houses the main student residence, guest suites, seminary offices, the Saint John Vianney Chapel, lounges, the Loras Library, kitchen/pantry, refectory, assembly room, as well as garages, maintenance office, and boiler equipment.
*Leo Hall (officially Saint Leo the Great Hall) was built adjacent to Kelly Hall in 1961 and named after IHM's founder, Bishop Leo Binz. It was blessed by the Apostolic Delegate, Archbishop Egidio Vagnozzi, in 1962. Archbishop Binz was present for the ceremony. Today, Leo Hall houses the secondary student residence, guest rooms, the rector's suite, as well as the Sedes Sapientiæ Chapel, named in honor of Mary under the title of Our Lady Seat of Wisdom. Also located in Leo Hall is the Leo Conference Room, student recreation room, television room, laundry facilties, housekeeping office, garages, and boiler equipment.
*Mary Hall (commonly referred to as the "Convent" or "Guesthouse") was built during 1953-1954. Built as a residence for the first Dominican sisters to work at IHM Seminary, the residence was also used by the School Sisters of Notre Dame who worked at IHM Seminary after the Dominican sisters left IHM in 1970 to return to Switzerland. As there are currently no religious sisters at IHM Seminary, the building is now used as a guesthouse for visiting prelates, priests, or families.
*Belltower. The IHM Seminary belltower is directly behind Kelly Hall and faces both the seminary campus and the campus of Saint Mary's University of Minnesota. The belltower rings daily for the Angelus. The bell is also rung on the occasion of the death or election of a new pope.


* Saint John Vianney Chapel. The Saint John Vianney Chapel (SJV Chapel), named after the Curé d'Ars, Saint John Vianney, is the main chapel of Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary. Located in the center of Kelly Hall, the SJV Chapel is the heart of the seminary and the site of daily liturgical functions. The Blessed Sacrament is reserved in the SJV Chapel and there is daily mass and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. As the SJV Chapel is the main chapel for the seminary, morning and evening prayer is prayed in common in the chapel. The stained-glass windows of the chapel depict various saints as well as the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The stained-glass windows in the sanctuary depict Christ as the Good Shepherd.

*Sedes Sapientiæ Chapel. The Sedes Sapientiæ Chapel, located in Leo Hall, is a smaller devotional chapel of Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary used for devotions and private prayer. The Blessed Sacrament is reserved in this chapel. It is named in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom. Seminarians often meet in small groups to pray various devotions (such as the Rosary) or the Liturgy of the Hours in this chapel. Masses with a smaller congregations are held in this chapel on occasion. The stained-glass windows depict Mary, Sedes Sapientiæ, and the seven sacraments.

*Mary Hall Chapel. There was, at one time, a chapel in Mary Hall (the "Convent" or "Guesthouse") for use by the sisters when Mary Hall was the home of the religious sisters. This chapel was removed when the religious sisters left Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary.

Pope John Paul II Memorial Garden

Located in the front lawn of Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary, the Pope John II Memorial Garden is a multi-acre garden which offers a serene and reflective area for seminarians and the general public. After Pope John Paul II's death in 2005, Father James Steffes, the rector at that time, was inspired to design a garden to honor the late pontiff. As the Stations of the Cross were one of the pontiff's favorite devotions, it was decided that the garden would center around the Stations of the Cross. Ground was broken for the garden in August of 2006 and three months later the Stations themselves were installed. A year after groundbreaking, in August of 2007, the centerpiece of the garden, the sculpture of the burial shroud of Christ was installed.


The purpose of the Pope John II Memorial Garden is simply to provide additional prayer and reflection areas for seminarians discerning a call to the priesthood and for the general public for devotional use. The Stations of the Cross can be prayed at one's leisure, taking time for prayer and meditation. Also, because of the outdoor grotto and altar, the Holy Mass can be celebrated outside on occasion.

tations of the Cross

Throughout the main part of the Pope John II Memorial Garden, the Stations of the Cross form the outline of a Celtic cross, the same cross that is located on the top of the seminary belltower. In addition to the traditional fourteen stations, two extra stations were added off the main path. These two extra stations are (1) Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and (2) the Resurrection of Jesus. The Stations were designed by American artist Lynn Kircher.

Grotto and Altar

Set in local limestone, the outdoor grotto and altar provides a special area for outdoor gatherings and space for the Holy Mass. The area is dedicated to the Blessed Mother, with statues of Our Lady and Our Lady of Guadalupe, and provides space for votive candles and private prayer.

hroud of Christ

Located in the center of the garden is the empty tomb of Christ, with a life-sized solid bronze burial shroud, designed by Lynn Kircher. Located throughout the center of the garden, cast bronze birds perch on the outdoor works of art.

"New Life" Water Feature

Located next to the empty tomb, a five-foot high sold limestone boulder sits in which water springs forth water representing the water of life and the redemptive gifts of the Lord. As the waters flows naturally down the boulder, the sounds of trickling water can be heard throughout the garden. The boulder also reminds visitors of the water God provided for the ancient Israelites brought forth from the rock by Moses.

About the Artist

Lynn Kircher is a full-time artist living in Jaroso, Colorado. An art teacher for nearly twenty years, Kircher pioneered programs and processes which live on through his students. In 1997, he turned his passion for sculpture and became a full-time artist. His art has been accepted into the Vatican Collection and he was interviewed by Pope John Paul II in 2002.

eminary Library

As all students at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary are full students at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, all students are welcome to use the Fitzgerald Library (named in honor of Bishop Edward Fitzgerald, fourth bishop of Winona) which has a collection of over 400,000 books, including many philosophical and theological titles. At IHM Seminary, the Loras Library is open to all seminarians. The Loras Library is named in honor of Bishop Loras J. Watters, fifth bishop of Winona and one of the oldest bishops in the world, being born October 14, 1915. The Loras Library, located on the first floor of Kelly Hall, houses a small collection of books, mainly philosophical and theological titles as well as a number of books on spirituality, scripture, and hagiography.

Program of Study

The majority of students who study at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary do not come to IHM in possession of a bachelor's degree. Because of this fact, students study at IHM and Saint Mary's University to earn a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. The majority of these students major in a specially-designed philosophy major. Other courses in theology and Latin are also required. Students are free to double major or minor in fields of their choice so long as all the philosophical requirements are met. These students usually remain at IHM for four years, or until graduation and philosophy requirements are met (for transfer students).

There are, however, some students who already possess a bachelor's degree (e.g., B.A. or B.S.) and thus are considered "pre-theology" students. These students do not study for an additional bachelor's dgree but rather remain in residence at IHM and take the required philosophy, theology, and Latin courses. Most pre-theology students remain at IHM for two years to complete this program. At the end of their study, pre-theology students do not receive any degree (e.g., a Bachelor of Philosophy or B.Phil) but rather are simply able to move on to theology seminary.

Mission Statement

Flowing from its responsibility to build God’s Kingdom on Earth, Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary (IHMS) nurtures and heartens a man’s calling from God to the ministerial priesthood. IHMS strengthens and deepens the seminarian’s personal commitment to Jesus Christ with the highest quality programs of spiritual, intellectual, pastoral, and human formation. While supporting and encouraging the development of each man’s natural gifts, IHMS strives to help the men discern and answer God’s call with hearts on fire!

Vision Statement

Always focused on the mission of God’s Church, Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary is a beacon of Christ Himself, inviting men to follow His call, preparing a new generation of priests for leadership and service.

eminary Motto

The official motto of Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary is the Latin text of Psalm 133:1: "Ecce quam bonum et quam iucundum habitare fratres, fratres in unum" (Behold how good and how splendid where brothers dwell as one.) The Latin motto is oftentimes shortened to simply "Ecce Quam Bonum" (Behold How Good) as seen on the seminary crest, which was designed by the ninth rector of IHM Seminary, Father James Steffes. The English translation of Psalm 133:1 is not used for the motto.

Apostolic Visitations

Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary was visited by Vatican-appointed represetatives during the Papal Seminary Study in February of 1986 under the chairmanship of Bishop William H. Keeler of Harrisburg. The next apostolic visitation occurred in November of 2005 when all U.S. seminaries and houses of formation were visited by Vatican-appointed representatives.

It should also be noted that the ninth rector of IHM Seminary, Father James Steffes, was a part of a number of apostolic vistitation teams during 2005 and 2006, including a special visit to Trinidad.

Dioceses Currently Served

*Diocese of Crookston
*Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend
*Diocese of Gary
*Diocese of La Crosse
*Diocese of Madison
*Diocese of Peoria
*Diocese of Rapid City
*Diocese of Saint Cloud
*Diocese of Winona

Dioceses Formerly Served

"This is an incomplete list."
*Diocese of Des Moines
*Diocese of Duluth
*Diocese of Sioux Falls
*Diocese of St. Petersburg
*Diocese of Wichita

Past Rectors

ee also

* Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
* Diocese of Winona, Minnesota

External links

* [ Saint Mary's University of Minnesota]
* [ Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary]
* [ Roman Catholic Diocese of Winona, Minnesota]

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