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The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


Finding God at St. Mark Seminary

St. Mark Seminary
The Very Reverend Scott W. Jabo, Rector of St. Mark Seminary, addresses invited guests from the Serra Club of Erie inside the St. Mark Seminary chapel on January 10, 2024, while the seven current seminarians look on (l-r): Tyler Niebauer ’27, Michael Liebler ’26, The Reverend David M. Renne (Vice-Rector), Michael Geary ’24, Noah Marangoni ’25, Joseph Preston ’25, Anthony Frisina ’27, and Dale Hyland ’25.

March 22, 2024/12a  


Erie Pa., — Throughout its first century of existence as a Diocesan Catholic University, many priests have served Gannon University as teaching faculty, chaplains, presidents, and members of the Board of Trustees.  

Hundreds of seminarians have also filled the dining halls and classrooms prior to their ordinations as priests. For every priest, his time of training, discernment, and formation for the priesthood began at a seminary, a word derived from the Latin word meaning “seedbed.”  

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While at a seminary, the seeds of a seminarian’s vocation — or calling from God — are cultivated through growth and development in spiritual, human, intellectual, and pastoral ways.  

Located on the border of Millcreek Township and the City of Erie, St. Mark Seminary has played an integral role in the formation of future priests for the Dioceses of Erie, Altoona-Johnstown (PA), Buffalo (NY), Greensburg (PA), and Rochester (NY). Boasting a partnership with Gannon University, St. Mark seminarians take a full-time student’s load of classes at Gannon and pray, eat dinner, and sleep at the Seminary.  

According to Junior Psychology major and Philosophy minor Joe Preston: “the Seminary has been like a touch point where I return at the end of each day to pray, enjoy fraternity with my brother seminarians, and work on personal growth.” Due to a life “rooted in prayer,” Preston has “grown in [his] relationship with God, others, and [him]self in the past two years as a seminarian.”  

St. Mark Seminary is a college seminary that helps men who are trying to discern if God is calling them to be priests. They can either enter after obtaining a college degree, after completing some college courses, or immediately after graduating from high school.  

After earning thirty credits in Philosophy and receiving a bachelor’s degree, seminarians will move on to a major seminary elsewhere — if they still fill called to be a priest — for graduate studies in Theology. Philosophy and Theology major Noah Marangoni’s “studies in Psychology, Counseling, Philosophy, and Theology [at Gannon] have been a great blessing as [he] seek[s] to better understand God, His Creation and how He made His beloved people.”  

Marangoni was accepted as a seminarian for the Diocese of Erie this past summer after spending six years at Gannon prior. Now for Marangoni, “St. Mark Seminary provides an opportunity for receptivity and self-gift to God; and God, never to be outdone in generosity, gives us so much more in return.”  

During a typical day, St. Mark seminarians wake up early for Eucharistic Adoration and Mass before commuting to campus, eat breakfast and lunch in the Gannon cafeteria, attend their classes, pray Evening Prayer in community, and eat dinner together as a house.  

The remainder of the day is theirs for personal prayer, homework, sleep, and fellowship with each other. Sophomore Philosophy major Mike Libeler expressed that “the encouragement of those around [him] has also been a huge blessing and has helped [him] in [his] growth as a person and in [his] faith.”  

Liebler’s “time at St. Mark and Gannon over the past two years have given [him] many opportunities to grow.” Attending “Daily Mass and Eucharistic Adoration have deepened [Liebler’s] relationship with God and have helped [him] to be more aware of [God’s] continual presence throughout the day.”  

Similarly, according to Preston: “I have found God at St. Mark Seminary and finding Him there helps me to find Him in every person I meet and in every situation I encounter.” The St. Mark seminarians are able to bring the growth and love of God they experience at the Seminary to Gannon’s campus and serve as altar servers for weekly Community Mass and monthly adoration, Campus Ministry student leaders, and personal witnesses of faith and discernment in each of their classes. 

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