Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco has named Fr. Gladstone Stevens, a Sulpician, as the next rector of St. Patrick’s Seminary & University in Menlo Park, Calif.
Fr. Stevens’ appointment will come into effect June 1; the acting rector is currently Bishop Thomas Daly, an auxiliary of the San Jose diocese.
“Fr. Stevens is highly esteemed by many groups in California,” Archbishop Cordileone said in a Feb. 19 statement announcing the move.
“Bishops, seminarians and laypeople all respect his preaching and spiritual insights. He’s faithful, clear, eloquent, humorous and friendly. What more could a seminarian ask for in the rector of the seminary?”
Fr. Stevens has been the seminary’s vice rector and academic dean since his 2008 arrival at the school. He is a regular retreat leader who guides days of recollection, and has specialized in giving talks to priests, though he also speaks to groups of laypeople who aim to deepen their faith, the Archdiocese of San Francisco reports.
Fr. Stevens said he wants St. Patrick’s Seminary to be seen as “a premier seminary in the West” and a place “where seminarians receive the theological, practical and spiritual training needed to be effective priests.”
The Society of St. Sulpice, to which he belongs, is a community of diocesan priests dedicated to educating fellow priests and men who will become priests.
Fr. Stevens said he has enjoyed working with seminarians and many other groups, adding that his associations with the Poor Clares, the Knights of Malta, and the Catholic business professionals group Legatus have helped “stimulate my faith.”
Fr. Stevens was born in Connecticut and raised in Nashville. He graduated from Quincy College in Illinois in 1989, did graduate-level biblical studies work at Vanderbilt University, and in 1997 earned his doctorate in theology from Marquette University.
He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Louisville in 2000. He served in parishes and taught theology at Baltimore’s St. Mary’s Seminary, receiving his licentiate in theology in 2007.
This summer, Fr. Stevens will participate in a management seminar at the University of Notre Dame that educates senior administrators in Catholic higher education.
Bishop Daly will continue as interim rector until Fr. Stevens’ administration begins. The bishop has been rector of the seminary since its former rector, Fr. James McKearney, also a Sulpician, was removed last September.
St. Patrick’s Seminary was established in 1898 by the Sulpicians, who have administered it since. The seminary and its grounds are owned by the San Francisco archdiocese.
Its 93 seminarians are primarily from Californian dioceses, though it also serves dioceses elsewhere in the western U.S. and along the Pacific Rim.