St. Joseph’s Seminary

What can be said about the St. Joseph’s Seminary that hasn’t been said already…built in 1896 in the Dunwoodie section of Yonkers on a 40 acre section of Valentine Hill.

According to the Seminary’s website, its buildings are of gray mile-square granite, most of which was quarried on the seminary site and the main building is in early Renaissance style, with the cross over the cupola reaching one hundred and fifty feet above ground level.

It’s a beautiful building for those that see it as such and for parishioners and even more importantly, those who seek to enter the clause, it has served primarily for the formation of candidates for the priesthood of the Catholic Church.

Many additions have been added around the main building throughout the years including another chapel and library and further down the hill, the sight of the eventual communications building with its giant T.V. Tower.

When I roamed around the grounds of this historic site, I did exactly that, “roam” because you cannot realize just how peaceful and expansive the 40 acre site really is until you actually stroll through the property.

Upon arrival, you are greeted with a beautifully manicured lawn and winding entrance way.

There are all sorts of statues and monuments to explore once on the grounds…

Again the grounds themselves are so quiet and you can easily forget about the turbulent city that surrounds the Seminary…

One thing I enjoyed in particular is learning that George Washington had scouted out and picked this exact location during the Revolutionary War to set up camp for a time while the patriots figured out their next move against the British.

This article shares some interesting information about what else occurred on the hill that would eventually be a spiritual oasis of sorts nearly 100 years later with the cornerstone being laid for the Seminary.

The St. Joseph’s Seminary is a very beautiful place and one that, again in my opinion worth a 5 cent Subway token, shows off the history of Yonkers and how culturally diverse the city is.  Whether it is down near Getty Square, South Broadway, McLean Ave or Seminary Ave, Yonkers always seems to do what it does best, make a place and a home for all those who wish to call it home.



5 thoughts on “St. Joseph’s Seminary

  1. My Great-Uncle Tom McGuire and Aunt Anna lived here and cared for the buildings. Uncle Tom was a very special man and they lived on the property for a very long time. In the late 60s he retired. They planted 35 trees in memory of his dedication to his work there. I remember visiting th grounds and playing there. It was serene. I loved St. Joseph.

    Anna Smith McGuire was my grandfather’s sister, she was a convert to Catholicism. She was the most kind and optimist of people in my young life and my grandfather’s favorite sister.

    Washington slept in the old house they originally lived in. What a place! They knew all the cardinals of the NYC diocese and were humble about it. Cardinal Spellman loved Tom McGuire.

  2. Ths statue shown on the first page of this blog was purchased from my Great Grand-Aunt
    Anne Meredith Kitson , Cardinal Farley presented it on Sept 17, 1917 to St Joseph’s
    My Great Grand-Uncle Sam’l James Kitson was the sculptor. He converted in 1888. You can find mention of his works in wikipedia. He did many statues and busts of catholic bishops and cardinals as well as many other persons of note …ie Longfellow. His works can be found in New York City, Boston and environs, New Jersey, Conneticut, New York State and Washington DC and environs.

    PAGE 138 Rectorship of Right Rev Dr. Chidwick

    Full text of “St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, New York, 1896 ……/stjosephssemina00duffgoog/stjosephssemina00duffgoog_djv…

    Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public … JOSEPirS SEMINARY DUNWOODIE Illustrations St. Joseph’s Seminary, …… June 25, 1892 103 S. Broadway, Yonkers, N. Y. Murphy, Rev. …… “Christ, the Light of the World,” a bronze statue, seven feet in height, is the work of Samuel J. Kitson, the …

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