The Complex of Posillipo
At the beginning of the 20th century, the bishops of Campania, in the presence of Monsignor Pietro Cisterna, gave their unanimous consent to erect a regional seminary for Campania. episcopate Pope Pius X entrusted this seminary based on the Jesuit tradition of Ignatius pedagogy, an excellent training model for diocesan priests with a focus on:
- The importance of a personal relationship between educator and teacher
- An active methodology based on interest, work and participation
- A holistic education
- A perspective directed to more distant destinations
In 1912 the Seminary officially opened. From this moment on, the Collegium Sancti Aloisii et Seminarium Campanum existed presided over by a single dean.
In 1935 a congregation of seminaries and universities awarded the Institute attached to the Seminary in Posillipo the right to grant academic degrees.
In 1999 fourteen bishops signed the canonical erection of the Pontifical Seminary of Campania regions. This new agreement signed between the bishops and the Company of Jesus affirms the following features of the Seminary:
- Seminarium - Collegium closely linked to the St. Luigi Section of the Pontifical Theological Faculty of southern Italy;
- Inter-diocesan Seminary
- Strong association with the Campania region
- Open to other dioceses of Campania and southern Italy for a certain percentage of seats
- Entrusted to the Italian Province of the Company of Jesus
- Admits all students who have good aptitude as well as strong and qualified human and spiritual training
In 2015 the Italian Province of the Jesuits donated the building of the Seminary to the Canonical body created in 1999. The cooperation between the bishops and the Jesuits remains strong, and the rector of the Seminary will always be a Jesuit, and the Jesuits retain ownership of the Institute of Theology.
Since its inception, thousands of young people have attended the Seminary of Posillipo to cultivate all aspects of their human, spiritual, and intellectual selves. Many seminarians have gone on to become cardinals, archbishops, bishops, eminent pastors, and theologians including:
Reverend Henri J. Renard, SJ (1894-1981, whose The Rev. Henri J. Renard SJ Endowed Lecture Series created in his honor at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska continues more than 30 year after his death
Archbishop Giovanni D’Aniello, appointed by Pope Benedict as the Apostolic Nuncio to Brazil in 2012
Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, appointed by Pope Benedict as the Apostolic Nuncio to India and Nepal
Blessed Fr. Giustino Russolillo (1891 1955), founder of the Vocationist order of religious
Blessed Fr. Mario Vergara (1910-1950), member of the missionary congregation PIME (Pontificio Istituto delle Missioni Estere), killed in Myanmar
Reverend Don Peppino Diana (1958 - 1994) a student in the Seminary from 1976 to 1981, killed on March 19, 1994, by the mafia while he was parish priest in the area surrounding Naples
Fr. Paolo Dall’Oglio SJ (born in 1954), Italian Jesuit missionary in Syria and among Muslims in the Middle East for over thirty years
Fr. Dall’Oglio was kidnapped on July 29, 2013 and is still missing
Fr. Andrea Vicini SJ (born in1960), medical doctor and professor at Boston College School of Theology
Fr. Paolo Bizzeti, born in Florence in 1947, was appointed Bishop of Anatolia (Turkey) by Pope Francis in 2015
THE COMPLEX TODAY
The Foundation for the Pontifical Institute of Theology at Posillipo, also known as The Posillipo Foundation, provides support and advocacy in the United States for this century-old seminary and institute in Naples, Italy. Recently incorporated in the State of Delaware and governed by a Board of Directors, The Posillipo Foundation has a twofold purpose.
The first is to support the renovation of the educational infrastructure of the seminary and institute itself, as well as the deeper renewal of the theological and academic programs delivered for the twenty-first century Church.
The second is to support an exchange of ideas and practices by facilitating programs whereby students and faculty from Posillipo may visit universities and parishes in the United States, and for America-based faculty and students who wish to Posillipo may do the same. The purpose of this second component is to enrich the experience of students in the studies of philosophy, theology, and other critical issues facing the Church today.
The Board of Directors of The Posillipo Foundation conducts outreach to broaden the audience of individuals interested in its mission, cultivation activities to inform and engender US constituents, and fundraising activities to provide financial support of the renovation and renewal of Posillipo.