Pontifical Urban College “de Propaganda Fide”...Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations; baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands. I gave you. And look, I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.” (Mt. 28, 19-20, NJB).Pontifical Urban College “de Propaganda Fide” is a major seminary, under the care of ‘The congregation for the Evangelization of the peoples’, established in Rome by Pope Urban VIII with the Bull “Immortalis Dei Filius” on 1st August ,1627. Being faithful to its raison d’etre, and in full concordance with the teachings of the Vatican Council II, the centuries-old formative experience of Pontifical Urban College recognizes the inestimable value of a native clergy well formed. Indeed, the work of evangelization derives deeper roots “when the various faithful communities all have, from among their members, their own ministers of salvation, in the order of bishops, priests and deacons, serving their own brethren” (Ad Gentes, n. 16). For this reason the Urban College always offers integral formation to the seminarians chosen from the mission countries, in order that they prepare themselves to become true messengers of Jesus, humble, generous and obedient pastors, who are capable of creating “a new chapter of evangelization full of fervor, joy, generosity, courage, boundless love and attraction!” (Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, n. 261).
The Pontifical Urban College right from its inception, has spiritually and legally belonged to the evangelization sphere of the Holy See. Originally the college had its seat in Piazza di Spagna, where the administrative offices of the Congregation for the Evangelization of the peoples are located today. In 1925 the Cardinal Prefect, W. M. Van Rossum (1854-1932) purchased the hospital of Saint Mary of Pity on Gianicolo Hill, and thereafter, transferred the seminarians on 2nd November, 1926 to the actual residence. In the meantime, he began the construction of the Pontifical Urban University and the new college as the residence for the seminarians, which was inaugurated personally by Pope Pius XI on 24th April 1931.All the students of Urban College are given a scholarship which comprises of boarding, lodging, and academic fees granted by ‘The Congregation for the Evangelization of the peoples.’
The Urban College indeed offers an integral formation in different realms like human, spiritual, academic and pastoral thus forming the seminarians according to the model of ‘The Good Shepherd’ so that the kingdom of God be proclaimed and established throughout the world (Cfr. Ad Gentes, n.1).The Urban College acknowledges that one does not become a presbyter in solitude, but in a community that favours personal growth. In this sense, the seminary serves as a home and a school of communion, equipped with a gymnasium of fraternity thereby modelling a true family abode, in which one is welcomed, loved and made to feel at home. Prominence is therefore given to the spirit of co-responsibility, of the educational relationships between formators and the seminarians, as well as relationships with each other.
The community spirit is engaged beyond the prospective of incardination in a particular church of provenance, so as to become men of communion, faithful and loyal collaborators of bishops and promoters of the unity of the presbytery (Presbyterorum Ordinis, nn. 2,8).
With the support of 'The Congregation for the Evangelization of the Peoples' the prayers and donations of the benefactors, the college continues the work in order to accommodate and form young people who prepare themselves to become priests with a fervent missionary and universal zeal.