The seminary was founded in 1579, but there has been an English presence on the site in Via di Monserrato ever since 1362, when the building was acquired by a confraternity of expatriots. The English Hospice, as it came to be known, offered a welcome to generations of pilgrims from the mother country. A tradition reaching back over 650 years makes this the oldest English institution outside England.
The College continues in its proud tradition of preparing men for the priesthood and at the start of the current academic year, 2014-15, we have forty one seminarians: forty from England and Wales and one from Norway. There are also three priests engaged in postgraduate studies and a formation staff of five priests. All these make up a lively community of some fifty people supported by our administration and domestic staff.
The element of hospitality remains central to the College tradition. We welcome many people in the course of the year: groups and individuals can make pre-arranged visits for a tour of the College or simply turn up for one of our regular Masses or other advertised events. Remember to make frequent visits to our diary page for further information about these occasions.
These two dimensions - hospitality and the formation of priests - still lie at the heart of the busy and varied life of the Venerable English College.
We hope you will enjoy exploring our website - there is plenty to see and to read!