MTSM Welcomes Rev. Anthony Stoeppel as Dean of Men08.23.23
Mount St. Mary’s Seminary & School of Theology (MTSM) has welcomed Rev. Anthony Stoeppel as its new Dean of Men. In addition, Fr. Stoeppel will also serve as Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology and as a member of the Formation Team. Fr. Stoeppel will be succeeding Rev. Daniel Hess, who will be assuming the newly created role of Director of the Propaedeutic Stage. Fr. Hess will continue to serve as an instructor of Systematic and Pastoral Theology and as a member of the Formation Team.
Fr. Stoeppel joins MTSM after serving as Vice-Rector at St. Patrick’s Seminary & University in Menlo Park, California. While at St. Patrick’s, he also served as the Director of Liturgy and Sacred Music and as Associate Professor of Pastoral Studies.
“I was born in Cincinnati and grew up in Northern Kentucky,” Fr. Stoeppel said. “It is a great honor and privilege to return home and serve the local church in forming men to be good and holy priests of Jesus Christ.”
Fr. Stoeppel was ordained to the priesthood in 2011 for the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, having attended Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. He holds a Doctorate of Sacred Theology in bioethics from the Pontifical University of Santa Croce in Rome. Prior to his time in the seminary, Fr. Stoeppel earned a pair of degrees from the University of Kentucky in Lexington, getting his Bachelor’s in Agricultural Engineering and his Master’s in Public Administration.
Fr. Hess, an MTSM graduate who was ordained to the priesthood in 2011, had served as the Dean of Men since returning to MTSM in 2019. As part of his new position, Fr. Hess will oversee seminarians who are beginning their time in the Seminary and formation process.
“It is very exciting that we have this opportunity to introduce a dedicated year of intensive prayer, human and spiritual formation and ‘cultural detox’ as these men begin their seminary formation,” Fr. Hess said. “This is a year that is ‘set apart’ and will be unlike their other years of seminary. In some ways, it will be more challenging. In other ways, it will hopefully be a privileged and grace-filled time of truly surrendering everything to the Lord and seeking his voice. We have a great team of priests here and, with them, I am excited to lead this program.”
The “Propaedeutic Stage” is a beginning of seminary period where the newcomers will live in community separate from the rest of the Seminarians (MTSM’s Propaedeutic Stage seminarians will be housed in Fenwick Hall). The period will look to give new seminarians the ability to spend time with the Lord and begin learning and developing the habits and practice of silence, holy hours, lectio divina (prayerful reading of the Scriptures) and discussions as a class and in smaller groups.
Included in that will be ‘technology fasts’, where Seminarians will not have access to screens (including cell phones) for extended periods of time. The detachment from the devices and social media is intended to create time and space for prayer, study and personal growth, with the goal of having the freedom and mastery of the time and space when re-integrating with technology.
The Propaedeutic Stage will focus on the inner journey of God’s call, working within the formation to better understand their personal history in light of God’s plan, especially as revealed in Scripture. The group will also go on local pilgrimages and excursions, including trips to shrines and historical churches.