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St Charles’ Seminary is a place of formation for men discerning a call to the Catholic Priesthood in Western Australia. Located east of the city in Guildford, the seminary is part of the Archdiocese of Perth and is presently under the jurisdiction of Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB. Seminarians from the Dioceses of Broome, Geraldton and Bunbury also receive their formation at the Seminary. Once a seminarian has completed his formation and has been ordained to the priesthood, he will then serve in his own diocese.


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Archbishop of Perth


The house currently known as Padbury House, named after its late owner William Padbury was constructed in 1893. In 1941 William Padbury’s landholding of ‘Garden Hill’ was purchased by the Catholic Archbishop of Perth, Archbishop Prendiville, and the Bishop of Geraldton, Bishop O’Collins, for use as a seminary. At the time the Guildford property consisted of thirteen large rooms, a hall, a boathouse on the river, outhouse facilities and beautifully kept grounds including tennis courts, playing areas, orchard and vineyard.

The Seminary was founded in 1942 and opened on 8 March, 1942 with twenty students, three teaching staff and three domestic staff. The first rector was Rev Dr Launcelot Goody, later to become the Archbishop of Perth. In 1948 management and staffing of the seminary was handed over to the Vincentian Fathers, and in 1949 the first ordinations of St. Charles’ students took place. At the end of 1975, the Vincentian Fathers withdrew and St. Charles’ Seminary closed due to a lack of numbers. The place was then used as a ‘pre-seminary’, known as the St Charles’ Vocational. In late 1993 Archbishop Hickey announced the reopening of the seminary in 1994. In 2002, a further four buildings were constructed on the east side of the ‘ballroom’ to accommodate living quarters for up to eighteen seminarians and four priests.

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St Charles Borromeo

Patron Saint of Seminarians

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Born: 1538, Milan

Died: 1584, Milan

Feast Day: November 4

Cardinal-Archbishop of Milan and a leading figure in the Catholic Reformation.

Brought about significant reforms in the Church, most notably, the founding of seminaries for the formation of priests. 


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The word ‘humilitas’, latin for ‘humility’, standing below a coronet, is part of the coat of arms of St Charles Borromeo.

The five silver stars represent the Southern Cross.

The black swan is the state emblem of Western Australia.
The motto, ‘Discite a Me’, latin for ‘Learn from Me’, was taken from the Gospel (Matthew 11:29) and indicates the call of Christ to follow His teaching. It also encourages all seminarians to imitate St Charles Borromeo as a model for all priestly virtues.