April 19, 2021

Gwynedd Mercy University and St. Charles Borromeo Seminary Sign Agreement of Sale to Relocate Seminary to Gwynedd Valley

Agreement includes generous gift from The Maguire Foundation

Gwynedd Mercy University and Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary recently signed an agreement of sale that will allow the Seminary to relocate to GMercyU’s campus. The sale, which will not be finalized until the end of separate due diligence and approval periods, includes approximately 15 acres of space on the northern border of GMercyU’s campus as well as two existing buildings.

Both institutions expressed their gratitude to the Maguire Foundation for a generous $3 million gift to Gwynedd Mercy University that will be supplemental to the $10 million purchase price by the seminary.

“The Saint Charles Seminary community is thrilled to have found such a wonderful new home, and grateful for the generous support of The Maguire Foundation in making this transaction possible,” said Bishop Timothy C. Senior, the Seminary’s Rector.  “While there are mixed emotions involved with departing from Overbrook after many years, Gwynedd Mercy University’s campus offers a beautiful setting and the perfect location for us. We anticipate being able to welcome our community to its new home for the 2024-25 academic year.”

In 2016, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. accepted a recommendation from the Seminary Board of Trustees to sell the entire seminary property and explore options to partner with a local Catholic college.  At that time, discussions began with several Catholic universities including Gwynedd Mercy University.  The seminary began discussions with potential buyers for its property, which resulted in the sale of the campus to Main Line Health in May 2019.  In late 2020, the seminary signed a letter of intent with Gwynedd Mercy University to explore the possibility of purchasing a portion of the Gwynedd Valley property.

“When Bishop Senior approached us in December 2019 about relocating to a portion of our campus, we were excited about the possibilities of bringing two well-respected Catholic institutions of higher education together in one location,” said Deanne H. D’Emilio, JD, president of Gwynedd Mercy University.  “We also are honored and grateful that The Maguire Foundation wants to support this exciting initiative. The Maguires are faithful supporters of Catholic higher education and have been steadfast and generous friends to Gwynedd Mercy University. I am so grateful for their continued support.” 

With the successful completion of the transaction, Gwynedd Mercy University and Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary will remain two separate and distinct institutions. Each will continue to maintain its own governance structure, academic freedom, and ability to offer programming consistent with their missions and core values. 

Once the transaction closes, the Seminary will begin the building and renovation process to shape the new location for its needs. Plans call for the construction of a new chapel and student life center which will include a refectory, classrooms, library, administrative offices, fitness center and additional housing for seminarians and resident faculty.    

As a part of GMercyU’s Campus Master Plan, the residential housing and Campus Ministry functions currently located in existing buildings will be transitioned to other areas of campus.

The estimated time for the campus transition to be completed is approximately two to three years provided all conditions are met.  

About Gwynedd Mercy University

Gwynedd Mercy University prepares students to become top professionals in the fields of health care, arts and sciences, business, and education. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1948, Gwynedd Mercy University is a co-educational institution offering more than 40 bachelor’s, master’s, and associate degree programs as well as two doctoral programs on a full- and part-time basis. The University’s Main Campus is situated on 314 private acres on Sumneytown Pike between routes 309 and 202 in Gwynedd Valley, Montgomery County. The university also offers on-ground and fully online accelerated degree programs for working adults. Learn more at gmercyu.edu, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About St. Charles Borromeo Seminary

Founded in 1832, Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary has been forming men for priestly service in the Catholic Church for more than 180 years.  In August 2020, the seminary reported an overall enrollment of 154 seminarians.  Saint Charles’ seminarian population is becoming increasingly diverse with approximately 30% of its students now coming from Asian, Latino, or African countries or nationalities. Of the 25 new seminarians, six are seminarians studying for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and there are 75 new or returning seminarians for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia studying at St. Charles. With the generosity of many, these young seminarians are able to successfully transform into the compassionate and loyal priests and inspiring leaders of tomorrow’s Church. For more information, visit www.scs.edu and on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Instagram and YouTube.




Contact: Kenneth A. Gavin
Chief Communications Officer
215-587-3747 (office)