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Regional seminary announces interim rector

Father Alfredo I. Hernandez, vice rector at St. Vincent De Paul Regional Seminary, has been named acting rector. His appointment follows the recent news that Pope Francis has named Msgr. David L. Toups, the previous seminary rector, bishop of Beaumont, Texas.

The new post was announced by Bishop Felipe J. Estévez, chairman of the Board of Trustees for the seminary as well as bishop of St. Augustine.

Father Hernandez, himself an alumnus of St. Vincent De Paul, has served as vice rector there since January 2019. Before then, he was a full-time faculty member starting in 2013, as director of liturgy, dean of pastoral formation and academic dean.

Father Hernandez was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Palm Beach in 1992. He also holds degrees in dogmatic theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and in pastoral studies from North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa. After two years as a full-time at faculty member St. Vincent De Paul in the 1990s, he served as a pastor for 14 years in West Palm Beach.

Plans call for him to lead the seminary while the trustees, doubling as a search committee, look for a permanent replacement. Assisting him as acting vice rector will be Father Gregg Caggianelli, dean of human formation.

St. Vincent De Paul is the main training ground for priests in the seven-diocese Province of Florida. It also draws students from the Southeastern United States and the Caribbean. The only bilingual school of theology in the U.S., St. Vincent De Paul has graduated more than 600 priests since it began in 1963.

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