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Most Rev. Salvatore Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco, announced on Wednesday, Feb. 19, the appointment of Rev. Gladstone H. Stevens, S.S., as the new permanent President-Rector of St. Patrick’s Seminary & University in Menlo Park effective June 1, 2014.

Until recently associate professor of Theology and Vice Rector at St. Patrick’s Seminary, Fr. Stevens is best known as someone who combines theological knowledge with religious counsel and encouragement. At St. Patrick’s he is regarded as an articulate and engaging professor of dogmatic theology. In California and beyond, he regularly gives retreats, days of recollection, and talks especially to priests but also to laypeople seeking to deepen their faith.

Archbishop Cordileone noted, “Fr. Stevens is highly esteemed by many groups in California. Bishops, seminarians, and laypeople all respect his preaching and spiritual insights. He’s faithful, clear, eloquent, humorous, and friendly. What more could a seminarian ask for in the rector of the seminary?”

For his part, Fr. Stevens is delighted, both for himself and for the Sulpicians, who have led St. Patrick’s Seminary since its founding in 1898. “I definitely want St. Patrick’s,” said Fr. Stevens, “to be perceived as a premier seminary in the West, a place where seminarians receive theological, practical, and spiritual training to be effective priests.”

Fr. Stevens is taking his new appointment as leader and administrator very seriously. Acknowledging his background is more theological than administrative, he plans to burnish his managerial skills by participating in a special management seminar this summer at the University of Notre Dame. The seminar is specifically designed for senior administrators in Catholic institutions of higher education.

Born in Connecticut and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Fr. Stevens graduated from Quincy College in Quincy, Illinois, in 1989. After graduate biblical studies at Vanderbilt University, he obtained his PhD in Theology from Marquette University (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) in 1997. Ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Louisville in 2000, after a few years of parish work he started teaching theology at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore. Even as he continued to teach there, he obtained his Licentiate in Sacred Theology in 2007. 

As a member of the Society of Saint Sulpice, a community of diocesan priests dedicated to educating and guiding future priests and fellow priests, Fr. Stevens arrived at St. Patrick’s Seminary in 2008 and assumed the position of Vice Rector and Academic Dean, a position he has held for the past six years. Asked about his many activities in the Bay Area, Fr. Stevens says, “I have enjoyed working with the seminarians, but with many other groups as well. I am gratified that others find my presentations helpful. For my part, associations with communities such as the Poor Clares, the Order of Malta and Legatus stimulate my faith.”