Books about the College

The Pontifical North American College:
Celebrating 150 Years Of Priestly Formation In The Eternal City

In honor of the 150th Anniversary of the Pontifical North American College, the College commissioned a book that documents its longstanding history. From Pope Pius IX to Pope Benedict XVI, the book shows the events which have shaped the College into the distinguished institution that it is today. Entitled The Pontifical North American College: Celebrating 150 Years of Priestly Formation in the Eternal City, this commemorative book tells our story beginning with the establishment of the North American College in 1859.  It continues to describe the trials and tribulations, the joys, challenges, and growth that we have encountered as an institution through periods such as World Wars I & II and building the campus on the Janiculum Hill.

Most importantly, it describes the cherished traditions that still live on at the College today. Through the inclusion of both historic and contemporary photographs, the anniversary book illustrates the noble mission of the College, showing the efforts to provide the very best spiritual and priestly formation to seminarians and priests. Furthermore, it shows the renewal of our facilities and vision for the future.  This book is dedicated to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, in deep appreciation for his personal friendship with the College.

The book is currently available for $50.00 (plus shipping).  Should you be interested in acquiring a copy of The Pontifical North American College: Celebrating 150 Years of Priestly Formation in the Eternal City, please contact:

The Pontifical North American College
Office of Institutional Advancement
3211 Fourth Street, NE
Washington, D.C. 20017
Phone: 202-541-5411
Fax: 202-722-8804


The Second Founder:
Bishop Martin J. O’Connor and the Pontifical North American College

On September 14, 1948–the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross—the College reopened, having been closed for eight years because of World War II. The few New Men arrived, not on the Via dell’Umilta, still controlled by the Italian government and in ruins, but to the war-ravaged, half-restored Villa Santa Caterina in Castel Gandolfo. In March, 1949 they finally entered the City, returning to the birthplace of the College near the Trevi; in October, 1953, to the new College sull’Gianicolo. The unsung hero, who reopened the College, restored the College properties and directed the construction of the New College was Bishop Martin J. O’Connor.

For two years, Monsignor Stephen DiGiovanni (NAC’77; CSM‘83) has researched the work of the first post-war rector and has completed a book about him: The Second Founder: Bishop Martin J. O’Connor and the Pontifical North American College. The archives of the Propaganda Fide, and of the College in Rome, those at The Catholic University of America, the Archives of the Archdiocese of New York, and those of the Knights of Columbus in New Haven generously shared their unpublished  correspondence and other documentation concerning these post-War events, so momentous for the life of the Catholic Church in the United States. The preface is by Raymond Cardinal Burke; the nihil obstat granted by Timothy Cardinal Dolan. You’ll find this a good read!

To order a copy, hardcover, softcover or E-book, please contact: or Barnes&
All proceeds and royalties will go to the College.

The ISBN numbers are:
9781466961494 Hardcover
9781466961500 Softcover
9781466961517 E-Book


Aggiornamento on the Hill of Janus:
The American College in Rome, 1955-1979

On October 14, 1953, Pope Pius XII presided over the dedication of the new Pontifical North American College seminary on the Janiculum Hill above Saint Peter’s Basilica. Nearly one hundred years had passed since the Seminary’s founding, and the Pope considered the new campus’ completion “a stronger flame of hope for the Church in the United States of America and in the world.” Devotion to the Holy Father, the grace of priestly ordination, and a solid training in the Church’s teachings were the three treasures that young men trained at the “NAC” brought back with them to the United States as priests.

In this follow-up to Father Robert McNamara’s monumental work, The American College in Rome, 1855-1955, Monsignor Stephen M. DiGiovanni advances the history of the College over the next quarter century. The American students in the 1950s were not the same as those who had lived in the old seminary during the previous century. The world was very different after numerous revolutions, social upheavals, and two world wars. Other forces were at work as well, including some changes just beginning to take place in American society, which would become radically and publicly manifest on American university and seminary campuses during the next decades – even in Rome. If prior to the Second Vatican Council everything was clear and regimented, then during and after the Council less and less was clear-cut or well-defined on the “Hill of Janus.” In fact, few could have predicted the aggiornamento or “updating” that was on the horizon that would profoundly reshape, for better or worse, the NAC and its future priests.

All proceeds from the sale of this book will benefit the Pontifical North American College. To order a copy please go to or to Midwest Theological Forum.

The ISBN number is:
978-1-939231-62-8 Hardcover with Dust Jacket