Saint Marys Native Retires After Teaching For 57 Consecutive Years

 The Rev. Paulinus J. Selle, O.S.B., a native of St. Marys, has been named Professor Emeritus at Saint Vincent Seminary, Latrobe, Pennsylvania Father Paulinus, 83, taught at both Saint Vincent Seminary and Saint Vincent College for 57 years. Father Paulinus taught for 116 consecutive semesters – including three semesters a year for two years during World War II.

Father Paulinus came to Saint Vincent in 1928 to attend the Preparatory School, then the College and Seminary. He was professed as a Benedictine monk in 1934, then went to Rome, Italy in 1936 to earn a licentiate in theology from the Pontifical Atheneum of Sant’Anselmo, the International Benedictine College. He was ordained a priest July 16, 1939, in the Abbey of Montecassino, Italy, by the Most Rev. Gregorio DiAmare, O.S.B., Archabbot of Montecassino and Bishop of Cassino. He returned to Saint Vincent in 1940 to begin teaching theology.

Father Paulinus started teaching moral theology and patrology in the Seminary, then turned to dogmatic (now called systematic) theology. He also taught in the college’s theology department from 1940 to 1963, and was Chair of the Department from 1949 to 1963. After Vatican II he started teaching liturgy, which is what he taught until retirement.

Through the years Father Paulinus has served as Academic Dean of the Seminary (1955 to 1965), and was on the College’s Board of Directors for six years. Within the Monastic community, he was Master of Novices (1971 to 1980), and served on the Archabbot’s Council of Seniors for many years. He taught moral theology from 1940 to 1945, patrology from 1941 to 1986, dogmatic theology from 1945 to 1971, and fundamental liturgy from 1967 to 1997.

In 1987 Father Paulinus received the Nova Et Vetera Award from Saint Vincent Seminary for “Outstanding and Distinguished Service to the Seminary and the Church in priestly formation and theological education.” In February of 1989 he received the Alumnus of Distinction Award from the Saint Vincent College Alumni Association in “recognition of his meritorious service and lifelong contributions to Saint Vincent College.”

That same year he received a special plaque from the Saint Vincent Seminary Alumni Association in recognition of “his inspirational life of dedicated and loving service to the seminary community.”

He marked his 50th jubilee as a priest in 1989, on which occasion he received a special citation from the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He continues to serve as a weekend parish assistant at Holy Family in West Newton.

In 1992 he received an honorary doctorate from Saint Vincent Seminary, and in 1997, in recognition of his lifelong service to the community, the Father Paulinus J. Selle Endowment Fund was established to provide financial assistance to young men studying for the priesthood.

Father Paulinus has two brothers and two sisters living in St. Marys: Bertha (Mrs. Arthur) Anderson; Marcella (Mrs. George) Michael; and Henry and Leo Selle.