Office of Vocations

Priesthood FAQ’s

Where do you go to become a priest?

If a man is thinking about the priesthood and desiring to know God’s will for his life, he would attend a seminary. Most seminaries are located on the campus of Catholic Universities where the men would attend classes with other students. It is during his time in seminary that a man would be given the spiritual, human and intellectual formation necessary to, not only live out the priesthood, but to discern if he is being called into the priesthood.  Seminaries used by the Diocese

 

How long does it take to become a priest?

If a man starts his seminary formation straight out of high school it will take 8 years of schooling and formation before he is ordained a priest. If a man comes to the seminary after having completed an undergraduate degree he will need to spend 2 years in formation acquiring a philosophy minor in a program referred to as “Pre-Theology”. After the 2 years he will then need to spend 4 years at a major seminary.

 

What type of man is called to be a priest?

There is no one “type” of man called to the priesthood; instead there are qualities found in particular men which indicates that the priesthood may be the vocation God is calling him to. A man considering the seminary should be a man of prayer, who partakes in the Sacraments on a regular basis; is open to formation and is selfless. The reality is many of the traits that make a man a great priest would make him a great husband and father.

 

If I go to seminary, does that mean I am going to be a priest?

No, just because you decide to go to a seminary does not mean you will automatically become a priest or that you are certain this is your vocation. The key reason for going to seminary is an openness to God’s will for you in our life.

This takes time, a lot of study, and a lot of prayer. Statistics show that only about 1/3 of the men who begin college seminary are ordained priests. With this understanding the Church seeks men who are willing to spend time dedicated to formation and spiritual growth.

 

Can I date while in seminary?

For many men the idea of not being married is a huge factor in their discernment against going to a seminary. Some wonder if they could still date while in seminary as they have not made that final commitment. While this sounds like a great idea it is not really fair to God nor the woman you are dating. It is also important for a man to be self-possessed before he makes a commitment to the Church or a woman and living a chaste single life is the foundation upon which a healthy marriage and priesthood is founded.

 

What is an ordination?

An ordination is a liturgical ceremony of the Sacrament of Holy Orders in which a man is received into a ministerial order of the Church, most people are familiar with three types of ordination: promotion to the orders of deacon and priest, and the consecration of a Bishop. The principle act of each ordination is signified by the “laying of hands” just as the Apostles did at the first ordinations of the Church.