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Prospective Seminarians

Do you feel called to discern in seminary?

For men considering a vocation in the Catholic diocesan priesthood, they are strongly encouraged to contact their own parish priest and diocese’s Vocation Office. Candidates for the diocesan priesthood will go through a process within their own diocese before being accepted at the Seminary. The formation at St. Joseph Seminary varies on the candidate’s educational background. Some will start off with a Bachelors of Arts in Philosophy. For people with a degree or some University experience, they will still need to take the required philosophy courses to move on into Theology. After philosophy, there is the Propaedeutic year that acts as a spiritual reflection and introduction to Theology. Lastly, Theology will be taken at Newman Theological College, and an internship placement in a parish in their own diocese, where the final years of formation to the priesthood take place.

Prospective men may experience the life of a seminarian during Come and See weekends held twice a year. This retreat includes meeting with the formation team of faculty priests, partaking in vocation sessions and testimonies, participation in the liturgy, and informal discussions with the seminarians. Come and See weekends act as an information weekend, and while attendance at one of the weekends is not a requirement to enter the seminary, it may be helpful in the decision to further discern here.

Admission Requirements

Formation Overview explains this in more detail

St. Joseph Seminary is open to men who have, at a minimum, successfully completed high school and who are sponsored for the Roman Catholic priesthood by their Diocese. A letter of sponsorship is required from their Bishop.

To apply, candidates must submit an application form. This form and a list of required documents are available through the candidates' Vocation Director. For contact details check the applicable diocesan Vocation Office web site. With the approval of the bishop, the candidate’s application would be forwarded to St. Joseph Seminary by his Vocation Director. For more information about the seminary please Contact Us. You may also visit the seminary by making arrangements with the Rector in advance.

Academic Requirements

An applicant to the Seminary would need the basic requirements to enter Post-Secondary studies. The Vatican requires certain Philosophy Courses completed to move on into Propaedeutic and Theology years. For more detailed information, Contact Us.

Where do I start?

If you feel that you have a call to diocesan priesthood or think it might not be a bad idea, the first step is to contact your Vocation Director or your parish priest.  He will talk to you about where you are in your discernment journey, then go from there.  You might be ready right away or you might need some time to pray over this journey.  Please go to the website of your diocese to find the contact information for your Vocation Director or simply talk to your parish priest.


Welcome to the 2020-2021 Seminarian Online Report!

Throughout the year, we will be posting photos and comments from seminarians, formators, alumni, and more to give you an idea of the life we live as seminarians.

If you are a prospective seminarian, you may find this report interesting to follow as you discern entering the seminary.  If you have any questions about the articles posted in this section, please email Cathy Pasternak from the Contact Us webpage and direct your message to the SJS Newsletter Committee. If you are a former seminarian, feel free to email your stories and we will potentially post them in our column!  We look forward to sharing our journey with you!

Chris Pugh
SJS Newsletter Editor 2020/2021


Ever since I started seminary five years ago, I always looked forward to my internship year and regarded it as the year that would definitively answer the question. Yes, you know, that question; the question that every man contemplating entering the seminary asks himself. The same question that—believe it or not—every man already in the Seminary continues to try to answer: does God want me to be a Priest?

Personally, I have always found relationships and experiences to be better teachers than academics. I learn better from hands-on experiences and working with people than from intellectual pursuits. Thus, when I entered Seminary, I lamented the years that separated me from the internship year. 'Five years!?' I thought. I figured that if I could have that year first, I could answer the question faster and move on with my life.

It has now been four months since I started this internship year. It has been a great experience so far, but very quickly, I have also realized that it has been so largely because of those five years spent in seminary formation.

At the Seminary, some things change from year to year: the community, classes, pastoral assignments, etc. However, once you get into the daily routine, the days go by, and the year is gone. Some days you feel great: you are getting your prayer time in, doing well in classes, getting along with your brothers, etc. Some other days it does not feel so good: prayer is dry, academics are hard to understand and keep up with, guys frustrate you, etc. And so it seems like the years go by, and it can be hard to discern how you are growing. But grow you do, and this is what these four months of internship have made me realize.

The grind of the day-to-day and the ups-and-downs of seminary life may obscure how getting up early to pray, staying up late studying instead of going to sports or the TV room, or putting up with the guy you don't like are accomplishing anything. But now, these months of internship have helped me realize how much I have grown over the last five years, how poorly prepared I would have been without them, and much more growth is still needed. It has been a very humbling and gratifying experience.

Contrary to what I expected as a new seminarian five years ago, one more deeply reveals my unworthiness of this call and makes me continue to wonder how God could be calling me. Ultimately, it is nothing less than an adventure to follow God's will: to ask the question and to jump in.

"Follow me," He tells each of us. Only He knows what in His providence He has in store, but one thing we can be sure of: following Him will never leave us disappointed.

 -Santiago T.


 

After a month and a half of beautiful weather and outdoor sports nights, we have now moved the sports inside. Ultimate frisbee, ultimate football, and soccer were the featured outdoor sports for September and the beginning of October, and now as we move inside, hockey reigns supreme. Sports nights are a great way for the guys to burn off excess energy and grow as a community!