Can an Army officer with a service obligation in the Army Reserves become an FSSP seminarian?
That would be something only the FSSP could answer. They might work with you if your commitment is of limited term. Generally, a priest can only serve in the military as a chaplain.
I don’t know about reserves, but on the website of OLGS, it says that a contract with the National Guard could conflict with seminary attendance. I would imagine it’s the same with the reserves.
This is what they say about military chaplains:
“It would depend on the openness of the military to the liturgical aspects of our charism. The FSSP has no policy against FSSP priests becoming military chaplains. You would need to contact the military branch you are interested in, as they would need to sponsor you for studies here.”
I would also point out that you probably are already a certain MOS, and switching from one to another before fulfilling your minimum obligation is complicated.
I’m not sure if there is a comflict or not, but it would certainly be nice to have some traditional priests within the Forces.
If you are already commissioned in the Army Reserve, you may be able to become a seminarian. The Archdiocese for the Military Services does have a co-sponsorship program. Besides, since you are already serving, time towards service is counted, and the Catholics serving in the Army will probably respect you more, since you have served in a different capacity within the Armed Forces.
You would have to ask the vocations director for the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. If no, I’m sure some diocesan vocation directors (i.e. Wichita, Lincoln and a few others) would be open to someone like you. Priests serving in the Armed Forces are through the Archdiocese for the Military Services, but they are ordained for either a diocese or a religious order, and have permission to serve in the military (and must pass physical requirements and other criteria) from either their diocesan bishop (or archbishop) or their religious superior.
Recently, three priests from the Ordinariate for the Chair of St. Peter (who have prior military chaplain service) were granted permission to serve as Catholic priests in the military.
I believe you’d have to route a request to be reclassified as a chaplain candidate, along with proof that you’ve been accepted to a seminary. I’m sure there is a page somewhere that describes the process from a USAR standpoint.
As to the FSSP thing, generally the military doesn’t really care about your theology or affilliations. After all, military chaplains come from all faiths. All the military cares about is that you have the full faculties of whatever religion you’re a cleric of. So, for example, a Catholic permanent deacon couldn’t be a military chaplain.
OP, do you have a Facebook? I can PM you the Facebook account of a priest of my diocese who’s pretty knowledgable concerning the AMS- He’s a Marines chaplain.
I hope you are my son’s officer. We need more like you in the service.
Unless your son is a chaplain’s assistant, he won’t be.
Chaplain officers don’t command line units. They’re non-combatants, for one.
He is not a chaplain yet.
Fair point, but I would say that an officers religious beliefs generally aren’t the first factor I’d look for. If OP wants to be a priest, that’s awesome, but it doesn’t necessarily mean he’d therefore be a good officer.
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