Becoming a Priest


#1

Can a man become a priest in another diocese? I ask because I am hoping to join seminary as soon as I enter college and the college seminary that my diocese has is tied to a Catholic-in-name-only college. Though I will refrain from mentioning the college's name, I feel that my spiritual journey and discernment will be hindered by this college. I recently visited a college outside of my diocese, Loras college, which seems to be a very Catholic college and a good place to go through priestly formation. As long as I still meet the universal requirements to entering seminary, could I enter that diocese seminary?

As a side-note, I have heard the Archdiocese of Dubuque has a shortage of priests and this has contributed to my multitude of reasons for why I wish to attend this college/seminary.


#2

I'm not sure I understand the question properly. Are you asking if you can attend seminary in another diocese? The answer to that should be obvious as not all dioceses have a seminary at all. Of course you can choose any seminary that accepts you as a student.


#3

That’s right - you don’t have any obligation to join your home diocese. Even more wherever you live more than 6 months - that is your home diocese according to canon law.

The answer to that should be obvious as not all dioceses have a seminary at all.

But even though they don’t have their own seminary - seminarians studying somewhere in another seminary when they finish - they come back to home diocese.


#4

So when I finish seminary, I would have to return to my current diocese or, since I lived in Dubuque Iowa during my seminary years, I would be able to stay?


#5

First things first, one does not just enter a Seminary.

First thing you should be doing is talking to a Spiritual Director if you haven’t already. It’s always suggested to discuss a vocation with a spiritual director.

With respect to the priesthood, you have to have a Bishop sponsoring you before you enter the Seminary. So, you need to talk to the Vocations Director for whatever diocese you’re going to apply to. You are allowed to apply to any diocese you want, but they are going to want to know why you are applying to a diocese if you’re not living there.

If you’re accepted as a Seminarian for a certain diocese, they’re going to assign you to a certain Seminary for philosophy and/or theology. Sometimes they may let you choose between 2 or something, but for most diocese you will be assigned to a certain Seminary and you will not have a choice. Diocesan priests make a promise of obedience to their Bishop when they’re ordained, so at this point it’s time to start living that out.

If you think you’re going to have issues with being assigned to a certain Seminary by a bishop, then you might want to do some thinking about your vocation.

Now, let’s look a little bit more at your question of which diocese. Most people apply for their home diocese because that what they’re connected to. It’s also not that uncommon for men to apply to a diocese where they’ve gone to university (not seminary), especially if they’ve had a faith reversion there. Like I said, if you apply to a diocese you don’t live in, they’re going to want a reason why you’re not applying to your home diocese. I’m going to be honest, saying “I don’t like the college there” is not going to look good because they’re going to ask you “what if you don’t like our college?”

What Seminary you go to is irrelevant. It all depends on which diocese is sponsoring you. If your home diocese sponsors you, then you go home after seminary. But again, whichever diocese accepts you will send you where they do and you likely won’t have a choice in the matter.


#6

No you don’t have to come back anywhere.
That was only a small clarification to Allegra :wink:

I think curlycool89 gave you an extend proper answer.

Diocesan priests make a promise of obedience to their Bishop when they’re ordained, so at this point it’s time to start living that out.

All priest/deacons during ceremony of priestly ordination make that promise - in our case as religious a formula is slightly changed adding promise to superior and “your local ordinary” instead of “me” when the diocesan bishop refers to himself.


#7

Bah. I did have have a point to make here that totally slipped my mind when I got to writing that.

The reason you need to start living it out is that it’s going to become part of your life. If your ordained, the Bishop is going to first assign you as an associate pastor at a parish under another priest. You’re probably not going to be asked, your going to be told. And in obedience, you’re going to go and minister at that parish.

When you become a parish, it’s the Bishop’s prerogative to reassign priests to wherever he needs them most. You may end up at a parish in the middle of nowhere 100 miles from the big city (or even more likely, you end up taking care of 3 small-town parishes in a 50 mile radius away from the big city). And the bishop needs to be able to count on you to do that if asked, with no arguments.

Usually these reassignments take place in the summer (that’s what seems to be normal around here from what I’ve observed), but they could happen at any time. There are many old priests, it’s not unheard of for a priest to unexpectedly pass away, and the bishop may come to you and say “I need you to go take over his parish on the other side of the State next weekend”, and he needs to be able to know that you’re going to say “yes” and just do it.

You could even be assigned to be a chaplain at that College that you don’t like.

You have to trust that you’re going to be OK wherever you’re sent. He never gives you something more than you can handle, but sometimes it will be hard and you will need to grow. It’s all done to draw you more and more into holiness and closer to Him.


#8

Effectively you don't need to return to your own diocese because depending of your seminary and your diocese, during the first years of your training, you have to ask the incarnation for a specific diocese to a bishop.

So after your ordination, you will stay or move in the diocese for which you asked the incardination.

[quote="YoungCatholic86, post:4, topic:280806"]
So when I finish seminary, I would have to return to my current diocese or, since I lived in Dubuque Iowa during my seminary years, I would be able to stay?

[/quote]


#9

I was kind of wondering about this as well and there have been excellent answers,

I served in the Army so I understand what it means to have to "take orders" though the comparision is actually a lot different since well the military is not based on religion,,,, any how

My question is , is a priest allowed to request a transfer to any where ?

not for the sake of being some international traveler, but what if someone has always wanted to serve as a priest in the Vatican(Rome) / or in another country ?

As for priests being assigned I have seen it , I think most all of us have, we had a priest we really enjoyed at our church and he was relocated to a different church all the way on the opposite side of town, and it was his assigned church for a really long time so it came as a shock when he was reassigned.

That and I am curious as to how Catholic Churches are assigned to new areas/ or even dangerous places in the Middle East that allow Catholic Churches ( and i need to do some research because im not even sure how that works ).

I would imagine that there needs to be enough people to first want a Catholic Church in their city/town/or area.


#10

[quote="john78, post:9, topic:280806"]

My question is , is a priest allowed to request a transfer to any where ?

not for the sake of being some international traveler, but what if someone has always wanted to serve as a priest in the Vatican(Rome) / or in another country ?

[/quote]

That is possible. They are two forms.
A priest can work in the other diocese temporarily and then the bishops sign a contract (a contract can be signed between a superior of a religious order and bishop as well) or can join and be incardinated for good, but before that he usually works for some time in that diocese based on signed contract.


#11

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