Hello, I recently asked my priest about me looking to a Catholic High School Seminary, or minor seminary. I am currently in the 8th grade. About to be in High School.
I am also looking and discerning the call to the priesthood.
He said he does not recommend one, but has not cancelled the complete option of going to one. He said with full permission from my parents, he will give us more information regarding these schools.
There are only 5 or 6 in the US. And so far, none is Georgia as I see. So I will be several states away. My mother is very worried that if I go, I might get into trouble. She does not trust, as I trust, the clergy.
I have a question about these. Could one enter at 10th grade? I hope to enter, with full permission and prayer at 9th. AND, is this funded, including travel, boarding, and education, b the diocese?
Thank you very much. PLEASE pray for me, as well as my mother. I know I will be praying HARD for this opportunity concerning these schools.
I see your little religion thing in your name tag says you are to be confirmed Easter. This begs the question how long have you been Catholic? I am 16 and am getting baptized and confirmed on Easter, I too am discerning priesthood. The people I have talked to said that it would be a good idea to wait for two years and be a normal lay Catholic before trying anything drastic. Now another thing is high school seminaries are few and far between nowadays, good luck finding one near you friend.
A wonderful one is Saint Lawrence High School Seminary in the Wisconsin area. It’s been around since the eighteen hundreds, and it’s very good. It is about 10,000$ a year, and that includes books, board, and meals. Everything is provided for you except travel. The man I spoke to said that they have students from all over, and the families car-pool in order to make it affordable. They have never turned a student away because he couldn’t pay, so if money is a problem I am sure you will be fine.
Also, if your mother is worried about the clergy, she needs to work on this. The Priests that were involved in those scandals are about 0.1% of the clergy, and no more. It is not very common, and we’ve been finding that many of the accused Priests are turning out to be completely innocent.
If you want one closer, I hear there is one in Conception, Missouri. I’m not sure about prices or anything, so you’ll have to check out the website. That is, if it actually exists.
And as for your other question, you will be allowed to enter when you are fourteen and up. You will take an entrance exam. You cannot fail it. It is simply to see where you’re at. If you’re below what they want, they will help you to be where they want, and you will enter. You will enter at whatever grade your parents believe you’re at. I’m fifteen, but if I entered my parents would probably send me in as a freshman, as I have never been in a real class like that before, and it would take some time for adjustment. I’m pretty sure you can enter as a sophomore and graduate when you’re seventeen if you’re that academically gifted.
Some dioceses pay for Seminary. I do not think many pay outright for the minor (College) seminary. Some dioceses pay for the major seminary, some help the candidate pay for it, there are some that require that the candidate cover the costs.
It varies by diocese.
I do not think any diocese helps with the costs of high school seminaries. I do not think that many would even encourage their use today.
Prudence is a cardinal virtue and all young Catholics should remember that. I doubt that any bishop would support any vocational decision before the age of 18 or even before the end of college. My suggestion is to grow up emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually and the best place to do that is at home where the family provides spiritual guidance and a nurturing environment.
Also get involved in your parish. I can’t tell you how many say they are discerning a vocation yet are not active within their parish. That is usually a flag for the vocations director to send them back.
After all, if you are not active in your local Church then how can you be discerning a vocation to being active in the greater Church?
The Church still encourages dioceses and religious communities to have high school seminaries. Therefore, the Church thinks that someone can discern when they are under 18. We have many saints who discerned young.
Do most American seminarians discern at such a young age today? No, but I don’t see why that means some can’t. I also see that a diocese may not see the dedication of personel and money to such an endevour as the best use of reasources and not have high school seminaries. Each diocesean bishop and vocation director need to do what they think is best to promote vocations, and unless it is outright heresy or completely farsical, I don’t have the information to make a judgement.
Some dioceses and communities support minor seminaries, and unless we want to put ourselves above the Church’s judgement, we shouldn’t judge them either.
This is one option for discernent; staying at the parish is another. For some one is better, for some the other. Without speaking with someone personally, I have no way to tell which is better for them.
I myself am a memebr of the only community that maintains two high school seminaries in the US. We accept anyone who has the proper dispostions to discern if their parents too support the formation independent of economics. (Both start at 7th grade but we very often receive teenagers for 9th or 10th grade.)
No. As stated in the post, your parents pay for it. The Diocese pays for minor seminary because it is actually for men that are studying for the Priesthood. High school seminary is basically just a board school, and does not help you in terms of seminary. What that means is you won’t be able to skip a year of minor seminary or anything. You’ll have to go through all eight years (Unless you join the FSSP, whom only have seven years in their program).
Again, this is a variable thing. I spoke with a couple of dioceses when I was in my discernment phase and none of them would cover minor (college) seminary. One of them would make a low interest loan for it, the others told me I would need to get student loans.
As for the major seminary, some pay for it, some pay for it but then require the man to pay back some of it after they are ordained, some require student loans for the whole thing. I was not “lucky” enough to find any diocese that would cover the whole cost on its own.
But then I figured out that the secular priesthood was not for me.
(keep in mind that you don’t get a degree with the FSSP seminary)
Sorry, for any misunderstanding. As for “the Church” in this case it would mean the Holy See.
I completely agree that it is up to the ordinary, and see legitimate reasons one may not support a minor seminary. My concern was more to avoid blanket statements either way; the Holy Spirit can work in many different ways.
As I stated in my longer post, my community provides scolarships based on need for part or all of the cost. Again this is religious vs. diocesan priesthood. Plus, even if you join the high school seminary, you can look forward to 10-14 years after high school before ordination in the Legion since we have a 2-year novitiate and an extended period (2-4 years) of apostolic work (in addition to required studies) before ordination.
p.s. sorry for three consecutive posts, I responded to one post then read another…