Do I have to ask the Bishop

Dear Forum

I live in the Diocese of London. I feel called to Holy Priesthood.

I want to go off to a Seminary of my choice. Is this possible? or am I mandated to tell my Bishop or the vocations office? Or at least inform His Excellency?

I was looking at Our Lady of Guadelupe Seminary, as I want to be involved more in the traditional side of Holy Mother Church, just like my friend, TradCatholic. But after reading a thread, Am I not allowed to go where I want? to a Seminary of my choice?

Please reply

Congratulations on your discernment, and I pray your vocation may bless us richly.

Start with your diocesan office of vocations. I’d imagine you’d have some contact with the bishop. As for being required to attend a given seminary, I’m not sure. Two seminarians who have served our parish have been from other dioceses - one local (Springfield, Mo.), the other actually from Lincoln. I don’t know the financial arrangements or availability, so I couldn’t say.

If you have a reason for attending a specific seminary, bring it up, perhaps something can be arranged.

I don’t know how things work in Ontario, but across the lake in western NY, you must be sponsored by the diocese or an order to attend seminary. So either the Bishop or the Superior needs to be involved.
Also, in the US, the guidelines laid out in the Program for Priestly Formation must be followed, whether you are regular or secular.

I would guess that the Canadian Bishop’s Conference has a similar program.

You might want to read the PPF. I would imagine, that since it was written as a direcetive of Blessed JPII, it would relevant to just about anyone considering a vocation to the priesthood, even if all of what is in it is not “required” where you may reside.

If you have trouble with the diocese seminary, it may be possible to complete your formation with a religious order. A former pastor of mine did this. Later, he discerned that he was indeed called to the diocesan priesthood and was able to transfer from his order to a diocese.

If you want to work in a diocese start off by being obedient to that diocese and the way it does things!

When you finish high-school, if you still feel called to be a priest, go talk to the vocation director.

I am a trad Catholic and not in any regilous order but however i do understand how things work… Jesus is all about obedience and he gives great graces to those souls who obey,
you could treat this as your first test of obedience to the church. and following God’s Will for you.
Let Jesus led you

Divine Mercy Prayer For Vocations
Lord Jesus, transform the hearts and lives of those You are calling to serve as priests, brothers and sister in Your Church.
Make them living reflections of Your Heart and channels of Your Mercy to others.
Open their eyes to see Your presence in souls around them: open their ears to the appeals of others, inspire them with Your message of forgiveness and comfort.
Strengthen them for the service of those in need as You prepare them to reflect Your Mercy.
Lord Jesus , call many generous souls to Your service, and transform them into ministers of Your Mercy, for you can do all things.

(by the way i am in northern ireland)

First thing to understand: Wherever you end up applying, you will go to the Seminary that the diocese or religious order sends you to. You may be rarely given a choice of X or Y, but you cannot choose P.

This is part of obedience that you will have to profess whether you’re a secular or religious priest. If you start out your formal discernment debating with a bishop or Superior (or vocations director) on where you want to go, that throws up a big red flag. It is something that seminary formators will be watching and it is something that they will expect to see progress in. No bishop is going to ordain a priest they can’t trust to follow what they say (which will include “go to parish R” or “go to the town of Q in the middle of nowheresville”, or it could even include “you are not able to publicly celebrate the EF because you are not allowed to celebrate any more Masses”).

If you were to apply for the Diocese of London, you’ll probably end up at St. Peter’s in London (since St. Peter’s is in London. It has both a philosophy and theology program in-house, so you would be there for the whole ride). I know you mentioned something a while back about Christ the King, but the only diocese that sends to CtK is Vancouver. I believe Our Lady of Guadelupe Seminary is the FSSP seminary, and only the FSSP uses it.

Now, do you have to ask your bishop if you’re joining a religious group or other diocese? No, that you don’t have to do.

You go to the seminary your diocese chooses. I think thats what its like in every diocese in the US. I live in the Diocese of Birmingham (AL) and Bishop Baker sends the seminarians to either Notre Dame (LA) or Pontifical College Josephinum (OH) Dont know how it is elsewhere.

Could you could move to the diocese of the seminary you wish to attend? Then that would be your bishop.

PS: I’m not a big believer in what most people consider “discernment.” True discernment leads to openness to God’s Will, but in my experience, most people use the term to mean something more like, “I’m going to look at all my options then decide on the one that is most agreeable to me.” And if the Apostles had taken the time to sit around and “discern” instead of following when the Lord called, we wouldn’t have a Church today.

If you are called to the holy priesthood - go, and become a priest!
Just my $0.02. :slight_smile:

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