I am thinking about becoming a priest, how would it work from my current situation?


#1

Hello All,

I have just graduated from college with a Bachelors degree. I am looking forward to see what I want to do with my life, and one of the thoughts that has always been deep in my heart is th desire to become a priest. However I am unsure about where to go from where I am.

I currently have a Bachelors Degree in Computer Animation. I have heard that having a bachelors degree means that you would go to seminary for four years instead of 8, however I am not sure if my degree would qualify for that. I however have a willingness and devotion to dedicate my time to making it count, if it would help me out.

I am wanting to go to a seminary, however I don't have the money to be able to pay for it right now, and the thought of financial obligations, student loans, etc is the main problem holding me back right now. I have the desire to serve God, however I do not know how I could make it work. Both my parents and I are unemployed, and the way the economy is right now, I just don't think I will be able to find an animation job.

Even if I did, my heart would not be in it. During college, I enjoyed helping others with animation, and my prayer and devotion to God more than the animation work itself. Now don't get me wrong, I don't think of becoming a priest as a "job" I know what is involved and the devotion, time, and hard work required along the path to priesthood.

It is always something that i only slightly considered before, but after examining my heart and conscience farther, I think it is time for me to take the next step.

Since I decided that joining the priesthood needed farther consideration, I have went to talk to two priests in my area. They both gave me some good suggestions, and I got a daily prayer book from one of them that I have since been using. I also am now a catechist and I am co-teaching a School of Religion class. The first class was last night, and the more time i spend reading, preparing, or teaching for the class, the more I like the information and experience and prayer involved.

There is an event in our Diocese in late October, that will give more information, however it is far away and I am trying to get some more information now. I know now that the priesthood is a strong possible option for my future, however it is all new to me, and I have no idea on what or where to get started. I was hoping you would be able to help me.


#2

First off, may God bless you for considering the priesthood! Stay open to his will, and you will never go wrong.

I would say to you that first off, if you have a college degree going in, you're most likely looking at 6 years of formation. The first two, called Pre-Theology are spent in philosophical studies, and then four in graduate theological studies and proximate preparation for the priesthood. If you already had a degree in philosophy, you might be able to go straight into theology, although that would depend upon what your bishop and seminary would prefer you to do. I can say that I might have academically qualified to go straight into theology, having an undergrad degree in both theology and philosophy, but I'm grateful that I was sent through the initial two years first, as I needed the formation as well.

As for the financial concerns--you do not pay for seminary. Most dioceses will pay for all of it, and the ones that don't generally pay for at least Pre-Theology and Theology. If you had to go through college seminary (which you wouldn't, already having a degree), some dioceses will ask that you pay all or part of it, for which loans are available. If you have outstanding school loans to pay off, it depends upon the diocese and the seminary again, but in most cases, provided they are not too burdensome, you can get a deferment for the duration of your time in seminary.

I would advise you to contact the vocations director of your diocese and bring up the concerns you might have to him, as he'd be able to give you more information specific to your situation. Know of my prayers for you, and feel free to PM me with any questions.

-ACEGC


#3

I was just going to say, Vocations Director.

Thanks for considering this service to God and Man.


#4

So far so good. Talk to your Vocation Director if you haven't already done so.

Since you haven't studied much philosophy formally (30 credits are usually required before entering the final four years of seminary, called the "Theology" tract), you could enroll in a Pre-Theology program. This would be a two year program where you would study Philosophy, before beginning your studies in Theology for the final four years.

Seminary usually doesn't cost anything, but some dioceses are wary of accepting people who wouldn't be able to keep up with pre-exisiting debts and loans.

Best option is to talk to the diocese's Vocation Director. He knows all the specifics for your diocese.


#5

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