Is it acceptable to apply for the diocesan priesthood in a diocese not your own?

Is it?

What do you mean a diocese not of your own. Are you studying for the priesthood? If so, there no rule saying you have to go back to your hometown. If you are already a priest I am sure you can appeal to your bishop for a transfer. This question would probably be best answered by your bishop or even of a priest.

It happens all the time, its just a question of whether the dioceses themselves have internal rules as to whether they can ‘take’ seminarians who have ties to other dioceses. Naturally the strength of these ties is significant–for instance, if you’ve already approached your diocesan vocations director or have advanced even farther.

Yes it is acceptable I believe. It is easier to go through the diocese that you want, than transfer after you are ordained. I thnk

I was just thinking that the only place in America not lacking vocations must be Hawaii.

I’m saying, if a man has no ties to the priesthood, is not a priest, is not in seminary, and is just a layman, could he apply to be a priest in a diocese that isn’t the diocese he lives in, thus having that diocese sponsor him? Or do dioceses generally only take applicants from men who actually live in their diocese? I understand it is a case-by-case thing probably, but I’m wondering if it’s prevalent or discouraged.

I am guessing that you could, but my question is why would you want to? :shrug:
I have a feeling that might also be a question asked of the vocations office.

I like to ask theoretical questions.

Then, theroretically, the answer would be yes, I could see where the situation described could be possible.

Although, I can’t help but to wonder what would motivate someone to seek ordination in a diocese that they have no ties to. And, I would think that, depending what the motivation was, it would have much bearing on whether or not it was allowed.

Could be that to serve God most completely a young man might find the most beleaguered Diocese he can and offer to go there because the need is so great.

Could be he wants to work with South American immigrants and there aren’t that many in Vermont.

Or likes skiing in his off-time. Or really wants to escape his Catholic-hating family. Or needs a better climate for his health. Or…

My advice is, if you have a Diocese in mind, write or call. God bless you in your search.

Many people base their diocese of choice based on who the bishop is, and how traditional they are. This however is not the right way as bishops transfer over time.

So yes a person could apply to one place different, although it is considered rude to apply to two dioceses at a time.

I would suggest the book “to save a thousand souls”

It covers a lot of these questions.

For instance I live 30 min away from the headquarters of the archdiocese of Louisville. However my parish Is under the jurisdiction of the archdiocese of Indianapolis, which is 2 hours away. I could apply to Louisville, but I would perfer to live in my home state if I were a diocesan seminarian. Love my Hoosiers by the way.

Though right now I am considering a religous vocation to the Jesuits in Chicago

To add onto these sentiments, there is a very LARGE number of dioceses in North America, hundreds of religious orders/priestly societies/foundations of apostolic life that would accept your vocation worldwide, &c. Just a complete multitude of options.

If you reduce them all to preferred values in categories of preference, and put all the values and categories out on a spreadsheet, you’ll probably find that each has some ‘fundamental’ drawback and you’ll spend days wracking your brain as to whether you find orthodox tradition more important than having repeatedly harbored child molesters.

Just make sure you feel drawn to the mission of where you’re going, attend several come-and-see events to make sure the reality is what you saw in HTML/paper, and the JUMP into it. That’s the way seminarians did it back in the day–they showed up, proved they knew Latin, and started their work for God.

No endless posts on blogs, forums, or even research. …and for the most part, it worked. Even face-to-face interaction is far superior to all of the above.

I know its far more of a pain in everyone’s rear-end to transfer you later (i.e., after ordination), but those transfers DO happen and dioceses/houses/foundations that conceive of themselves like a family would like to help you, if it turns out you were never a good fit.

Not True, You may think so because of the weather here but we are lacking vocations here as are other places. And to tell you the truth if you are a woman religious there are only a few orders and communities here for woman. So please include us in your prayers for vocations. There is a need. Your Sister in Christ

I think “why” should be examined but I don’t see it being a huge issue. Our priest told a story a about this in a sermon, “Who are you following”? In this case it wasn’t an area to live in, it was people. This seminarian became good friends with another in the seminary and asked when he was ordained to be a part of his diocese and not his and he loved the bishop there very much. Well, 1 year later, the bishop died and 3 years later, his friend left the priesthood…and he was hurt, but who was he following?
He also told of a priest that bragged about his “fan club” when he left a parish, he brought so many with him to the next one, but were they more concerned with him or God or supporting their neighborhood parish?
Just food for thought, nothing entirely wrong with doing these things I suppose, but the focus gets blurry on what you are concerning yourself with.

that was the choice our pastor made during his formation, so he was transferred from his home diocese to a seminary in Texas, and he has never regretted that decision.

yes it is possible, but as always the place to begin is the vocations director of your own diocese

I do not agree that the place to begin is with the vocations director of your own diocese. Contact the vocation directors of any diocese and/or religious institutes that you are interested in. Work with your spiritual director.

The reason I say that you need not contact your diocesen vocations director is that a vocations director is like a recruiter, he is working for the diocese (or religious institute) to get candidates for his organization and will not and can not be much help with other dioceses/religious institutes. This is because each group has it own general guidelines and they may very greatly between them.

Also keep in mind that man vocation directors, especially diocesen ones, have other jobs so if you know you are not going to follow up with it then do not waste their time. Also be aware of this as they may be slow in responding to you. Religious institutes are usually better off on this and have a person dedicated to this position. My province of the Carmelites has 3.

Yes, it is possible. I know many priests who have done this for a variety of reasons. Most of those vocations I know who came out of our college campus ministry ended up in the diocese we went to school in, not their home diocese. Since that is where they had their conversion and where the priests were who inspired their vocation, that is where they felt most at home.

I know another priest who applied (and was accepted) in a diocese he had absolutely no ties to simply because his home diocese didn’t take him. :o But that’s a whole other story. :wink:

I imagine, though, that if one were to do this, they had better be prepared to answer the question of why they want to be ordained in that diocese as opposed to their home diocese.

And I think it’s correct that it’s probably a case-by-case basis. I wouldn’t say it’s a non-issue, but neither is it an insurmountable barrier.

Agreed. “Why” is the most important question. But I’m curious, is this the same person who said previously that your bishop was allowing you to choose where you want to attend seminary? I’m not a “post-searcher”, but your name looks familiar.

I thought I remembered that you were looking for ultra-traditional seminary (my words, not yours).

Anyway, if you’re getting what you asked for, then motive is a reasonable question.

Anyway, to answer the question, as for diocesan work, you belong to your bishop. If you are going to attend seminary, you’ll need references from your pastor and your bishop. We had a guy in seminary whose bishop did not approve him, but he allowed him to seek another diocese, which he did. It did not end well for him.

There were others who had conflicts with their bishops too. None lasted longer than a year.

To summarize: We are called to communion. Oneness. Better for one to reconcile with their diocese than to seek one’s own way.

But that’s just one perspective.


I think yes because for me it’s the same church. God is the same in all dioceses. It depends only on the reasons of your presence in that new diocese. For example i’m french, i arrived here in Quebec as permanent resident and i decided to give my life to god, so i asked my admission here in Quebec.

If you are living for example since several years in another diocese and feel to be better attached in that diocese, i don’t see why you cannot apply in this diocese!

But, if you are native from one diocese, and are living there, and just decide one day to apply for a different diocese, it that case, it’s no acceptable.

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