Law School or the seminary?


#1

Hello,

I am currently a first-year law student who is also discerning a call to the priesthood. I am fairly certain that I am called to be a priest. Should I leave law school now and go to the seminary, or should I wait 3 years until I get my law degree? Is a legal education beneficial to being a priest? I am on a full scholarship, so money is not an issue.

Thank you and God bless!

Catholic Illini


#2

if you want to be a lawyer, go to law school
if you want to be a priest, go to seminary
I don't understand the question.
Yes there are priests (and religious) who are also lawyers.


#3

Have you spoken with your parish priest or at least the Director of Vocations in your diocese? I'd start there rather than here.


#4

I am a lawyer, and advocate for the diocisan tribunal and a deacon, so maybe I can speak to your question. Most diocese are in need of people with legal backgrounds. The annulment process is time, personell and asset consuming. So are social issues that often require a legal mind to fully analyze. Your legal training would definitely, IMHO, greatly benefit you in the priesthood, and your diocese. Often, if given the opportunity and the resources, a diocese will send a seminarian with a law degree to Rome to obtain a degree in canon law. Compared to law school, canon law preparation is pretty easy, especially if you have a civil law degree already.

HOWEVER, I think you need to seriously consider WHY you feel the call to the priesthood. If you discern a calling to be a parish vicar or pastor, the legal degree, although still helpful in that role, may lead your bishop to place you in an adminstrative role, where any calling and desire to serve in the parish would not be fulfulled.

By the way, contrary to popular opinion, being a lawyer and leading a holy life are not inconsistent. :D

Saints Thomas More, Alphonsus Ligouri, Raymond of Peñafort, Theophilus the Lawyer, Yves (Saint Ivo of Kermartin), Cyprian, Ambrose, Jerome, Benedict, Thomas a'Becket, Charles Borromeo, Peter Canisius, Francis de Sales, Turibius, Andrew Avellino, Aprus of Toul, Bernadine Realino, Castor of Apt, Gregory Barbarigo, Gregory Thaumaturgus, James of the Marches, John Houghton, John of Avila, John of Capistrano, Josemaria Escriva, Liphardus of Orleans, Paulinus of Nola, Peter of Alcantara, Salvius of Albi, Satyrus, Blessed Luigi Beltrame Quattrochi, Blessed Angelo Carletti, Blessed Contardo Ferrini, Blessed James the Almsgiver, Blessed John Bodey, Blessed John of Vercelli, Blessed John Storey, Blessed Nazju Falzon ,Blessed Paul Burali d'Arezzo, Blessed Peter de Geremia, Blessed Pope Innocent XI, and Blessed Frederick Ozanam

All lawyers


#5

[quote="CatholicIllini, post:1, topic:258993"]
Hello,

I am currently a first-year law student who is also discerning a call to the priesthood. I am fairly certain that I am called to be a priest. Should I leave law school now and go to the seminary, or should I wait 3 years until I get my law degree? Is a legal education beneficial to being a priest? I am on a full scholarship, so money is not an issue.

Thank you and God bless!

Catholic Illini

[/quote]

I would say: Finish Law School.
You are never sure whether you have a vocation. so, if you get out, you would have your Law School Degree.
On the other hand, the Church needs graduated priests to deal with the dialogue with Science, Biologiy, Mathematics, Physics, Law, Literature and so on. The priest nowadays needs to be cul not only in Theologya and Philosophy and on Life. Your presence in University will mature you so spread better the word of God.
I would advise you to be at all aspects of University Life, so that you may one day understand People's desires anxieties and problems better for you were more involved in people's lives.
In priesthood you will have no time and it is not convenient that you go to bars, to danceterias, to coffee houses, to academic discussions (this could be but you would not be invited). so, as a priest, you will have a deeper (one cannot be tottaly "deep") knowledge of human race and better be able to be understood by your ffaithful for you talk their language.
It is just a reflsction !


#6

[quote="CatholicIllini, post:1, topic:258993"]
Hello,

I am currently a first-year law student who is also discerning a call to the priesthood. I am fairly certain that I am called to be a priest. Should I leave law school now and go to the seminary, or should I wait 3 years until I get my law degree? Is a legal education beneficial to being a priest? I am on a full scholarship, so money is not an issue.

Thank you and God bless!

Catholic Illini

[/quote]

[quote="I_Thirst, post:3, topic:258993"]
Have you spoken with your parish priest or at least the Director of Vocations in your diocese? I'd start there rather than here.

[/quote]

Actually this should be discussed with a spiritual director.

Vocation directors are not spiritual directors and have a whole different job and goal.

Everyone discerning a vocation in the Church should have a spiritual director.


#7

[quote="CatholicIllini, post:1, topic:258993"]
Hello,
I am currently a first-year law student who is also discerning a call to the priesthood. I am fairly certain that I am called to be a priest. Should I leave law school now and go to the seminary, or should I wait 3 years until I get my law degree? Is a legal education beneficial to being a priest? I am on a full scholarship, so money is not an issue.
Thank you and God bless!
Catholic Illini

[/quote]

As another poster stated you could be both - if you are called to both.

If you were not already in Law School under scholarship, I would have recommended "AVE MARIA LAW SCHOOL in FL (which used to be located at the University of Michigan), to insure an accurate Catholic perspective.
avemarialaw.edu/


#8

[quote="ANNE_2, post:7, topic:258993"]
If you were not already in Law School under scholarship, I would have recommended "AVE MARIA LAW SCHOOL in FL (which used to be located at the University of Michigan), to insure an accurate Catholic perspective.
avemarialaw.edu/

[/quote]

Me too. :thumbsup:


#9

[quote="ByzCath, post:6, topic:258993"]
Actually this should be discussed with a spiritual director.

Vocation directors are not spiritual directors and have a whole different job and goal.

Everyone discerning a vocation in the Church should have a spiritual director.

[/quote]

Thanks for the correction & clarification!


#10

[quote="ByzCath, post:6, topic:258993"]
Actually this should be discussed with a spiritual director.

Vocation directors are not spiritual directors and have a whole different job and goal.

Everyone discerning a vocation in the Church should have a spiritual director.

[/quote]

Spiritual director is probably the best advice. In the end you have to follow what you feel best for you and your situation. A spiritual director can help you discern this.


#11

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