Life in the Roman Seminaries

Dear Friends,

I hope to go and study at the Pontifical Scots College when I am 17 or 18 (I am 15 now). I was wondering:

[LIST]
*]What does anyone know about the Scots College in Rome?
*]Do the Pontifical Universities provide good traditional education?
*]What is life in a typical Roman Seminary like?
[/LIST]

In regards to the last question, I mean; how is it different to other seminaries, generally other seminaries having all the facilities on campus, whereas of course, in Rome, there is travel. Does the College become more of a house than a College? Are they ran in a “Ora et Labora” (Pray and Work) style? - I’m really making a query more about the Daily life of a Roman College.

Thanks in advance!

*In Magnam Fidem,

Deus Salus Nostra* :gopray2:

Without wanting to state the obvious, would it be a better idea to pose your questions to the Scots College. There is a contact form on their website, where you can ask your questions. It even has a page looking at daily life in the seminary.

scotscollege.org/

Hope it may be of some help.

Are you sure you could go that early? I know that my Archdiocese (Boston) requires a Bachelors degree for any study at a Major Seminary including NAP. I’m not sure about the Scots, though.

For some men, they ask you to go to University for four years after High School, then re-apply, but I don’t want to do that.

I’m 99 percent sure this is what I want to do. I am learning Italian, Latin, Philosophy, Theology and Philosophy as aften as I can, and I know the GIRM and the Rubrics of 1962 Missale Romanum like they are a second creed. I want to study this stuff. I am happy to do this if the Lord calls me so.

Our current Bishop is letting people go to Rome straight after High School more and more these days.

But, he is also known for telling potential seminarians to go off to University for 4 years, then phoning them up in July and saying “Be in Florence next week for an Italian Language Course, you’ll start Seminary in August.”

Though, I really should e-mail the Scots College with these questions, or I’ll track down the Rector when he returns to the diocese at Easter (hehehe)

Thanks for all the help. :gopray2:

I think you misunderstand. For instance, I am going to a College Seminary for Boston, I will be a College student and a Seminarian. This is required for Major Seminary. I don’t know how they do it in Scotland, but that is how it is conducted in Boston. It is great preparation, and it is still Seminary.

It isn’t up to you, nor should it be. My director is very cautious with over hasty applicants, I advise you to not be so forward, especially at 15.

Yes, you should. Why did you laugh at the end of that paragraph, by the way?

May the SACRED HEART BLESS YOUR DESIRE!!

May HE make You a Priest and Saint for Holy Mother Church.

I love your passion and action in learning what is needed. Keep it up!

Lol. It’s exactly the right attitude to have if you DON’T want to go to Rome. When you’re 99% sure of your vocation before having spoken to the vocations director, you’re going to be in for a rather rude awakening. :wink:

Even besides that, you probably won’t be ready for Rome, to the best of my knowledge. At 17/18, most people aren’t prepared academically for studies there; and you probably won’t be mature enough for it either. There’s a reason they make you get your B.A. first these days.

The best way to find out what life is like in a particular seminary is to ask a current seminarian - preferably one who is in their first year. You should also make contact with someone (probably through your vocations director) who will be starting at Scots College later this year. Of course the problem with the first of these for you is that all Scottish seminarians study in Rome and, unless they return to their home dioceses for Easter, may not be back until the summer break. Another (or perhaps additional) step you could take would be to visit it yourself, for a weekend or week (ask your vocations director about this). I would strongly recommend this if it’s possible so that you can get a feel for the place and a taste for seminary life there - after all you may go there and feel that you’re absolutely in the wrong place (unlikely though it may seem).

It’s good that you’re keen but don’t forget that everything happens in God’s time and not yours. Although it’s difficult, you need to place your trust in God and surrender to His will by allowing yourself to be guided by the advice and decisions of your vocations director and bishop. I know four years probably seems like an absolute age right now, but if you are asked to go to university first, then that time will always be of value to you in later life.

Being a seminarian (and a priest) is about more than just knowing the GIRM, rubrics and Latin - it’s about being a shepherd for God’s people which is a tough ask for anyone. You may well be prepared emotionally, and spiritually for seminary life (even in Rome) but again, hard though it is, you need to trust that, if this is what God’s plan is for you, it will happen in His time which may be in a couple of years or it may be after four years at university.

Being a seminarian (and a priest) is about more than just knowing the GIRM, rubrics and Latin

Yes, I understand this… but these things interest me whether I go to seminary or not - the Pastoral and Spiritual Formation will surely come along later.

It isn’t up to you, nor should it be. My director is very cautious with over hasty applicants, I advise you to not be so forward, especially at 15.

I have done all my discernment with the Vocations Director and a Priest-Friend who is just out of the PSC - he didn’t go to University, he was ordained at 25. I have the desire, yes, now the discernment lies in whether this is what GOD calls me to do, and I have been told; most of the discernment starts when you actually go to seminary.

I think you misunderstand. For instance, I am going to a College Seminary for Boston, I will be a College student and a Seminarian. This is required for Major Seminary. I don’t know how they do it in Scotland, but that is how it is conducted in Boston. It is great preparation, and it is still Seminary.

There are no major or minor seminaries in Scotland and all the Universities are mainly Presbyterian. The Scottish Catholic Church just keeps one big Seminary in Rome, another in Spain and seminaries in England are available for use too, for those who only speak English.

There are (normally) two ways in Scotland apparently:

A) 4 years of university, then 7/8 years at seminary
B) Or straight into Seminary after High School, or a year after High

To clear up a few things:

You will not be able to attend a Pontifical University directly out of high school. Pontifical Universities award graduate degrees. This means that before you’re able to enter ANY major seminary, you’ll need a Bachelor’s Degree first (preferably in Philosophy).
If you’re as eager as you say, I’d recommend trying to find a College Seminary. At a College Seminary, you’ll be surrounded by other men discerning a vocation to the priesthood, and you’ll study for your B.A. there.
Once you get your B.A., it’s up to your bishop, not anyone else, to decided where you go to major seminary. It could be your country’s Pontifical University. It could be somewhere else. Maybe he’ll even send you across the pond to us for a bit :smiley:

Talk to your vocations director. Figure out if you are eligible to enter a College seminary, or a University first. Everything after that is up to your bishop.

Try to find a copy of To Save a Thousand Souls by Fr. Brett Brennan. It goes over much of this stuff in detail, as well as other things in discernment.

Here:
scotscollege.org/the-scots-college-magazine/summer,-mmx/first-year-in-rome.aspx

A First-year student in Rome. Straight from High School at age 18. It’s happening more and more often apparently. You can definitely do this.

Also, You do a Licence in Philosophy (PhL) for the first two years of Seminary - There aren’t any Catholic Philosophy courses in Scotland itself. I guess that serves as the BA. I believe that you then have the usual; two years Theology licence, two years Theology baccalaureate and then a years specialisation in a certain area (during the year that you are a deacon).

This thread was created because I was really just wondering what life is like in a Roman Seminary. It is possible, and increasing common, for men to leave right after High School for Seminary.

I am assuming that the seminary will act more like a Home than a College, i.e. I would live there, but study at the Universities, as opposed to the Seminaries in the UK, that teach and study on campus. Is my assumption correct?

Thanks,

Deus Salus Nostra :gopray2:

I didn’t know that. Pretty cool! If the bishop sees it as appropriate, I hope you’re able to handle it. It would be a wonderful opportunity.

I am assuming that the seminary will act more like a Home than a College, i.e. I would live there, but study at the Universities, as opposed to the Seminaries in the UK, that teach and study on campus. Is my assumption correct?

That’s how the U.S. does it. You live at the North American College and study at one of the pontifical universities.


Don’t make your vocation contingent on studying in Rome, though. If Jesus wants you to be His priest, and your bishop decides to send you to the worst seminary in the U.K., buckle down and do what he says. It’s about obedience, obedience to God and to your bishop. Note that Jesus didn’t study with the best rabbis, living it up in Jerusalem (the Jewish equivalent of Rome). He lived in a poverty, worked with His hands until He reached maturity and wisdom, obedient to the Father until the end. If your bishop decrees this for you, follow him; ultimately, following his guidance will make you a better, holier, and more selfless priest. It will also help you become a saint, which is what this is all about, after all. :thumbsup:

Don’t make your vocation contingent on studying in Rome, though. If Jesus wants you to be His priest, and your bishop decides to send you to the worst seminary in the U.K., buckle down and do what he says. It’s about obedience, obedience to God and to your bishop. Note that Jesus didn’t study with the best rabbis, living it up in Jerusalem (the Jewish equivalent of Rome). He lived in a poverty, worked with His hands until He reached maturity and wisdom, obedient to the Father until the end. If your bishop decrees this for you, follow him; ultimately, following his guidance will make you a better, holier, and more selfless priest. It will also help you become a saint, which is what this is all about, after all.

Amen, Frater!

I have spoken to my spiritual director about this (our Bishop will be retired soon apparently, so we have not to consult with him) - he says it would be fitting for me, in particular, to go to Rome (I didn’t actually ask why, come to think of it, could it be because I can strike up conversation in Italian? I don’t know) I am also considering joining the FSSP - again, further discernment is needed, and I know that Oscott Seminary in England is always available, but it is both the preference and the norm for Scots to study in Rome nowadays.

I would like to go to Seminary myself to deepen my discernment and widen my spectrum a little. Now, in practical terms, I have been told to look at seminaries like I would look at Universities. I would prefer not to go to a “fluffy” seminary, but if that is a challenge I will have to face, I live in hope that authentic faith, orthodoxy and truth prevail in whatever I do, whether it be a Priest or a Musician.

*In magnam fidem,

Deus Salus Nostra *:gopray2:

It sounds like you have your head on straight, brother. That’s the whole point of the seminary: discernment. Once a man gets it into his head that he is certainly called to the priesthood, he’s on the wrong path. No man can be certain of this until the bishop lays his hands on the man’s head at the ordination.

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