Living in Rome


I’m a 15 year old boy discerning the priesthood. I was just wondering how i might go about living/studying in Rome. I would love to be able to spend an extended period of time at the vatican, and I’m just wondering how that would be possible. I already speak fluent italian and am proficient in Latin, if that matters at all. Thank your so much for your answers!


You should probably start my talking the vocations director in your diocese.

My diocese sends some of it’s seminarians to Rome, as well as to seminaries here in the states, but it is not up to the seminarian- the vocations team puts forth recommendations, but ultimately it is the Bishop’s decision.

If you are in the US, you will need a 4-year degree with credits in Philosophy & Theology before you will be accepted to a seminary, as most priests, again in the US, receive Masters of Divinity degress.

Here is a link to the Program of Priestly Formation for the US. It has a wealth of information on the formation process.

Good luck in your discernment and peace be wiht you on your journey! :slight_smile:

My 14 year old is also discerning a vocation. Our priest told us that a spiritual director won’t even consider talking to someone so young. You will need to be at least 16 or 17 if not older before they will talk with you. Also, you can go to seminary college right out of high school. Many who go to seminary college do not enter the priesthood, but they do become better husbands and fathers due to the knowledge they receive of our faith. After seminary college you will continue with seminary graduate school, or if you went to college/university elsewhere you will just attend the seminary graduate school. There are many advantages to attending seminary college vs another college. For one, the cost. You will also have fewer distractions and will also become a better Catholic man. It is something that you will never regret doing, and if God is truly calling you, you will know for sure. But if you are being called towards another vocation, including marriage, God will make that known as well. God bless you.

First of all, as everyone has said, you have to be much older, at least 18, before a Vocation Director works with you.

Secondly, you have to decide if you want to be a secular or a regular priest. If you want to be a secular priest, you have several options. You can join a diocese. You can join a society of apostolic life such as the Vincentians, FSSP, Maryknoll, ICRSS, SOLT or another.

If you feel called to be a regular priest, you must choose between being a monk, friar or clerk and apply to the religious community of your choice.

In all of the above cases, the student does not decide where he will study. The superiors decide. Normally, only the highest ranking students are sent to Rome. That usually means that one has to spend several years at a local seminary or religious house and prove that one is an outstanding academic achiever. One has to prove that one can bring back something to offer that cannot be achieved studying in the USA. It’s not impossible, but it requires that one jump through some hoops.

The other option is to move to Rome and join the Diocese of Rome. I’m not sure how possible that is either. There are international laws that have to be observed. We will keep you in prayer.

Most seminarians who join a diocese or community straight from high school study this degree while living in a college seminary / religious house. Although they attend an outside college, they are in the seminary.

Also if you go to Rome you get a STB (Bachelors in Sacred Theology) rather than an M. Div. but they are essentially the same material.

Luke, if you want to discern a vocation at a young age there are a few high school seminaries in the US. These are boarding schools specifically for those who want to discern a vocation. The Wikipedia Page lists them: 2 out of 5 are run by my community, the Legionaries of Christ.

As well, in the Legion everyone studies both Philosophy and Theology in Rome. We have a giant house of formation here and some live at the Generalate and study. As far as I know we are the only community operating in the USA who does this.

Obviously, a call to a particular community such as mine needs to be discerned beyond just a call to the priesthood. Several who began with me are now diocesan priests or seminarians.

Carus frater Luke,
where are you from? I’m from EU and I’m 17 My bishop will probably send me to the Domus Romana Sacerdotalis in Rome ( next year, one year before I will start my theological study, to practice my Italian and so on. :smiley:

In Christo,
frater “Attempto”

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