I know this rule varies depending on the religious order and diocese. But I know of some dioceses and communities that require the candidate to pay their way through seminary (at least part of it) and others will cover the cost completely. Have their ever been cases where the candidates have not been accepted to or ask to leave a seminary because of their inability to cover the cost? Or a better question would be, has anyone on here ever heard of an incident in where that happened? Because some men truly do have a calling to the priesthood and truly desire to pursue it. However, not all men are wealthy and certainly not all are “middle class” so-to-speak. There are men that come from families that make next to no money at all but I believe that among those families, God calls some of them to be priests. The same is true in families that are wealthy and middle class. Even the FSSP seminaries which require the candidate to pay his way through formation state on their website that they will not ask their candidates to leave just because they cannot cover the full cost although they ask them to pay as much s possible. I personally believe that money should not be a barrier for someone discerning a vocation and it may not be but I was just wondering if anyone has ever heard of an instance of it happening.
There is always a way to pay. If becoming a priest is really a calling from GOD then nothing can stop a person from become what God intends and wish for that person to be.
I believe the diocese picks up the costs for tuition (minor seminary training + local U), room and board. If the seminarian then decides down the road that he is not called to the priesthood, I think there is a discussion about paying back some of the expenses. I don’t think that happens much any more though. It used to be forty men would go to the seminary every August, now it’s 4 or 5 or this year -9.
In most cases the Diocese will pay for your complete education if you go to a Major Seminary. Note, there is a difference between a College Seminary and a Major Seminary.
If you are accepted into seminary, but somehow unable to cover the full costs, the bishop and rector of the seminary will no doubt work with you in order to find the necessary resources. The Knights of Columbus, for instance, devote a lot of money toward the training of seminarians, and I know there are a number of other organizations and funds that do so as well.
I would believe that your superiors would expect you to take a little initiative in order to attempt to make up what you can’t pay, through writing letters to potential benefactors, asking for special collections or publicity of your cause at your home parish, and so forth. I know of one seminarian who has even started a Kickstarter campaign. The best thing in this case would simply to be straightforward with the bishop and rector and to consider what options are available to you.
Yes, we (KoC) do quite a few fundraisers each year to help seminarians. I think we normally have 2-5 that we work to raise money for at any given time.