What do seminaries look for when accepting seminarians?


And Ps, if you're Melkite or Byzantine, then see a Melkite or Byzantine priest, not a Latin Rite, you won't be ordained as bi-ritual.


DasErlibnis, much of that was decidedly unhelpful and downright rude. There is no advice that has been given here that is not common advice, or information found in Church documents such as the Program for Priestly Formation. Priestly and religious formation is about conforming one’s life to Christ. Asking how different orders and charisms do that is not wrong.

“We discern feelings as best we can” is a summary of St. Ignatius of Loyola, The Spiritual Exercises. God often manifests His will in our desires. If we have a deep desire for something, we discern that desire, we test it. The posters here are discerning their desires for different callings, trying to determine which ones are legitimate, and which are not, and which ones may be contradictory.

When you refuse someone because of the actions of another, that is not charity, that’s spite.


This obviously isn’t spiritual direction. I don’t see any harm to help out with encouragement. You’re right, of course when you say to see a spiritual director. But there have been a few on CAF that I’ve discouraged from even wasting a vocation director’s time. Best case scenario is always to do a face to face, but guys have questions and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Were you a diocesan seminarian? You certainly sound like it. :slight_smile: When I was at St Joe’s, there were a few potential vocations that were allowed to mingle with us, and talking to these guys was very informative. One had the position “Hey, the Church needs priests. I figured, why not, ordain me!” Some are less easy to spot.

I don’t think they’re trying to “control” the process. It’s normal to be curious and to ask around. I see you’re new to CAF. These kinds of threads pop up all the time, a few a month. I look for them sometimes to offer encouragement even though I wasn’t ordained. But I’ve been chastised on this thread, and rightly so. It’s easy to remember the bad experiences and be the walking wounded. Many wonderful things happened to me while I was a seminarian, and at the undergraduate level you are discerning.


I have no intent on being “bi-ritual”, but of transferring to the Latin rite as a layman. Please, lay off of the rudeness. You are accusing me of being a closet atheist, a gay, a Muslim sympathizer, and a Communist? Have you any idea of the insult of calling me a Muslim sympathizer? or even an atheist? I don’t hide my leanings towards the social market and Christian Democracy, but that’s far from Communism. A gay? Why, because I’m celibate? Do you not know that all unmarried men must remain celibate? Am I married? No.

I have posted what I perceived to be impediments to see if anyone here knew more about the Law than myself. My priest is being decidedly unhelpful towards vocations in general, and actively hostile towards a Latin vocation or transfer, presenting what I have come to regard as the typical Eastern attitude: “the West is wrong”. I have no more intention of preaching Byzantine doctrine or hesychasm or Palamas’s doctrine than I do of becoming the Pope of Rome. I will not teach to others what I do not believe myself, nor what I believe to be in error - in accordance with St Ignatius of Loyola’s rules of thinking with the (Western) Church - the one about black and white. “Get real.”

“We discern feelings as best we can” is a summary of St. Ignatius of Loyola, The Spiritual Exercises. God often manifests His will in our desires. If we have a deep desire for something, we discern that desire, we test it. The posters here are discerning their desires for different callings, trying to determine which ones are legitimate, and which are not, and which ones may be contradictory.

The Ignatian Exercises are what first sparked the interest in a religious vocation in my mind, or, uncovered or revealed that interest that I had not recognized. St Ignatius found the “just right” amount of mysticism. It’s also one of two main reasons that I had pointed myself towards the Jesuits.

I may become a monk. I may become a priest. I may remain single. I may get married tomorrow. I know not what the final outcome will be: I know only what I desire it to be now, and feel called to the priesthood above all other vocations: but, if you’ve lived two weeks in this world, you realize we don’t always get what we desire. I do hope, by the grace of God, that it be what God desires of me as well. But even I know not, and pretend to know not, the Mind of God.

Ave Maria,
Gratia plena
Dominus tecum.

Benedicta tu in mulieribus
Et benedictus fructus ventris tui

Sancta Maria,
Mater Dei,
Ora pro nobis peccatoribus
Nunc et in hora mortis nostrae.

Hail Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
Hail Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
Hail Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

St Jude, Patron of the Impossible and Lost Causes
Pray for us, and for my further discernment.
And for peace in this world.



No one made an accusation. Nor was anything discouraging said about seminary. What WAS said about the different people who can be found in seminaries (thus diversifying the experience) was said about MY experiences, not yours, and that is plainly obvious. So it is rude and unfair to go attributing accounts and descriptions where they didn't belong. That's called "transferring". What was said was said to make you start* thinking*. There is no blanket description of seminary. The PPF is not even required for religious orders. It was designed to give guidance to diocesans like the religious already supposedly have. But I've known Jesuits, Oblates, Paulists, and Fransiscans in their formations, studied with them all and seen their houses and observed formation processes intimately.

Now, as for what "he" did say. On the one hand he now writes that he intends to drop his byzantine, and go Latin, as it was said:

"I have no intent on being "bi-ritual", but of transferring to the Latin rite as a layman"

But in his previous post, he wrote:

"especially as I personally am getting the run-around with my priest and diocese about vocations in general, as I've said, I think due to the desire to keep my Byzantine)"

So which is it. Are we getting the "run around" in this forum? Because the two statements, as written, cannot be held together.

But there is a reason that these forums do not help the formation process. It is because despite the attempt at universality in religious orders, they are different from house to house. The same is true of diocesan. But you need to let seminary form you. That's what it is designed to do. Seeking outside sources for direction directly intereferes with that formation. Directly.
And it causes doubt and dissension among other things which will eventually cause you to resist formation, and every house of formation is different.

I am trying to encourage you, but you do not understand. I am trying to discourage you from conceiving ideas regarding seminary, and encourage you to put your trust in a human person whom you can see face to face. Rely on faith in the Holy Spirit to make you a child of Jesus who is going to inseminate his Church with the Holy Spirit.

The point is, you don't know what you're asking. And this forum cannot provide you the answers you seek. No matter what, through no fault of its own, it cannot. It is not equipped. Not because it doesn't have "answers", but because the answers you need are not the answers you seek. So drop the attitudes, get to a human person who is able "see" you and dont ask anyone to hold your hand. If you want to be a priest, it is you who needs to be stronge enough to start holding their hands. Not the other way around.

At some point, you need to have an "Amen" moment. You need to assent. You won't control other people's personalities in seminary, so take personalities out of the equation .altogether. what does that leave you with: a charism and a vocation.

The questions you really need to be asking are not, "is this inspiring", but ask instead: what are my spiritual gifts, and how am I called to use them, to whom am I called, and for what purpose. Don't even THINK of the different dioceses or orders or seminaries.

Solve YOU first. Then match your answers to what is available. Then visit those (bc there are multiple orders for nursing, more for preaching, and even more for teaching) and decide, "ok. There is a matching charism, and a matching 'calling', but am I being called to THIS outfit?" If so, you will know it and so will they.

The rest you will not be able to learn here, because of what you have already asked I cannot tell you. You will have to discover it when you get there.

The main point is that you will have to TRUST someone else, your spiritual director. But as you've said, there are certain things you have not surrendered and so your spiritual director cannot help you and so, you feel like you're getting the run around. So you came here looking for answers. But that will not satisfy you. Because what you need is a spiritual director, and the only way to get one to stay with you is for you to surrender yourself, your will.

Take the prayer of Saint Francis, whom you venerated:

"Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, All I have and call my own.

You have given all to me. To you, Lord, I return it.

Everything is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and your grace, that is enough for me."

Then you will find the peace you need. But right now, there is a stark difference between what you want and what you need.


It was a typo, I said (or meant to say) “I think the priest is giving me the run-around out of the desire to keep me Byzantine”, as in, the priest seems to be stonewalling for my requested transfer, not kicking it up the chain to the bishop or whoever needs to see it, and is not returning my calls: essentially, “You’re Melkite or no one else can have you” is the attitude I seem to get: as in, the diocesan priest wants me to remain Melkite because I automatically became Melkite on converting from Orthodoxy. I had no intent of remaining Melkite for even a fortnight but was not familiar enough with the canons on the issue, to learn that I may be stuck there for quite a while.

The two statements were not at all contradictory. “My Byzantine” actually makes no sense!:confused:

I have nor have had no desire to remain Eastern. I converted out of Orthodoxy to get away from the hesychasm, extreme mysticism, essence-energies distinction, disregard or contempt for the philosophical-theological tradition (if not for St Thomas, I wouldn’t be a Christian), and obvious misunderstanding of Petrine supremacy. If I wanted to remain Eastern, I would have stayed Orthodox.

Only the obvious misunderstanding of Petrine supremacy has been rectified, the doctrine and tradition has not. I believe earlier in this thread someone posted about the Melkite understanding of Petrine supremacy, “as it was in the first ten centuries of Christendom”, as if to deny Papal Infallibility.


If the misunderstanding came from the other direction, about a layman, an exposition of my meaning would be:

“I intend to transfer to the Latin rite as a layman, before I do any further discernment or attend any seminary, as I have no desire nor calling to remain Byzantine nor to teach or preach Eastern doctrines, or to undergo formation to do so in the Eastern tradition. Upon reading the Canons, I realize it is much more difficult to get a transfer of rites once one has entered formation or been ordained, so, if there’s any chance of getting the transfer and not getting stuck in a dead-end, I shall do it as a layman, when it is most likely”.

If that transfer is not possible, I will have to re-evaluate my calling to the married or single lay life, as, if it comes to pass, God will seem to be discerning quite differently from me, and even I know that I can’t match discernment, will, or intellect with the Lord.

I do appreciate your posts; the first was unhelpful, but the latter have been challenging and inspiring to discernment and reflection.


Not to derail the thread any more than it already is but you are aware that one can be ordained as bi-ritual?


I wasn’t, but that would be truly awesome - the best of all possible worlds; not having to disregard one tradition completely in order to embrace the other, as there are most certainly admirable aspects of each, and after such a fashion that they act as correctives to each other: the mysticism of the Eastern, overblown on its own, acts as a corrective to the “legalism”, for lack of a better term, of the Western, also overblown on its own, and a nearly complete lack of a mainstream mystical tradition, so on and so forth; the theoria-theology of the East acting as a corrective to the dry logic-chopping of the late (post-Thomist) Scholastics in the West, and the rational/natural theology of the West augmenting and providing an underpinning (especially for that vast majority of people that will never experience the Vision of God even partially in this life) the mystical theology of the East, so on and so forth.

From my limited experience, the East has a much harsher view of the West than vice verse: and this is encapsulated well in the respective teachings on intercommunion in the Catholic and Orthodox churches.

It is a beautiful thought, the whole of all legitimate tradition being subsumed in to one again, and the balance and wholeness of the Body of Christ being restored: the head must be tortured, as the body has been hanged, drawn, and quartered by the various schisms, especially that of the Protestants which keeps on fracturing at an exponential rate. I’m sure it says somewhere in the Bible, “the Body is the Temple of God: thou shalt not cut off the left hand to spite the right, nor torture oneself to cause the head to feel pain”.

The whole “breathing with two lungs” that Blessed Pope John Paul the Great spoke of (although applied slightly differently, as he originally spoke it as regards the Orthodox not in Communion with Rome, not the Communicant Orthodox/Eastern Catholics).

Could you point me to a resource that speaks of “bi-rituality”? If that is possible, it may cast a new light on why I have not been able to secure a transfer.


I’m also aware. But its pretty rare for someone who is young and does not steady know the rites (from the position of presider). It’s just uncommon.


Okay. It is rare. I only know of it because that is the case I am in.

One does not need to know the rites to be bi-ritual. They need to know the rites to be given the faculties to practice both rites.


Yeah, thats all true. I’d asked our Rector about it before. His answer was that it is more likely to be approved if the candidate had grown up in one rite, as in being able to relate culturally, and then, having experienced some cultural change, as in moving to another country, and practicing in whatever rite was more presently available, then it would be considered.

Note: please don’t limit this to the examples provided, they’re just examples. There are many examples, but these are easy to identify. So they’re not really arguable. Cuz they don’t matter, cuz they’re just examples, and logic states that anecdotal evidence is fallacy. But still good for illustration. But on boards like these, some people might want to attack a straw man, it happens. But it doesn’t need to happen, cuz they’re just examples.



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