So my countries only seminary(I wont mention which country) has been riddled with several scandals of homosexuality amongst the seminarians, secular students and clergy. I have confirmation from recent graduates of the seminary that alot of the teaching is very wishy washy and 80’s esque liberal theology. I am fairly confident it is not a seminary I wish to attend, as I tend to be more orthodox.
With this said, it means I will likely have to attend seminary in a foreign country. I mainly want to find a seminary in which I can be brought closer to God, find Christ in the men around me and further develop my self so that I may be a better reflection of Christ.
Across the world, where are the best seminaries? For context, I’m not an ultra traditional Catholic. I respect and admire certain aspects of the Novus Ordo. But I do like the silence and reverence of the TLM. I am looking for a seminary with a good culture. I will, with the help of God, try to influence the overall culture of any seminary I attend by living an authentic Christ like life, however It’s best that I not be dragged down by child like men.
Tl:DR Help find me a seminary that is orthodox, but that is also hip and with the times
I’m definitely not an expert in this area, but the seminary where I live is called Kennrick and it’s pretty highly thought of. I’m sure they have some problems though and there’s always going to be professors you don’t agree with wherever you go. I’m not sure you can just pick and choose whatever seminary or school you want, but if you can, the seminaries in India seem to be churning out priests at a pretty good pace. I’m sure they have problems there too, but a different variety such as flocks of hungry, diseased, and undressed orphans at their door along with the possibility of persecution from other religious groups in the area.
I believe works by theologians such as Rahner and Guitterez were/are often referenced. The ‘esque’ point being that it is reminencent of theology of the 80’s but being taught now in an interprative fashion. Perhaps I have some disagreement with the content being from a Dominican ‘esque’ background. However, I feel as if this was aimed passive aggresively, however no malice was intended. God Bless
I aware this is the usual case. But exceptions are made in certain exceptional circumstances. Which I believe some Bishops or Religious superiors would recognize that I am in. Others, like my diocesan bishop may not, unfortunetely.
I tend to agree with 95% of what you’ve said. However, movements such as Opus Dei have also been quite an effective ‘way’ for the lay Catholic world to live out a sanctitifying life. As beautiful as it, certain ways in which tradition appears to the modern person, doesn’t always work well in getting them to that vital crossroads where they make the act of faith.(Anyway this is not the point of the post)
In my experience the Dominicans on the West Coast of the USA are producing well formed and solidly Catholic young priests. I think they had to re-constitute their structure due to historical sexual abuse claims but that seems to be in the past as I have been very impressed with their seminarians and young priests. (I may be wrong about the sexual abuse claims).
No I believe you’re right they made some rapid changes to combat abuse issues. I spoke to an East Coast Dominican and he was most definetly someone who demonstrated the charism of Saint Dominic. I have considered the mendicant life because of this.
I have encountered a number of very devout, holy and emotionally mature young Dominicans serving at Newman centers (Catholic communities serving Catholics attending secular universities) on the West coast. If you have a Newman Center near you I would encourage to start there if you need a spiritual director to help you discern your vocation. No need to think you need to join the Dominicans but so much of the vocation of priests at Newman is to help others discern their own call.
Father Michael McCarthy on utube was in seminary back in the 1950s and talked about the ease of gay people the ease of sex with other student’s.
Spiritual decernment was lacking and to day with the many Catholic priests who look the other way . so they can protect the image
Hazarding a guess at what country you’re in, you could consider the three which are closer to home, or hope that your bishop will be sending you to Rome (although tbh I’ve heard that Rome can be quantity over quality). Of course, asking to be sent (or not sent) to a specific seminary usually doesn’t go over to well with bishops - much like making demands on your boss before starting a new job! Similarly, if you show up in another country and apply for admission to the seminary there, the obvious question will be “what’s wrong with where you’re from?” That said, criticism of events is different to criticism of the seminary.
You do realise, I presume, that seminaries do not admit “free agents”? They normally act in tandem with the diocesan bishop & his curia…or the major superior of an institute of perfection & his council. One does not present oneself to a seminary for admission
Before that, however, the first question is: are you discerning a vocation to the diocesan priesthood or as a Religious priest? In the latter case, you have even less input than in the former case concerning where you are sent for formation
You speak of attending seminary in a foreign country. But is it your desire to serve as a priest in that foreign country following seminary? Or do you wish to attend a seminary in a country in which you won’t be a priest?
That, too, is vague in what you write but each is a completely different reality & requires a different approach
If you live in country X, attending seminary in country D especially when it involves a flight of several hours across the ocean is most unlikely for very good reasons:
You are far removed from those who must ultimately determine if you are an apt candidate for ordination as a priest for a given diocese. You will have had limited exposure to the priests of that diocese to which you will commit the rest of your life after ordination
It places you in a situation far removed from the country & culture in which you will eventually serve as a priest
It denies you the opportunity to bond with your peers who are seminarians of your own country & whom you will live out your priesthood associated with, for all of your life
Your seminary classmates in the foreign country, whose friendships will last your whole life, will always be remote to where you are living & ministering, presuming you persevere to ordination. That does not provide an ideal support system
If your formation is entirely abroad, it is harder to apply the experience to your home diocese
Having said all that, if the overseas experience involves one’s national seminary in Rome, many of these points are mitigated since one is with the people of one’s own country throughout the formation experience & the bishops are not infrequent visitors…& one has all the benefits of being in Rome
In one phase of my priesthood, I did formation work. There are certainly seminaries which are better suited – or less suited – to a candidate than another. I was always very open to that reality and wanted the men to be as well…and dialogue was always possible in my regard. That is not a universal sentiment…but it is more so than when I was a seminarian, when dinosaurs roamed the earth
That said, there are values that are important to the Bishop that may not be on the radar screen of the seminarian just as there are concerns that the Bishop will have of which the seminarian would have no understanding
Here, frankly, we arrive at the crux of the matter. If you are seeking an arrangement with a diocesan bishop who is not even the bishop of your own diocese, while asking him to send out of country to seminary…well, this is more than an extraordinary request. It diminishes his opportunity to come to know you or you to know him…and the same is true for knowing the diocese and the presbyterate and they to know you
You would have to reach out to that diocese to initiate their discerning you for their needs and their presbyterate. I would presume they would want you to come and live in their diocese, doing some sort of tasks they would assign, in order to get to know you and assess you across time – and to give you the opportunity to experience the diocese and its presbyterate to see if it is a good fit mutually – before deciding what seminary they would confide you to
If on the other hand you wish to pursue a Religious vocation, then it is a matter of going wherever their house of formation is located – in-country or abroad – and follow their path of formation through postulancy, novitiate, temporary promises, and definitive incorporation and then, if you persevere to definitive incorporation, accept whatever assignment is given to you after ordination. By that time, you would be definitively incorporated in that institute of consecrated life and that is where you will be incardinated and you will live your life as a member of that institute.
Wherever you are sent, it would be with the understanding that you are there to be formed by the formators…with openness and docility. A statement about “not being dragged down by child like men” would not have been well received from a new seminarian at my seminary.