Where am I?
The Discernment Continues:
There is a great degree of discernment involved if one is called to the priesthood. For some, the call is obvious and, for others, the call may be "hidden" amidst the worldly activities. The most important is to constantly be in communication with the Lord…to take His hand and allow Him to lead you.
What to do if you feel you are called?
The Diocese of Tucson has a continuing discernment group that meet on a monthly basis. No Pressure…just a meeting over pizza and soda…and talk about the possibilities, compare notes with others and just to connect with "like minded" people. Simply contact the Vocations Office at (520) 838 2531 and check out the next meeting.
How old do I have to be?
Since entrance to the seminary generally begins at College level, one has to be completing, or have completed, High School in order to begin the process. A High School student who normally graduates at the age of 18 can begin the process. However, the Lord may also call at a later age. Some enter the seminary at the college level, some after they graduate from college, and some after they have been in a career.
How long will it take until ordination to the priesthood?
For a High School student level, he must attend College Seminary for a 4 year course in Philosophy. After graduation, he then proceeds to a major seminary for a 4 year course in Theology graduating with a Masters Degree in Divinity or a possible Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology (STB). Upon recommendation of the seminary formators and the decision of the Bishop, ordination follows.
What if I already have a college degree?
Many seminarians are older, have earned college degrees and have spent a few years in the workforce. Depending on the college degrees that they have, they may either embark on a 6 or 4 year course towards a Masters in Divinity degree.
What are the necessary requirements in order to begin the process?
First of all, we need to receive a "Letter of Intent" addressed to the Bishop, letters of recommendation from your pastor, a friend and a parent. You will also need your Certificates of Baptism, Holy Eucharist and Confirmation.
Further on, you will be required to request your schools (High School or College) to mail your transcripts of records directly to the Diocese of Tucson Vocation Office or the seminary.
What is the process of admission?
An applicant, after submitting the initial requirements and considered for possible admission, will have to undergo a psychological evaluation by a Diocese appointed Clinical Psychologist.
The next step is to be interviewed by the Vocations Admission Board. They present their recommendation to the Bishop who makes the final decision.
Are there any financial considerations?
The Diocese of Tucson will assist the seminarian in his financial needs which include tuition, and grants. However, it may also consider requesting the applicant to apply for student loans which will be paid by the Diocese after a specified number of years of service after ordination.