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 camouflaged amidst worldly activities. The most important part of the discernment process 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 an ongoing discernment group that meets on a monthly basis. The group offers men an opportunity to compare notes with others and to connect with "like minded" people. No pressure…just a meeting over pizza and soda…and friendly conversation about the possibilities. Simply contact the Vocations Office at (520) 838-2531 to find out about the next meeting.
How old do I have to be?
Entrance to the seminary generally begins at the college level, one has to be completing, or have completed, high school in order to begin the process. An 18 year old high school graduate can begin the process. However, the Lord may also call men at a later age. Some men enter the seminary at the college level, some after they graduate from college, and others enter after they have had a career.
How long will it take until ordination to the priesthood?
For those beginning their journey to priesthood immediately after high school, the requirements are as follows: attend college level seminary for a 4 year course in Philosophy. After graduation, proceed 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, they have already 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, we need to receive a "Letter of Intent" addressed to the Bishop. We also require 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 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 being considered for possible admission, will have to undergo a psychological evaluation by a Diocese of Tucson appointed Clinical Psychologist. They will then be interviewed by the Vocations Admission Board, who will present their recommendation to the Bishop who makes the final admission decision.
Are there any financial considerations?
The Diocese of Tucson will assist the seminarian in his financial needs which include tuition and college expenses. The seminarian may also apply for grants (free financial aid, which does not have to be paid back) to help with tution costs. However, the Diocese 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.