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Q & A with Father Anthony



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What are the qualifications upon entering the seminary?

Roel asks:

Dear Fr Anthony,

What are the qualifications upon entering the seminary?

Dear Roel,

In order to enter a seminary, there are several conditions/qualifications that you have to consider.

First of all, a young man must want to be a priest for the proper reason, such as a desire to save souls, or an attraction to the Mass, or wanting to be closer to God. This means of course that he should not be motivated by purely material concerns (getting and education, etc), and he must be willing to take on all the commitments that come with the vocation (celibacy, obedience to his bishop, willingness to serve, a desire to work).

Then, he must have the requisite qualities. The seminary is a time of formation, so the candidate does not have to be perfect, but he does need to have a good foundation on which the formation he will receive in the seminary will build. The basic foundation includes: sufficient physical health, a maturity corresponding to his age, emotional stability, enough strength of character to fulfill his duty and commitments, sufficient intelligence to handle college studies, at least a basic spiritual life, and stability in living the moral demands of his Christian life.

Age matters too. Some seminaries don't accept older candidates, and some ask you to finish college before joining, so you'll need to check this with your diocese or the order you are considering. Most seminaries will also do psychological testing before accepting a candidate.

These are the basic points, but if you are interested in a particular order or diocese you will have to ask the vocation director if they have any additional, particular requirements of their own.

God bless.

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