Seminarians: Steps Along The Way

Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan and Deacon Simon Carian

It takes a real man to be a priest. There is no getting around that. Discerning whether God is calling you to this challenging vocation will require of you prayer, courage, effort, careful reflection and humility.

As a man showing interest about the diocesan priesthood in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, you are obviously involving yourself in an important decision-making process. The Vocation Director is here to help you in any way that he can, by providing information, counseling, discernment guidance, retreat opportunities, etc. Through the Vocation Director, the Archbishop must get to know you well enough to confirm any decision made to enter the seminary. In other words, a decision is made by the Vocation Office and the seminary as to whether entering the seminary is indeed the best thing for you at this time in your life.

The process begins by meeting your parish priest, or with the Vocation Director. Then begin the steps detailed below that assess your suitability and maturity for this sacred and challenging vocation. All of this must be done in the context of prayer, as everyone involved in this decision must attend to the Lord’s unique call to you.

In addition to preliminary conversations, there will be in-depth interviews with both the Vocation Director and the Archbishop. These interviews are done to gather factual information as well as a sense of where God may be moving in a man’s life.

Several steps are involved in formally applying to seminary and final acceptance as a seminarian for the Archdiocese:
1. Recommendations: These should be from people with whom you have worked, friends, priests, your pastor and other acquaintances.
2. Psychological Testing: This testing is intended to confirm what is already known about you from the interviews and to give you additional insights into yourself. The tests are administered by the psychologists who are familiar with working with applicants for dioceses and religious communities across the country.
3. Seminary Forms: Along with the application forms themselves, you will need a high school and/or college transcript, college board scores (if a recent high school graduate), medical/physical form, and sacramental certificates (Baptism and Confirmation). The sacramental certificates should be dated within the last six months and carry the name and seal of the parish.
4. Background Check: Handled by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.
5. Review of application materials by Seminary Admissions Committee

At the conclusion of the formal application procedure, a decision will be made regarding your acceptance into the seminary.

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