Attendance at a college seminary or two years of pre-theology is usually required of those entering priestly formation. College seminaries seek to further the Christian development of young men considering the priesthood and to prepare them personally, spiritually, academically, and pastorally for admission to a major seminary. Applicants for the program should be high school graduates or those enrolled in their first or second years of college.
Candidates must be sponsored by a diocese. The Portland Diocese is currently accepting candidates for study at Our Lady of Providence Seminary in Providence, Rhode Island.
Our Lady of Providence Seminary, Providence, RI
Seminary is an environment where a man is able to explore the call to priesthood as he begins the process of spiritual, intellectual and human formation to prepare him for priestly life. The time spent in seminary is designed to help someone come to Christ in a deeper way, and instruct him on the Church's teachings, its doctrines and disciplines. It is also a time to help him form his self-understanding while developing his appreciation for the gifts of others. He develops the gifts God gave him in order to prepare him to lead a community in prayer and much more. Evaluations are done at the end of every school year by the candidate, seminary advisor and others entrusted to the seminarian’s formation.
The length of time in seminary can be from four to six years depending on his academic situation. If a candidate has completed twenty-four hours in Philosophy in undergraduate studies, he enters into his first of four years in seminary. If a candidate lacks the required prerequisite of twenty-four hours in Philosophical training, he begins with one or two years of "Pre-Theology." The appointment to the seminary is done by the Bishop.
The diocese has men at the following Theological seminaries:
Catholic University of America, Theological College, Washington, DC
North American College, Rome, Italy
St. John's Seminary, Brighton, MA
St. Mary's Seminary and University, Baltimore, MD
Seminary for Older Candidates:
God calls men to the priesthood at different ages and stages of their life. Therefore, the diocese accepts candidates for priestly formation who have had other careers and are seeking ordination to priesthood. Currently, a man who is 45 years old and younger, has a four year college degree, and is free under church law to enter the priesthood may ask to be considered for acceptance. The length of formation is usually four years.
The diocese has men at the following seminary:
Blessed John XXIII National Seminary, Weston, MA