What does a seminarian do all day?
A seminary is a graduate school of theology. So a large part of the day of a seminarian is made up of attending classes in theology, scriptural studies, spirituality, liturgy, etc. But a seminary is also a formational community which means that it proposes development of the spiritual life and pastoral skills of an individual along with growth in their person that allows them to be bridges for others to encounter Christ. So, a typical day would include prayer, especially the celebration of Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours. Also included would be time for exercise and community events. Good friendships are formed with your brothers in the seminary that will hopefully nurture and sustain a man in his priestly ministry. Finally, each seminarian is assigned a pastoral ministry that will change every year and is meant to broaden his experience of Church.
What do seminarians wear?
Seminarians wear regular “street clothes”. When a man is ordained a deacon, he becomes a cleric and it is appropriate for him to wear clerical attire. Men who are members of religious communities may wear the habit of their community. Each man is asked to bring an alb to use when he is serving at Mass.
I have a spiritual director at home. Can I keep my same director?
The seminary administration realizes that men come from communities that have supported and nurtured their vocation. Often that includes a spiritual director. We do not expect to sever those ties that have been so important in the life of the seminarian. However, every seminarian is expected to choose a spiritual director from among our priests who will walk with the man through his formation. This new relationship will help the man to grow in the unique environment of seminary life.
How do I pay for seminary?
Each man is sponsored and supported by his diocese or archdiocese. The diocese pays for room and board, tuition, insurance and books . Most dioceses give the seminarian a small stipend each month so that there should not be a worry over money while the man is in formation. There are paid jobs on campus for those who need extra but seminarians are not allowed to maintain jobs, even part time jobs, outside of the seminary.
Can my family and friends visit me?
The seminary is a closed campus for security’s sake but family and friends are welcome to visit on weekends or other times when the seminarian is not in class or other obligations.
Can I bring my dog?
We have a “no pet” policy. Rooms are too small for larger pets and the property has owls and coyotes who think of smaller pets as hors d’oeuvres. Fido will be happier at home.