About Diocesan Priests Information about Diocese of Orlando Priests
Why does the Church need priests?
The Eucharist is the source and summit of the life of the Church. Without the Eucharist, there is no Church. In a sacramental way, Christ is present to the Church in the person of the priest. All of the sacraments offer a personal encounter with Christ, and the priest is the one who offers the sacraments.
How do I know if God is calling me to the priesthood?
Today, many people look to the future and ask: “What do I want to do with my life?” The proper question is: “God, what do you want me to do with my life for you?” To know if you are being called, you must have a prayerful relationship with God, since God is the one who calls us to a specific vocation. Often, when someone senses that God is calling them to the priesthood, there is a negative reaction. This is normal, but do not think that it means you are not meant to be priest. Very often, it is a positive indicator.
What qualities are looked for in a priest?
A desire to serve others – love for the Church – deep faith – man of prayer – leadership ability – one who relates well with people – and one who is a builder of the community.
What do I do if I think I am being called to the priesthood?
Speak to people you trust and get their feedback. You may also wish to speak to your pastor or any other priest you know. Most of all, speak with the vocations director of the diocese, because he can answer many of your questions.
Do I have to know for sure that I want to be a priest to enter the seminary?
No. There are two levels of seminary formation, college and theology. In both cases, seminary is not only a place of education and formation, it is also a place for continued prayer and discernment.
What is the process for entering the seminary?
There is first an application process for the diocese. Once the student is accepted by the diocese, then there is another application process for the seminary.
Where would I attend the seminary?
Currently, the Diocese of Orlando uses St. John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, and St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary, Boynton Beach. Once a student has been accepted as a seminarian by the diocese, then the student is assigned to the seminary by the bishop.
What are the academic requirements to enter the seminary?
To enter seminary college, a student must have completed high school with a GPA of 2.0 or better. For the final five years of theology, a student needs a four-year college degree with a GPA of 2.0 or better and some basic philosophy requirements. Generally, the education process requires nine years after high school.
If I were ordained a priest for the Diocese of Orlando, where would I serve?
Most diocesan priests serve as parish priests, However, some do serve in other roles, such as high school chaplain, hospital chaplain, or in offices at the Catholic Center.
How much does seminary cost and who is responsible for the expenses?
For college seminarians, the student and the family are responsible for the expense. However, there are numerous financial aid packages available through the school, and the diocese will do everything it can do to see that no one is turned down on the basis of financial need. At the theology level, the diocese covers the basic expenses of room, board, tuition, books, and health insurance premiums. The theology students also receive a monthly allowance to help defer other personal expenses.