If I join the seminary, do I have to know I want to be a priest for sure?
- The seminary is a time of discernment.
- Applicancy is like dating, temporary commitment is like engagement, final commitment is like marriage.
That call needs to be tested within the Church. When a man enters a religious community, there are two things we look for:
- He has in his heart a firm belief that the Lord is calling him to be a priest. There is no absolute moral certainty until the day you are ordained by a bishop. But the young man should be able to say ‘I truly believe that God is calling me to be a priest’. He does not say it because he doesn’t think he can do anything else, or doesn’t want to be married, but he says it because he believes it in his heart to be true.
- After a young man comes and spends time visiting with us, he should also be able to say ‘I can see myself living in this community, in this way, with these brothers. I feel at home here.’
What are the first two years of Applicancy like?
The first year of applicancy normally takes place at Assumption Farm. Topics to be covered include human and spiritual formation. Most applicants study philosophy in their second year.
At the end of the two years, applicants will participate in an Ignatian Discernment Retreat (required prior to making first promises) followed by a summer formation program.
How long does it take to become a priest?
This depends on how much post secondary education a candidate has before entering the Community.
All seminarians are required to do a year of Community formation, a ‘novitiate’ year, obtain an undergraduate degree in Philosophy, a degree in Theology, and a Pastoral year. Those who already have an undergraduate degree are only required to do two years of Philosophy.
Depending on the amount of previous education, their age, and other circumstances it can take anywhere from 3 to 8 years.
If a man has an undergraduate degree but has not taken any philosophy or theology, it normally takes 8 years. (1 year of pre-academic formation, 2 years of philosophy, 4 years of theology with 1 year in a parish internship.)
What are the different stages of Formation like?
Our formation program balances the Intellectual, Pastoral, Spiritual, and Human.
First year focuses more on spiritual and human (less formal studies). In full time study, focus is more on acedemic life.
- Applicancy 1 – Farm program focusing on spiritual and human development
- Applicancy 2 – Start philosophy (acedemic with some pastoral experience)
- Temporary commitment – Finish philosophy, complete theology, do a year of internship
- Permanent commitment – Be ordained a deacon, and become ordained a priest
What would my everyday life look like?
You will eat, pray and live together in a community house with other Companions of the Cross priests and seminarians, and take classes at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.
See more on our Community Life.
Are all seminarians super holy overachievers? What if I am not perfect?
As Christians we are called to be holy, but we all have a lot of room to grow. God works through us in our own strengths and weaknesses, just as he worked through the first (imperfect) apostles.
We will be working all our lives to grow closer to God. “God does not call the equipped, but equips the called”!
The Companions of the Cross are ordinary men called to an extraordinary purpose. Our seminarians and priests come from varying background and have different gifts. What we have in common is our love for Christ, and our dedication to serving his Church and working to bring renewal.