Q. Why does
the Church need priests?
A. 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
Q. How do I know if God is calling me to the priesthood?
A. 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 a priest. Very often, it is a positive indicator!
Q. What qualities
are looked for in a priest?
A. 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.
do I do if I think I am being called to the priesthood?
A. 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,
with the vocations director of the Archdiocese, because he
can answer many of your questions.
Q. Do I
have to know for sure that I want to be a priest to enter the
A. 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.
is the process for entering the seminary?
A. There is
first an application process for the Archdiocese which includes
a psychological and physical examination. Once the student is accepted
by the Archdiocese, then there is another application process for
would I attend the seminary?
the Archdiocese of Hartford uses Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary
in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, Mount Saint Mary Seminary in Emmitsburg,
Maryland, North American College in Rome, Saint Joseph Seminary in
Yonkers, New York, and Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut.
Once a student has been accepted as a seminarian by the Archdiocese,
then the student is assigned
to the seminary by the Archbishop.
A. What about
it? If you want to be a priest you can't get married. Remember,
the priest must radically conform his life to the life of Christ
who chose not to marry but gave himself totally to the Father.
Celibacy is a huge commitment, no doubt about it. But it is a commitment
that brings the help of the Holy Spirit. It is possible to live
a full, rich, and happy life as a celibate, contrary to what people
think. The important thing is to have a consistent life of prayer
along with strong and healthy friendships with brother priests.
Without prayer and friends, celibacy will become more of a cross
than a gift.
you tell me a little about the Archdiocese of Hartford?
A. The Archdiocese
of Hartford encompasses the three counties of Hartford, Litchfield
and New Haven. There are 216 parishes, and approximately 280 priests
in active service to the needs of the 800,000 Catholics living
here. The Archdiocese offers a wide range of ministry from inner
city, suburban, and rural settings.
Q. As a
diocesan priest what would my assignment be?
priests are usually assigned to parishes by the Archbishop. In
some cases the Archbishop assigns the priest to special ministry
such as hospital chaplains, campus ministry, etc.
much does the seminary cost and who is responsible for the expense?
don't sweat this too much. The Archdiocese of Hartford will do
everything it can to see that no one is turned down on the basis
of financial need. For those entering at the college level the
student and family are responsible for the expense. However, there
are numerous financial aid packages through the seminary. If you
already have a college degree and are entering at the level of
theology the Archdiocese will cover all educational expenses. Health
insurance is provided for those without coverage and seminarians
receive an allowance each semester for personal needs. The bottom
line is that financial issues should never stop anyone from contacting
For more information contact:
Office of Vocations 860-761-7456