THe seminarian Process
begins with relationship
becoming a priest takes time, engagement, and community
Candidates for the seminary in the Archdiocese of Newark come from a great variety of backgrounds, cultures, and walks of life. Regardless of where you are on this journey, the process of becoming a priest in the archdiocese of Newark can be broken down into three stages, all designed to help foster a spirit of growth and discernment in community with others: Inquiry, Aspirancy, and Application to Seminary.
"No man lives alone, no man believes alone. God speaks His word to us and in speaking it calls us together, creates a community, His people, His Church"
st basil the great
Am I being called to the priesthood? Could God actually want me to be His priest? How can I know for sure?
Newark Priest exists to help young men discern the answers to these sorts of questions. The first step is simply starting a relationship with us --we can help you ask better questions and provide a community of fellow brothers seeking answers.
Inquiry is a period of time during which an interested candidate inquires after God's will for his life. While less formal than the next two stages, it is best pursued under the guidance of the Vocations Office at Newark Priest.
After a period of Inquiry, an interested candidate will embark on a year-long period of formal discernment called Aspirancy. The Aspirancy Program is the first step towards serious discernment with the Archdiocese of Newark.
The purpose of the Aspirancy Program is to assist men in the prayerful consideration of that question: am I called to the priesthood? Through this active and exclusive discernment program, an Aspirant can discover how God is calling him to give of himself to Christ and His Church.
After a period of Aspirancy, the man will assuredly be able to make the decision to either enter the seminary or recognize that God may be calling him to religious or married life.
After a man completes the year-long Aspirancy Program he may be invited to apply to Seminary within the Archdiocese of Newark.
Candidates for the seminary in the Archdiocese of Newark come from a great variety of backgrounds, cultures, and walks of life. Some young men choose to inquire during high school. Others feel drawn to enter discernment during their college years or after a few years of working in a professional career. Each man is unique and everyone has a different story, which adds to the beauty of the priesthood in this Archdiocese.
Seminary is both the educational process of studying to become a priest and the last period of discernment before entering the priesthood. A seminarian remains active in his discernment as he seeks to answer the question: am I called to be a priest?
For seminarian applicants
A man may be eligible to apply for Seminary within the Archdiocese of Newark only after having completed the Inquiry and Aspirancy stages of the discernment journey and after receiving the formal invitation of the Vocations Director of the Archdiocese.
1. Aspirancy Program
-All men seeking to apply to the seminary must first enroll in and complete the Aspirancy Program.
3. Age Requirements
4. Education Requirements
5. Spiritual Life
-An applicant must be an active member of a parish or Catholic institution and should demonstrate pastoral leadership through participation in Parish activities.
6. In Good Health
Good physical and mental health are required and must be certified by health care professionals because of the life-long demands of the priesthood for physical stamina and emotional stability.
7. Debt Free
-An applicant should not carry with him any substantial amount of personal debt or personal liabilities
Life in the seminary is similar to that of a college or graduate student in respect to attending a regular class schedule. However, seminarians live by a rule focused on prayer, the sacraments, and the individual formation of each man towards ordination to the Priesthood. Each day is structured according to that rule. Seminarians live in community with each other gathering throughout the day for prayer, Mass, and common meals. Part of each seminarian's formation includes coursework, regular spiritual direction and mentoring, pastoral fieldwork, and parish assignments.
The following video was made recently for Immaculate Conception Seminary's Sesquicentennial (150th) Anniversary.
Men who wish to enter the seminary immediately following High School, or those who have not yet completed a Bachelor's Degree, will enter The College Seminary of the Immaculate Conception - St. Andrew's Hall. The College Seminary has a clear mission: to provide the foundation for a young man discerning a call to the priesthood of Jesus Christ. Students pursue this mission through the first-class academic resources of Seton Hall University, earning a Bachelor's Degree in Catholic Theology and Philosophy, an integrated program in Christian formation, and through the daily experience of opening one's self to the transforming power of God's grace.
The College Seminary prepares a young man to discern the Roman Catholic priesthood by focusing on the four pillars of development: human, pastoral, spiritual, and intellectual. Students live and participate in seminary activities at St. Andrew's Hall, located several blocks from the main campus of Seton Hall. The seminary building combines student rooms, common areas, and a private chapel to further the development of each student.
Men who have already completed a bachelor's degree will be considered for formation at Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology. ICS is the Graduate School of theology of Seton Hall University and the major seminary of the Catholic Archdiocese of Newark. As a house of formation, the Seminary offers men preparing for priesthood the personal, academic, ministerial and spiritual formation essential for conversion to Jesus Christ and their commitment to a life of service to the Church as Roman Catholic priests.
Seminarians at ICS spend 4-6 years in formation and graduate-level studies towards a Master of Divinity degree and eventual ordination to the Priesthood.
The Archdiocese of Newark is blessed to be home to Redemptoris Mater Missionary Seminary, located in Kearny. Redemptoris Mater Seminaries are missionary diocesan seminaries located throughout the world. The seminarians here receive the same theological formation as the other diocesan seminarians (receiving BA in Catholic Theology and Philosophy/Master's in Divinity from Seton Hall University). Although they come from all over the world, upon completion of their formation, they are ordained priests for the Archdiocese of Newark.
A characteristic of these Redemptoris Mater Seminaries is that they are international: they are for the whole world and at the service of the Church and are linked to the Neocatechumenal Way. Experience has shown that the combining of a way of initiation to the Christian life - the Neocatechumenal Way - with the formation of the presbyter is a great help for the psychological, affective and human development of the candidates. (Before being presbyters they are Christians, and in the way of faith they learn prayer, obedience, the sense of the Cross, to be in communion, etc.) Above all, it is a help in uniting the mission with the parish, since the Neocatechumenal Way is a time of formation that finishes in the parish with living, adult, missionary communities united to the parish priest and the bishop.