The Application Process
to Become a Seminarian
When a man reaches a certain point in his discernment, if he wants to discover if priesthood is his true vocation, he has to go to seminary. It should be stressed that entering seminary is a stage of discernment, not a decision to definitely become a priest.
Step 1: Contact the Vocation Director- Inquirer Stage
Discernment always happens with the help of the Church. The diocese needs to get to know you better before offering you a seminary application.
You can reach Fr. Shawn Roser, the Vocation Director, via email or phone, both of which are listed at the bottom of this page. After an initial phone call, the next step would be to arrange an initial face-to-face meeting. Our Vocations Office is located at our Diocese's chancellery, the "Catholic Center," located in Venice, Florida. However, the Vocations Director can travel to a location which is more convenient for the applicant, if necessary.
After that initial meeting, Fr. Roser will meet with Bishop Dewane and together they will discern whether to proceed further with the application process. Often at this stage, Bishop Dewane will often meet with the inquirer.
With the approval of the Bishop, the Vocations Director will invite the young man to formally begin the application process to become a seminarian for the Diocese.
Step 2. The Application- Prospective Stage
Applying to become a seminarian is a bit like applying to college, but with additional screening components such as background checks and medical and psychological screening. There are really two applications in one. The prospective applicant will be instructed to complete the diocesan application and a specific seminary application, upon the direction of the Bishop.
Step 3. Review and Meeting with the Bishop.
After a personal interview and a careful review of your file, Bishop Dewane makes the final decision on whether an applicant is accepted.
Step 4. Formal Acceptance Letter from the Bishop- Seminarian Stage
If all the previous stages are completed and the physical and psychological examinations passed, the applicant will be formally notified of his acceptance as a Diocesan Seminarian.
Step 5. Formal Acceptance into a Specific Seminary
Typically this stage occurs in the summer prior to entering the Fall Semester at seminary.
Many men find the application process to be a healthy exercise in self-knowledge and a helpful part of overall discernment. The process takes time, so the sooner, one can start it, the better.
To take the first steps, contact the Vocation Office.