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, either in person or online. Our Vocations Office is located at our Diocese's chancellery, the "Catholic Center," located in Venice, Florida. However, the Vocations Director, or another member of our Vocations Team 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 for the individual.
Often at this stage, Bishop Dewane will then meet with the inquirer. (In some cases, Bishop may be the one having the initial conversation with a discerner. Then Fr. Roser will follow up.)
Step 2. Candidate- Prospective Stage
Fr. Roser will then send Pre-Application forms for the discerner to complete.
Step 3. Applicant- Formal Stage
After reviewing the Pre-Application paperwork and receiving positive feedback from Bishop, Fr. Roser will invite the discerner to formally apply to become a seminarian for the Diocese of Venice.
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 new applicant will be instructed to complete the diocesan application and if accepted as a seminarian, then he will fill out a shorter, seminary-specific application, upon the direction of the Bishop.
Step 4. Final Review of Application by Bishop and the Vocations Director.
After a careful review of the applicant's completed file, Bishop Dewane makes the final decision on whether an applicant is accepted.
Step 5. 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 in writing. Bishop and/or the Vocations Director may also verbally inform the new seminarian of his acceptance prior to receiving his welcome letter.
Step 6. Apply to a specific Seminary, as per Bishop's instructions
After being accepted as one of our diocesan seminarians, the new seminarian will be instructed to complete a shorter application to the specific seminary school in which he will study, with planned entry in the Fall semester.
Step 7. Both applications being complete, the new seminarian receives his welcome letter to Seminary and prepares to enter studies in the Fall semester
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.