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Hello, everyone!

I have for quite a while now thought that perhaps Christ is calling me to be a Fisher of Men (Mt. 4: 19).  I have not spoken with a priest or vocational director about the possibility of a calling however, as something has been holding me back.

Qualifications.  I do not have High School qualifications or equivalents.  This would be Standard Grades, Int. 1s and Int 2s and Highers for Sotland.  I understand that during ones priestly formation they study at university degree levels - philosophy, theology etc.  So, does not having basic High School qulifications rule out the possibility of my self going on to study in a seminary for a priestly formation?

My reasons for not having these qualifications is because when I was 14, I stopped attending schooling.  There were mutliple reasons for this that I am sure I don't need to go into here, the story is, I do not have the qualifications I should have got.

Regards,
JP.
Maybe the seminary of your choice (hopefully Traditionalist and Roman-Catholic-faithful), will take you anyway, but send you to a Roman Catholic boarding school or monastery to complete your highschool education (grammar school I guess) in two or three years, assuming you are able to complete these intellectually. Some level of education is of course necessary to complete later higher major seminary studies. (And some traditionalist institutes also send students to e.g. the Opus Dei university in Rome, or to other universities - although often neo-Modernist theology dominates there.)

They will not send you away. If you feel the vocation to the priestly state, which is a grace from God, solutions will be offered. Do not too easily give up. Of course your formation would take longer than the traditional six years of seminary studies of course, maybe being 9 years or so, but that should be no problem. If you have the vocation, you will have decades to spend and serve as a priest of Christ the High Priest.

Older vocations are only taken for priestly studies in many Traditionalist seminaries for a clear reason, but not impossible. The Society of St. Pius X in Australia ordained a 63 year old man last years (or 2007), who had left his initial Religious Society in the late 1960s due to neo-Modernist heresies prevailing, and who had studied to become a computer engineer at university and taken care of his ill and handicapped mother for thirty years after. He had a valid reason of course.

Older vocations to the priesthood may pose some obstacles, but God will lead you.

Also contemplate the possibility of the vocation to the religious state as such, to a monastery or religious society. This is also a holy vocation, if it is meant for you.

Do not despair. Always continue this search.

Our Lord will guide you.

I would recommend the SSPX seminaries and religious institutes. A solution for your education problem is possible. If you are an adult, you might be sent as a brother to a SSPX boarding school to study and also live an ordered life of prayer alongside attending classes. This would be a good year or three to test your vocation to prayer life and priestly service. God has all time. Some Benedictines I know were forbidden from being ordained in 1935 (they are over 90 years old), but in 1958, around October (one day of the death of Pope Pius XII), they were ordained to the priesthood - after a diaconate since 1952. And they had the priestly vocation, but also submitted to the command of the abbot of their abbey (in Flanders). They were obedient. They were almost 40 years old and 22 years in the monastery after receiving ordination. They were tested. They are still quite saintly (one is a bit secularized due to Vatican II); one of them still celebrates the Tridentine Mass, with the Benedictine features.

God bless you and keep faith!
I have a friend who is going to seminary (and has been accepted once already went for two weeks and now is going for a year) and he has no high school education. If youre smart enough you should be fine.

You have my prayers, may God Bless you in whatever vocation you find.  Pray
I think a good seminary will not turn you away if you truly have what appears to be a vocation.  They will, however, likely send you somewhere to catch up on your education, or they may catch you up to speed on site, while not starting your official seminary training until you have the same level of education (or ability) as the typical applicant is able to display.  Good luck and God bless.
I would say that a lot will depend on the demand for seminarians at the particular seminary you're interested in attending.  I think it would be very unlikely that you'd be admitted to a traditionalist seminary (like the FSSP or Institute of Christ the King) without first seeking more education, because there's usually way more applicants than they can accommodate, and they are more likely to choose candidates who will require less academic preparation (not that this is the only factor, but it is a factor).  Because of your education level, you're going to have to be brought up to speed to at least a junior college level, because philosophical and theological training is highly rigorous.  This means the order or diocese that takes you is going to have to invest more in you to bring you to the appropriate educational level.  But if you apply with an order or diocese that is hurting for vocations, they may be willing to do whatever it takes to accommodate you.

Remember that clerics are called clerics because they were once the most highly educated members of society.  Being academically weak doesn't necessarily disqualify one from a priestly vocation, but academic strength will certainly ease the process.
(06-04-2009, 04:56 PM)rbjmartin Wrote: [ -> ]I would say that a lot will depend on the demand for seminarians at the particular seminary you're interested in attending.  I think it would be very unlikely that you'd be admitted to a traditionalist seminary (like the FSSP or Institute of Christ the King) without first seeking more education, because there's usually way more applicants than they can accommodate, and they are more likely to choose candidates who will require less academic preparation (not that this is the only factor, but it is a factor).  Because of your education level, you're going to have to be brought up to speed to at least a junior college level, because philosophical and theological training is highly rigorous.  This means the order or diocese that takes you is going to have to invest more in you to bring you to the appropriate educational level.  But if you apply with an order or diocese that is hurting for vocations, they may be willing to do whatever it takes to accommodate you.

Remember that clerics are called clerics because they were once the most highly educated members of society.  Being academically weak doesn't necessarily disqualify one from a priestly vocation, but academic strength will certainly ease the process.


Dont listen to that rubbish and dont let it dissuade you! Remember St.John Vianney and his struggle! Besides you dont have to have a highschool education to be intelligent and capable - ESPECIALLY with modern eductation!

Like i said, my friend has had no problem being accepted TWICE to an SSPX seminary. Again I'll repeat -he has no highschool education. Besides the SSPX had to introduce an extra year in their American seminary to cope with the lack of education of American education 'humanities' i think its called.

(06-04-2009, 06:30 PM)tradmaverick Wrote: [ -> ]
(06-04-2009, 04:56 PM)rbjmartin Wrote: [ -> ]I would say that a lot will depend on the demand for seminarians at the particular seminary you're interested in attending.  I think it would be very unlikely that you'd be admitted to a traditionalist seminary (like the FSSP or Institute of Christ the King) without first seeking more education, because there's usually way more applicants than they can accommodate, and they are more likely to choose candidates who will require less academic preparation (not that this is the only factor, but it is a factor).  Because of your education level, you're going to have to be brought up to speed to at least a junior college level, because philosophical and theological training is highly rigorous.  This means the order or diocese that takes you is going to have to invest more in you to bring you to the appropriate educational level.  But if you apply with an order or diocese that is hurting for vocations, they may be willing to do whatever it takes to accommodate you.

Remember that clerics are called clerics because they were once the most highly educated members of society.  Being academically weak doesn't necessarily disqualify one from a priestly vocation, but academic strength will certainly ease the process.

Dont listen to that rubbish and dont let it dissuade you! Remember St.John Vianney and his struggle! Besides you dont have to have a highschool education to be intelligent and capable - ESPECIALLY with modern eductation!

Like i said, my friend has had no problem being accepted TWICE to an SSPX seminary. Again I'll repeat -he has no highschool education. Besides the SSPX had to introduce an extra year in their American seminary to cope with the lack of education of American education 'humanities' i think its called.

I don't appreciate your tone.  I'm only speaking from experience. FSSP gets over 100 applicants every year to OLGS alone (that's not including applicants to Wigratzbad), yet only around 20 can be admitted.  Of course education level is not the only factor, but it is indeed a factor.  Religious communities have to be practical and consider mundane factors as well as spiritual ones.  I know some men were asked to complete a few years of college and then re-apply.  Nevertheless, I'm not discounting the action of grace and the ability for God to bring a man to overcome obstacles in an extraordinary way.

I believe a solid foundation in the Church's Scholastic tradition is extremely important for priestly formation in this day and age.  We live in a time when people are divorced from reason and sanity, and there is no better rock of sanity to hold onto than the Thomistic tradition, IMHO.  A solid priest in today's world must be a bulwark of holiness, virtue, knowledge, and reason.  As I said before, depending on an individual's educational background, it will require more or less effort by a religious community to form that man into such a priest.  All other factors being equal, any religious community is going to prefer the better educated candidate.

But indeed, don't be discouraged.  All things are possible with God.  He will make it happen if it is your calling.  In the meantime, you may consider meeting Him halfway and seeking some form of further education.
UIf God called you, he will show the way. Talk to your confessor, probably he will advise you to get the high school equivalency test.

Here is the process for being member of the  the St John Cantius Canons, I believe this is typical.

http://www.canons-regular.org/go/vocations/



(06-04-2009, 02:13 PM)JonPaul Wrote: [ -> ]Hello, everyone!

I have for quite a while now thought that perhaps Christ is calling me to be a Fisher of Men (Mt. 4: 19).  I have not spoken with a priest or vocational director about the possibility of a calling however, as something has been holding me back.

Qualifications.  I do not have High School qualifications or equivalents.  This would be Standard Grades, Int. 1s and Int 2s and Highers for Sotland.  I understand that during ones priestly formation they study at university degree levels - philosophy, theology etc.  So, does not having basic High School qulifications rule out the possibility of my self going on to study in a seminary for a priestly formation?

My reasons for not having these qualifications is because when I was 14, I stopped attending schooling.  There were mutliple reasons for this that I am sure I don't need to go into here, the story is, I do not have the qualifications I should have got.

Regards,
JP.
(06-04-2009, 07:03 PM)rbjmartin Wrote: [ -> ]All other factors being equal, any religious community is going to prefer the better educated candidate.

True, but that has nothing to do with whether he graduated from an American high school.

JonPaul, don't let that hold you back.  Let them know your situation, and if they want you they'll be able to get you caught up, assuming you need to.  Even secular colleges have ways to handle applicants who didn't follow the usual path, with testing and remedial classes.  You wouldn't have learned anything in high school to prepare you for subjects like theology and philosophy anyway. 
(06-04-2009, 07:03 PM)rbjmartin Wrote: [ -> ]I don't appreciate your tone.  I'm only speaking from experience. FSSP gets over 100 applicants every year to OLGS alone (that's not including applicants to Wigratzbad), yet only around 20 can be admitted.  Of course education level is not the only factor, but it is indeed a factor.  Religious communities have to be practical and consider mundane factors as well as spiritual ones.  I know some men were asked to complete a few years of college and then re-apply.  Nevertheless, I'm not discounting the action of grace and the ability for God to bring a man to overcome obstacles in an extraordinary way.

I didnt ask for you to appreciate my tone, Im just trying to encourage the poor lad, not discourage him....

Besides a good seminary wont give two hoots whether or not he has a secular education from a public highschool, modern education is complete trash, half of it isnt even true, a lot of us here have been through it, we know what its like. A good seminary will recognize this and perhaps even reward the fact that he doesnt have it  - his mind wont be full of such mush as they teach nowadays!

(06-04-2009, 07:03 PM)rbjmartin Wrote: [ -> ]I believe a solid foundation in the Church's Scholastic tradition is extremely important for priestly formation in this day and age.  We live in a time when people are divorced from reason and sanity, and there is no better rock of sanity to hold onto than the Thomistic tradition, IMHO.  A solid priest in today's world must be a bulwark of holiness, virtue, knowledge, and reason.  As I said before, depending on an individual's educational background, it will require more or less effort by a religious community to form that man into such a priest.  All other factors being equal, any religious community is going to prefer the better educated candidate.

How many young people actually get such an education...come on be serious....were not living in the good ol days anymore

(06-04-2009, 07:03 PM)rbjmartin Wrote: [ -> ]But indeed, don't be discouraged.  All things are possible with God.  He will make it happen if it is your calling.  In the meantime, you may consider meeting Him halfway and seeking some form of further education.

Dont be too worried about getting that extra education, like I said if you apply to the SSPX they recognise the problem and address it, they give you an extra year of studies called humanities to make up for the abysmal lack of cultural and historical and other education experienced by modern youth.....unless of course you were educated in an SSPX school...then you get to skip it!  LOL
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