UP Catholic 01 15 2016 E Edition Page 13

H ow long does it take to be- come a priest? This is a very common question, asked both by men who are discerning, and by interested Catholics. There isnt one simple answer, so let me explain: The Church mandates a certain amount and kind of study and for- mation before a man can be ordained irst a transitional deacon, and then a priest. The final part of his preparation is the most consistent, so lets consider that irst. Most men or- dained priests studied theology in seminary for four years. Sometimes this is called ma- jor seminary. The degree earned is most commonly a Masters of Divinity (M. Div.), a pastoral degree designed to prepare men for parish ministry. The four years of study are commonly called irst theology or Theology 1, and so forth. Typically, a man is ordained a deacon after completing the third year of theology, anytime from May to December. While the final phase of preparing for the priesthood is consistent, the irst phase can be quite varied from man to man. If a man applies to become a semi- narian as a senior in high school, he might study four years of philosophy in a college seminary. That could be at a seminary where theology is also taught, or part of a Catholic college or university, or a stand-alone institu- tion. Sometimes this is called minor seminary. On that path, he would earn a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy, or a related field, completing the nec- essary course requirements as speci- ied by the Church. These four years would be referred to variously as irst philosophy or Philosophy 1 and so forth. On this track, a man would spend four years studying philosophy, earning a B.A., and four years study- ing theology, earning an M.Div. However, many men discern into seminary formation during or after earning a four-year degree. If a man is early in his college program, he might transfer into a college semi- nary, Depending on how his college credits transfer, he may spend two or more years completing the require- ments. Alternately, he might finish his un- dergraduate degree, and then enter a transitional program called pre-the- ology. This is often a non-degree program whereby a candidate has two years of academic and spiritual for- mation, providing him with a context of spiritual formation and discern- ment. It also allows him to complete the philosophy work necessary for theology, along with some introduc- tory theology and Bible courses. The years would be Pre-theology 1 and 2. So, the final four years of theology are relatively consistent. The years before that are shaped by when a man begins seminary formation, but typ- ically taking at least two years. Most men would complete seminary forma- tion in six to eight years, depending on their education status when they begin. Not infrequently, a seminari- an may choose to take time off, or be asked to take time off, either working independently or in a pastoral in- ternship, so as to further prepare and discern. Additionally, if a man choos- es to leave formation at some point, his reentry into seminary formation would be arranged in light of the studies he had already completed, but also both his and the Churchs need for an adequate time for discernment and preparation. In all of this preparation, the Church labors to prepare men well to serve Gods people faithfully! Father Ben Hasse is the director of vocations for the Diocese of Mar- quette. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more on the priesthood or vocations in the Di- ocese of Marquette, contact Father Hasse by phone, (906) 290-2494 or email, benjhasse@yahoo.com www.upcatholic.org THE U.P. CATHOLIC VOCATIONS January 15, 2016 13 j VOCATION VIEWS Father Ben Hasse How long does it take to become a priest? - From Father Tim, the Staff and Parishioners of St. Mary, Norway & St. Barbara, Vulcan MATTEW CHARTIER DCN. AARON NOWICKI DUSTIN LARSON WE ARE SO INCREDIBLY BLESSED TO BE SHARING IN THE JOURNEY OF ALL THREE OF YOU! BE ASSURED OF OUR PRAYERFUL SUPPORT. THANK YOU FOR YOUR "YES" IN DISCERNING THE PRIESTHOOD. IN PR A Y E R F U L SU P P O R T O F SE M I N A R I A N S Diaconate accepting applications The Diocese of Marquette presently has eight men in formation for the diaconate. This is the first year of either a four or a five year track, depending on circumstanc- es. For new applicants the process will take five years. Currently, the men are taking theology classes from the Au- fustine Institute in Colorado through a format that takes place online. The office of the permanent diaconate for the Diocese of Marquette is accepting appli- cations for entrance into the diaconate program in 2016. Applications are due by April 1. For men who are interested or have questions, contact Deacon Jack Leadbetter, director of the permanent diaconate for the diocese by phone at (906) 227-9103 or by email, jleadbetter@dio- ceseofmarquette.org. IN ALL OF THIS PREPARATION, THE CHURCH LABORS TO PREPARE MEN WELL TO SERVE GOD'S PEOPLE FAITHFULLY I feel you may have a religious vocation. Please prayerfully consider becoming a Priest, Deacon, Brother or Sister. Fr. Ben Hasse can help you with your discernment. 906-290-2434 bhasse@ dioceseofmarquette.org Please present this coupon to a young man or woman who you feel may have a religious vocation! Remember to pray for our clergy and religious

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