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Posted By: Colin Sheehan Seminary for Married Men - 08/27/20 07:28 PM
I had a question on the training/forming of married men for the priesthood in the United States. Given that the seminary is in Pittsburgh, how does this work for married men in other parts of the country? With typical seminary formation being around 8 years, what does the seminarian do with his family? I can't imagine he would be required to leave them behind for 8 years but at the same time, I can't imagine it feasible for the spouse and children to uproot and move and try to find work/childcare/a place to stay/etc?

Also, for married men considering the Diaconate, do they also have to physically go to the seminary for 8 years? Or can they receive their training/formation in house with the priest and online via direct training (classes/instruction/etc)?

I was getting into a conversation defending married men becoming priests to a self proclaimed "traditionalist" who was condemning it and the talk turned into the practical side of seminaries, families uprooting, etc. And since I didn't understand how it works, I couldn't give an answer. Does anyone know how this works? Thanks in advance.
Posted By: Protopappas76 Re: Seminary for Married Men - 09/10/20 04:55 AM
There isn't a blanket "fits all" answer, inasmuch as each of the Eastern Catholic jurisdictions has its own policies, i.e. a few require residential seminary formation while many do not. Consult with your own eprchial jurisdiction.
Posted By: Fr. Deacon Lance Re: Seminary for Married Men - 09/11/20 02:23 AM
This applies to the Byzantine Catholic Seminary in Pittsburgh. If one already has a bachelors degree seminary is 4 years, 2 years if you already have a masters degree in theology. Yes, a married seminarian and his family are expected to relocate to Pittsburgh. The diaconate program is 4 years long with a 2 week summer residency each year.
Posted By: Fr. Deacon Thomas Re: Seminary for Married Men - 09/12/20 11:08 PM
Seminary can be a sacrifice for married Protestant clergy as well.

One of the more difficult patterns was the one used by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in which Seminarians matriculated to a campus for their first and second years of classes, then were dispersed for one year for their Internship (frequently to other States); then returned to campus to for their senior year. Oh yes, and during the summer between the first and second year students were required to undergo Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). That often entailed a temporary relocation as CPE sites and supervisors are not in great abundance.

Because of the obvious burden on families "fourth year Internship" has become more common.
Posted By: dochawk Re: Seminary for Married Men - 09/18/20 10:41 PM
I won't go into any more detail, but there is definitely "friction" between the Pittsburgh seminary and some of the bishops who want to ordain married men . . .

Also, our bishop has made use of the Ukrainian diaconal program instead of our own on at least two occasions with seminarians I've known--the four long weekends a year rather than a two week session at a fixed time make a *huge* difference in who can go . .
Posted By: Colin Sheehan Re: Seminary for Married Men - 09/20/20 03:07 AM
Thank you for the input. It sounds as complicated as I imagined it would be lol.
Posted By: Collin Nunis Re: Seminary for Married Men - 10/28/20 01:54 AM
Seminary is really an infrastructure and a mechanism - a community of formation if you will. Likewise, canonically, the seminary is also seen as a sui iuris Church, with the rector given the same privilege as the average pastor of a parish. My formation in ministry was the parish community and my parish priest. The only thing I did outside the parish community was getting a theology degree. My bishop was appraised of my progress every couple of months.
Posted By: theophan Re: Seminary for Married Men - 10/30/20 01:00 AM
Quote
. . . there is definitely "friction" between the Pittsburgh seminary and some of the bishops who want to ordain married men.

So why does a bishop not have the option of sending his candidates to another Eastern Catholic seminary? The Ukrainians have one and the Melkites have another. Both have made provisions for married candidates to attend. It seems to me the difficulty is in candidates who are already married because of the need to find work for the spouse. But if there is a real desire for a given candidate to succeed, there should be innovative solutions that can be found.

BTW, where do the Romanians send their men? Their eparchy is not large enough to have its own seminary.
Posted By: Fr. Deacon Thomas Re: Seminary for Married Men - 10/30/20 03:25 AM
Originally Posted by Collin Nunis
Seminary is really an infrastructure and a mechanism - a community of formation if you will. Likewise, canonically, the seminary is also seen as a sui iuris Church, with the rector given the same privilege as the average pastor of a parish. My formation in ministry was the parish community and my parish priest. The only thing I did outside the parish community was getting a theology degree. My bishop was appraised of my progress every couple of months.

Agreed.

But the weakness...almost an Achilles' heel...is that Seminarians immersed in this community which they regard as their parish may develop a very unrealistic expectation that the first parish to which they are assigned following Ordination can be "just like" the Seminary community; or worse, they may attempt to force the parish to become something which they have never been.

Orthodoxy and Byzantine Catholocism function best as a triadic relationship between parishes, monasteries, and the domestic (home) church aka Icon corner, etc. The Seminary is positioned at the center of that triangle. Parishes are not monasteries, nor should be expected to function as one. Conversely, monasteries are not parishes. And in like manner Seminaries are neither. Vive la difference!
Posted By: Fr. Deacon Lance Re: Seminary for Married Men - 10/31/20 06:43 PM
I don’t know about friction, married candidates have and continue to be there. Married candidates and their families can’t live at the seminary due to youth protection issues which is an additional hardship.
Posted By: Fr. Deacon Lance Re: Seminary for Married Men - 10/31/20 06:44 PM
The Melkites no longer have a seminary.
Posted By: theophan Re: Seminary for Married Men - 10/31/20 07:16 PM
Christ is in our midst!!

I thought I remember that the Ukrainians had a year at their seminary in DC where they did over their housing to accommodate married seminarians. Or am I wrong?
Posted By: Fr. Deacon Lance Re: Seminary for Married Men - 10/31/20 11:19 PM
I don’t know. Perhaps one of our Ukrainian people know?
Posted By: dochawk Re: Seminary for Married Men - 11/26/20 07:12 PM
It's been a while as I bumble through this haze of 2020 . . .


Originally Posted by theophan
Quote
. . . there is definitely "friction" between the Pittsburgh seminary and some of the bishops who want to ordain married men.

So why does a bishop not have the option of sending his candidates to another Eastern Catholic seminary?


Actually, my bishop has been sending diaconal candidates to the Ukrainians for some time. If nothing else, it's far more *possible* to attend their multiple long weekends than a two week period at an inflexible time.

I really don't know what's going to happen for priestly formation, but there is most definitely episcopal support for finding a way to do it.

Quote
It seems to me the difficulty is in candidates who are already married because of the need to find work for the spouse. But if there is a real desire for a given candidate to succeed, there should be innovative solutions that can be found.

I suspect that much of the solution is going to be donors stepping in. Much of the problem is a hostility, whether real or perceived, to the practice of ordaining married men and the existence of the married seminarians.
Posted By: theophan Re: Seminary for Married Men - 12/01/20 03:02 PM
Christ is in our midst!!

Is it possible that a group of lay people could form a non-profit corporation and raise money to provide stipends for married seminarians?
Posted By: Fr. Deacon Lance Re: Seminary for Married Men - 12/01/20 05:42 PM
That is what the Serra Club kind of is but not specifically for just married seminarians. Don’t see why you couldn’t start one with that in mind.
Posted By: theophan Re: Seminary for Married Men - 12/01/20 06:11 PM
Christ is in our midst!!

My thought was to set the fund raising corporation apart from the Church so that its assets could not be used to fund the problems, lawsuits, and settlements that seem to keep cropping up. The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown has, for example, The Independent Catholic Foundation which has this concept in mind. A person can make a bequest, for example, that the Foundation administers for a specific purpose. Similarly a corporation could be set up to which people could make tax deductible contributions whose sole purpose would be to give stipends to married seminarians and only married seminarians. It could also be established wholly outside episcopal control so that the candidate would apply entirely outside the regular seminary process.

It could also be stipulated that if the candidate did not complete studies, it would be repaid to the foundation.
Posted By: dochawk Re: Seminary for Married Men - 12/01/20 10:18 PM
You'll need someone that *really* understands 501c3. I know a great many areas of law, but that one is not a place to tread only on occasion.

There also may be tax issues for a grant that turns to my loan.

Overall, though, pretty much *any* donation these days should be to an entity other than the diocese itself, even if the bishop is the trustee/whatever of that fund.

Some dioceses are making the move to separate corporations for each church. I would also want the school, its building, and its scholarship fund each in its own . . .
Posted By: theophan Re: Seminary for Married Men - 12/02/20 02:49 PM
Christ is in our midst!!

doc,

Our diocese had each parish incorporate separately years ago so that the last time it was sued there was not even a property that it owned. It now rents space for its offices from a parish with a closed school building.
Posted By: Utroque Re: Seminary for Married Men - 12/02/20 07:13 PM
Some years ago back in the 70s and 80s the Melkites sent their seminarians to Holy Cross GO seminary in Brookline, MA. This, and St. Vladimir are two first class seminaries with outstanding faculties. Why can't Eastern Catholics take advantage of this rich resource when our own resources are dwindling?
Posted By: theophan Re: Seminary for Married Men - 12/03/20 12:11 AM
Christ is in our midst!!

Utroque,

You may have just asked the $64K question. The silence waiting for the answer will be deafening, I suspect.

Bob
Posted By: Fr. Deacon Lance Re: Seminary for Married Men - 12/03/20 04:44 AM
Probably the same reasons Orthodox don’t send their seminarians to Eastern Catholic seminaries.
Posted By: Utroque Re: Seminary for Married Men - 12/03/20 02:39 PM
They don't need to in the US. When the caliber's there they go. His Beatitude, Patriarch Bartolomeos did postgraduate studies at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome!
Posted By: ajk Re: Seminary for Married Men - 12/03/20 04:11 PM
The (long term) diaconate of the Passaic Eparchy (a tonsured reader and two deacons) has produced three fine priests sans (formal) seminary; two of them are now Orthodox.
Posted By: theophan Re: Seminary for Married Men - 12/03/20 04:40 PM
Christ is in our midst!!

I have seen discussions about the long term education requirements for clergy and how expensive it is. I have also seen suggestions that maybe the education could be done virtually with several in person sessions of a week or two spread over the course of a year.

I read in our diocesan magazine that our (Roman( seminarians are not permitted to work during their formation. I was dumbfounded to learn that for up to eight years that not even a summer job is allowed. It's no wonder we have a dearth of candidates.

Bob
Posted By: Fr. Deacon Lance Re: Seminary for Married Men - 12/03/20 11:29 PM
Originally Posted by Utroque
They don't need to in the US. When the caliber's there they go. His Beatitude, Patriarch Bartolomeos did postgraduate studies at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome!
Post-graduate studies at the Oriental Institute is not the same as seminary. I would put our Seminary up against St Vlad’s. We don’t send our guys there because the pressure to become Orthodox is too much. I know of a few guys who tried it and ended up Orthodox.
Posted By: theophan Re: Seminary for Married Men - 12/04/20 12:39 AM
Quote
Utroque asked, "Why can't Eastern Catholics take advantage of this rich resource when our own resources are dwindling?"

Quote
Father Deacon Lance wins the $64K: "We don’t send our guys there because the pressure to become Orthodox is too much. I know of a few guys who tried it and ended up Orthodox."

I guess I was a bit naïve to think that seminaries could share resources. But the truth is that the particular seminary is meant to form a man in the Church tradition that established it.

OTOH, I know two Lutheran pastors who trained in the Bay area of CA. They once told me that they took courses from a nearby Catholic seminary for certain subjects and the Catholic seminarians took courses at their seminary. There were also United Methodist candidates who were included in this mix. I imagine they were referring to specific Biblical courses and other subjects where the former divergence has disappeared.
Posted By: Utroque Re: Seminary for Married Men - 12/06/20 11:29 PM
Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
We don’t send our guys there because the pressure to become Orthodox is too much. I know of a few guys who tried it and ended up Orthodox.

I do not know for sure, but that may be why the Melkites gave up on Holy Cross. It's probably the Orthodox ethos that breathes there that attracts them. In which case I think its incumbent to demand that our hierarchs suppress Latinizations which I know have weakened my own enthusiasm for our EC tradition. It's encouraging to know that you have confidence in our seminaries.
Posted By: ajk Re: Seminary for Married Men - 12/07/20 02:35 PM
Originally Posted by Utroque
Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
We don’t send our guys there because the pressure to become Orthodox is too much. I know of a few guys who tried it and ended up Orthodox.

I do not know for sure, but that may be why the Melkites gave up on Holy Cross. It's probably the Orthodox ethos that breathes there that attracts them. In which case I think its incumbent to demand that our hierarchs suppress Latinizations which I know have weakened my own enthusiasm for our EC tradition. It's encouraging to know that you have confidence in our seminaries.
I suspect a lack of maturity is a contributing factor. Ordination is a nuptial Mystery: it's about ḥesed, covenant love, fervent love, fidelity. It's ECCLESIOLOGY: Ekklesia (Church) not ethos.
Posted By: Utroque Re: Seminary for Married Men - 12/07/20 03:17 PM
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Utroque
Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
We don’t send our guys there because the pressure to become Orthodox is too much. I know of a few guys who tried it and ended up Orthodox.

I do not know for sure, but that may be why the Melkites gave up on Holy Cross. It's probably the Orthodox ethos that breathes there that attracts them. In which case I think its incumbent to demand that our hierarchs suppress Latinizations which I know have weakened my own enthusiasm for our EC tradition. It's encouraging to know that you have confidence in our seminaries.
I suspect a lack of maturity is a contributing factor. Ordination is a nuptial Mystery: it's about ḥesed, covenant love, fervent love, fidelity. It's ECCLESIOLOGY: Ekklesia (Church) not ethos.

Are you saying that these seminarians may have ended up Orthodox because of their lack of maturity as a contributing factor? I'm not sure what you mean. I'm just saying that there is a such thing as an "Orthodox (Church) ethos" which some, including myself, find very attractive and alluring. I do not think that that is a sign of a lack of maturity, but a response to a beautiful way. The ecclesiological aspect of it is what keeps me grounded in Rome; for I truly believe with all my "hesed" that that is the more ancient, apostolic and catholic way.
Posted By: ajk Re: Seminary for Married Men - 12/07/20 04:36 PM
Originally Posted by Utroque
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Utroque
Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
We don’t send our guys there because the pressure to become Orthodox is too much. I know of a few guys who tried it and ended up Orthodox.

I do not know for sure, but that may be why the Melkites gave up on Holy Cross. It's probably the Orthodox ethos that breathes there that attracts them. In which case I think its incumbent to demand that our hierarchs suppress Latinizations which I know have weakened my own enthusiasm for our EC tradition. It's encouraging to know that you have confidence in our seminaries.
I suspect a lack of maturity is a contributing factor. Ordination is a nuptial Mystery: it's about ḥesed, covenant love, fervent love, fidelity. It's ECCLESIOLOGY: Ekklesia (Church) not ethos.

Are you saying that these seminarians may have ended up Orthodox because of their lack of maturity as a contributing factor?
Yes.

Originally Posted by Utroque
I'm not sure what you mean.
But you do; read on.

Originally Posted by Utroque
I'm just saying that there is a such thing as an "Orthodox (Church) ethos" which some, including myself, find very attractive and alluring.
Right. Is it not in the BCC also?

Originally Posted by Utroque
I do not think that that is a sign of a lack of maturity, but a response to a beautiful way.
I agree.

Originally Posted by Utroque
The ecclesiological aspect of it is what keeps me grounded in Rome; for I truly believe with all my "hesed" that that is the more ancient, apostolic and catholic way.
Demonstrating you know what I mean.
Posted By: Utroque Re: Seminary for Married Men - 12/07/20 07:06 PM
Originally Posted by ajk
Right. Is it not in the BCC also?

I would just say that Latinizations have dimmed the light, so to speak, and make the allure of the Orthodox Church more attractive to some, be they mature or not. Having been in the OCA for a number of years, I can say that my experience in the BCC has not been as uplifting, and I find that a bit sad.
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