the Diaconate and the Priesthood
Ordination to the Diaconate was discussed during the annual meeting of the Bishops, Vocation Directors, and Religious Superiors in December 2000. It was determined that a sufficient period of time should be set aside for diaconal ministry for those in their Fourth Year of seminary formation. The tradition of celebrating the Rite of Ordination on the seminary campus was affirmed so as not to detract from the Priesthood Ordination which would follow at the conclusion of the academic year. In order to facilitate this process, sufficient time is required for the seminary faculty to make recommendation for Orders. Consequently, the seminary faculty (meeting in the Fall term) participate in the Fourth Year Consultations in preparation for the Annual Review. Petitions for the diaconate are accepted in October in preparation for the faculty vote. This is to give sufficient time to allow bishops to respond. The Seminary has designated the Saturday before Thanksgiving as the date for the Diaconate Ordination.
It is left to the judgment of the bishop to determine when the deacon is to be called to the Order of Priesthood. When a seminarian has freely chosen to delay his ordination to either the Diaconate or Priesthood, it is important that he consult with his bishop concerning placement in the diocese. When the seminary administration has recommended a delay in ordination to the diaconate, the matter of the interval between diaconate and priesthood is determined by the bishop in consultation with the Seminary administration and what is recommended in Canon 1032.2.
In accord with the intent of Canon 1031, the faculty’s vote in favor of diaconate and the positive recommendation of the Rector for ordination to the diaconate should be understood together as equivalent to approbation for ordination to the priesthood soon after diaconate.
In all matters concerning advancement to orders, the Seminary diligently promotes the substance and spirit of Canon 1026: “For a person to be ordained, he must enjoy the requisite freedom. It is absolutely wrong to compel anyone, in any way, or for any reason whatsoever, to receive orders, or to turn away from orders anyone who is canonically suitable.”
Status of Students Who Have Completed Our Program but Have Not Petitioned for Orders
For an individual who has successfully completed the program, but has not petitioned for Orders and will not be in an extended parish internship, a detailed exit evaluation will be provided to the (Arch)bishop or religious superior at the point of completion of our program. Should the (Arch)bishop or religious superior, at a later date, e.g., one year later, request an additional evaluation, the Seminary must decline to meet such a request, since the faculty will have no formal contact with the seminarian upon completion of the Seminary program.
Students who complete the program but are not going on to ordination
An individual who has successfully completed their studies but who is not going to be ordained may be in a variety of situations.