All students, except those with an I, an F, or on probation, are free to petition for the Ministries and Orders at the times designated in the calendar. A Call to Ministry or Order will be issued by the bishop or religious superior only after the candidate has petitioned for such and indicated his freedom from any kind of duress. Before a student does petition for a Ministry or an Order, he is expected to have consulted with his spiritual director concerning his own readiness for advancement, particularly with regard to his spiritual fitness; and also with his Formation Advisor in light of his progress in the criteria. The seminary views these calls as part of the ongoing discernment process toward priesthood and petitions should be made with due seriousness.
Processing the Petition
After a student petitions, the Rector consults the faculty and then sends the petition to the Ordinary along with the recommendation of the faculty and his own recommendation. In the case of a petition for diaconate the faculty makes a recommendation to the Rector in the form of a faculty vote. The faculty must determine if a predominance of positive indicators of readiness for orders are clearly evidenced in the student.
It is then the responsibility of the student’s bishop or religious superior to issue or not to issue the formal Call to the Ministry or to Orders. When a seminarian has failed to receive faculty approval for orders, he is so informed by the Rector. In any event, the seminarian has a right to appeal to his diocesan bishop or religious superior.