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How do I best prepare?

How do I best prepare?

Evidence of above-average Christian discipleship must be found in a priestly candidate. The following are some prerequisites for a man who wishes to apply for formation: Commitment and fidelity to the Church – love for the Church and for the gifts it offers humanity is imperative for those who aspire to be of service in the Church;

  • Normal piety – if not at least ordinarily devoted to religious practice, it could hardly be expected that men would be fitted for the more than ordinary religious exercise of priests; they must be men of prayer, always striving to grow in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ;
  • Parochial Involvement – five years is a standard minimum amount of time for a man to exhibit his commitment to life in the Byzantine Catholic Church; he must be involved long enough to demonstrate service, a good reputation, and the depth of his spirituality and understanding of the Church; liturgical and/or catechetical involvement is preferred; this involvement in the life of the parish should immediately precede his application to be a seminarian;
  • Commitment to chaste, moral living – as Christian leaders, those who follow the religious life are held in the eyes of the public to a higher standard and occasions for scandal are increased; a willingness to struggle to live in holiness according to God’s precepts is crucial;
  • Good health – formation and priestly life, itself, make demands upon a man’s constitution; good physical and emotional health is essential;
  • Good mind – it is the training of the mind that enables a man to think deeply about important things which are necessary parts of the spiritual life; the supernatural rests upon the natural, and, in order to perfect themselves supernaturally, priests must grow naturally and intellectually; they must be able to make prudent, fair, and impartial decisions;
  • Ability to learn – as preachers and teachers of the Gospel, priests, themselves, must have the ability to learn and grow; bishops expect men to be accepted to formation only after completing college with a 4-year undergraduate degree with a grade point average of at least 3.0; a liberal arts undergraduate program with concentrations in fields such as Greek philosophy (the vocabulary of the Church Fathers), Church history, and literature can be a particularly effective “weigh station” for discernment;
  • Temperance – ordained men do not allow unnecessary concerns to divert them from their primary purpose of carrying out the Lord’s Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20); they are self-disciplined and able and willing to be formed;
  • Willingness to work hard – parochial ministry presents the unique opportunity to weave together a man’s God-given vocation with his occupation; this way of life requires focus and a desire to confront challenges for the good of souls;
  • Willingness to be obedient – ordained ministers must embrace a life of cooperation with those who have authority over them; they must show that their ministry is an extension of that of their bishop, and ultimately of Christ himself, the Good Shepherd.