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 Taking the Plunge

"Put out into the deep water and lower your nets for a catch."  Lk 5:4b

Peter and his fellow fishermen had been out all night.  You could say they had an unsuccessful night of work. Jesus calls them back to the seashore of Galilee and asks them to go out one more time. With hesitation they respond. After leaving the shore Jesus invites them once again to lower their nets for a catch. In their minds they were thinking, "Jesus, are you crazy. We have been at this all night and caught nothing." They are resistant because they do not want to go through the embarrassment of lowering their nets and once again only to find them empty. They take a leap of faith and accept Jesus' invitation and their life is forever changed as they pull in nets overflowing with fish.  Jesus says, ""Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men." When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything
 and followed him. Lk 5:10-11

It takes great courage to 'take the plunge' and begin the seminary process. Great fear can be experienced when a man considers taking the plunge by beginning the application process for the seminary. Jesus is inviting you to come with him out onto the sea of Galilee and lower your nets, even if it means the risk of embarrassment, facing fear, or going in a direction with life that you never imagined. Jesus will never lead you where his grace does not sustain you. 

 Meet Our Seminarians

​​Below you will find information on all four of our diocesan seminarians. We ask that as they journey to priesthood you keep them close in prayer.
Carr.gif 

Fourth Theology
Rev. Mr. Daniel Carr | Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, Greensburg

Daniel E. Carr entered the priestly formation program in 2012. Daniel graduated from Hempfield Area High School, Hempfield Township, and is a 2006 graduate of Saint Vincent College, Latrobe. He attended St. Mark Seminary and Gannon University, both in Erie. In addition, Carr will be continuing his theological studies as at the Pontifical North American College and the Pontifical Gregorian University, both in Rome, Italy. He is a parishioner of Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, Greensburg.

Third College
Andrew Hamilton | Christ, Prince of Peace Parish, Ford City

Andrew Hamilton graduated salutatorian of his Ford City High School Class of 2015. He went on attend Saint Vincent College in Latrobe to major in history. He was then accepted into the priestly formation program for the diocese in Spring 2016. He has been assigned to St. Mark Seminary and Gannon University, both in Erie. Some of his favorite hobbies include snow sking, hunting and running. Hamilton is a parishioner of Christ, Prince of Peace Parish in Ford City.

Dunmire.gif​Third Theology
Mark Dunmire | ​St. Margaret Mary Parish, Lower Burrell

Mark R. Dunmire entered the priestly formation program in 2013. He is a graduate of Burrell High School, Lower Burrell, and is a 2007 graduate of Robert Morris University, Pittsburgh. Mark currently attends St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland, as a part of his formation in order to become a priest. He is a parishioner of St. Margaret Mary Parish, Lower Burrell.​

Pre-Theology II
Christopher Pujol | Mount St. Peter Parish, New Kensington

Christopher Pujol graduated from Valley High School in New Kensington in 2012 and went on to earn his bachelor's in international relations from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, in 2016. He was then accepted into the priestly formation program for the diocese in Spring 2016. He has been assigned to Saint Vincent Seminary, Latrobe. In his free time, he enjoys studying languages, reading about medieval history and global politics. Pujol, a parishioner of Mount St. Peter Parish, New Kensington, also enjoys playing tennis, camping and hiking.

 What is Seminary Like?

"The formation of future priests. … is considered by the church to be one of the most demanding and important tasks for the future of the evangelization of humanity." –  St. Pope John Paul II

RavisAccolyte.jpgThe English word seminary comes from the Latin seminarium, translated as seed-bed. The seminary is the place where a man is formed mind, body, and soul into the image of Jesus Christ. This is the place where the watering takes place, providing the seed with what it needs to grow. Often people think that seminaries are places where men walk around in silence all day chanting in Latin. This is not the case, rather, they are places of joy, brotherhood, and deep learning! Today's seminarians experience the best formation the church offers!

In order to become Catholic priest, a man must fulfill three basic requirements: a college degree, two years of philosophy study, and four years of theology study. Some men enter seminary while still in college and so they attend college seminary. Once they obtain a degree, they can transfer to major seminary. Currently the Diocese of Greensburg uses St. Mark Seminary for those men needing to complete either a college degree or pre-theology formation. The men attending St. Mark Seminary live at the seminary and complete their academic work at Gannon University.

Seminarians for the Diocese of Greensburg currently attend three major seminaries: St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pa., 
St. Mary's Seminary & University in Baltimore, Md., and The Pontifical North American College​ in Rome, Italy.  

Three Levels of Seminary

  • College Seminary:  A man who just graduated from high school would enter college seminary.  The man completes a normal college degree and also undergoes the formation required by the Church. 
  • Pre-Theology: A man who already has a college degree.  Before entering major seminary the man needs to complete two years of formation and philosophy requirements.
  • Major Seminary or Theology: Men who have completed either college seminary or pre-theology and are now in their last four years of seminary training.  

You are probably wondering what daily life is like for a typical seminarian? If it were to be described in one word: busy. Seminary formation focuses on four pillars: human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral, and because the demands of priesthood are so great, formation of future priests is rigorous. The seminarians engages in a process, called formation that prepares him for future ministry. In addition to master's level academics, seminarians pray together at least twice a day, go to daily Mass, meet with their spiritual directors, and go to pastoral assignments at local parishes. Plus there are special meetings, workshops, homework and the need for physical exercise.  

 Who Can be a Priest?

​​If you are:
  • A single male
  • Over 18 years of age 
  • In good standing with the Catholic Church
  • Enjoy a good reputation
  • Exhibit the necessary skills for seminary formation
  • Seriously believe that God may be calling you to a priestly vocation
  • Listen for the response to "Who do you want me to be?" "What do you want me to do?"

 Application Process

​Interested men are encouraged to contact Father Tyler Bandura​ in the Office for Clergy Vocations to learn more about the particular details of the Program of Priestly Formation for the diocese. As the diocesan vocations recruiter, he will be able to assist you in reviewing the particular diocesan requirements for seminary preparation and application.

The Diocese of Greensburg, like most dioceses, has particular guidelines and policies in place to govern and regulate the application process. However, each individual's personal and professional background varies and is taken into account on a one-to-one basis.  The major pieces of the application process include collection of personal and sacramental information, letters of recommendation, psychological evaluation, and application to seminary.

If you have a particular question regarding the possibility or viability of your own personal application, please 
contact us for further information.