Each year the Arlington Diocese creates a poster with photos of
diocesan seminarians. Below each face is the name, level of education, school
and parish. It’s great to recognize faces from our parishes, but often people
don’t fully understand the terminology.
The graphic (below) illustrates the stages of formation for
Of the 43 diocesan seminarians, 11 are studying at the Pontifical
College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio; 10 are at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in
Emmitsburg, Md.; 10 are at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, Pa.;
three are at St. John Paul II Seminary in Washington; two are at the University
of San Dámaso in Madrid; and seven are at the Pontifical North American College
in Rome. In the past, seminarians have attended Theological College of Catholic
University in Washington and Pope St. John XXII National Seminary in Weston,
Mass., but there are none there this year.
Seminarians might follow a college track or a major seminary
track. The college track is for those who enter the seminary without a
bachelor’s degree; major seminary is for those who have a degree. College track
seminarians typically will study for eight years, while major seminary
seminarians will study for six.
“There are many qualities I am looking for in someone for the
priesthood,” said Father J.D. Jaffe, Arlington diocesan vocations director.
“God is eclectic in His call and so it is more about the whole person than any
The men have the option of
adding a spiritual year for prayer, reading, service and non-degree studies, or
a pastoral year to broaden their experience of parish life.
“Most of the time in vocations work, I get to meet men and women
who are on fire for a relationship with Christ and His church,” said Father
Jaffe. “They are asking how to pray better, how to serve God or His people
more, how to take their faith more seriously, etc.”
With more than 40 men in formation, the Arlington Diocese is
blessed to have so many future priests.
Find out more
National Vocations Awareness Week is Nov. 6-12. Go to