The first step on the journey to seminary in the applicants’ year, which is run in Scotland and can be completed, in part, alongside a full-time job or studies. The year is designed both to help and guide you in your discernment, as well as to assess your suitability for Seminary.
Over the course of the year, you will typically undertake five weekends, as well as a Propaedeutic Period.
Weekend 1 – Getting to know One Another
This weekend serves as an introduction to the Seminary Applicants Year, enabling you to become familiar with the process, as well as offering some guidance in prayer, and forms of prayer, it also serves as an opportunity to get to know other applicants better.
Weekend 2 – Getting to know God
This weekend focuses on prayer, discussing how and when we should pray, as well as training you in different forms and methods of prayer to apply in your own life and discernment.
Weekend 3 – Getting to know Self
This weekend serves as an opportunity to review and consider your own life and journey, not just with Seminary Applicants, but your longer life journey and experiences. Looking at how experience can be applied to our future, and our work with others.
Weekend 4 – Getting to know Diocesan Priesthood
This weekend looks more closely at the role and responsibilities of a Diocesan Priest within the Church Community, considering not only pastoral work, but also the typical timetable and administrative duties of a Parish Priest. In addition, there is discussion on the role of the parish community, and using the strengths of the parish.
Weekend 5 – The Way Forward
This weekend serves as an opportunity to meet the prospective applicants for the next year, providing the opportunity to share experience, and encourage and support them on their own discernment journey.
This lasts for up to six months at the Royal Scots College in Salamanca, Spain, during which time you will receive initial instruction in Philosophy and Theology, as well as a experience in Community Life, celebrating in the Liturgy as well as communal prayer.
Throughout the Applicants’ Process you are required to meet regularly with a Spiritual Director, as well your Vocations Director. In addition, you will also undertake a series of interviews, some one-to-one and others in front of a panel, to assess your suitability for Seminary.
For more details, see the Priests for Scotland website.