National Catholic Register

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‘The Right Stuff’ for Seminary Life

BY Liz Swain

October 12-18, 1997 Issue | Posted 10/12/97 at 1:00 PM

 

SAN DIEGO, Calif.—Men aspiring to a second career vocation will find some similarities between one seminary's admissions policy and the job application process. In both situations, the applicant's qualifications are evaluated, as well as how a person will fit in “the workplace.”

At Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, Conn., the evaluation process starts with Father Ray Halliwell MSsA, of the Missionaries of the Holy Apostles order. As vocations director, Father Halliwell reviews written requests for admission to determine if applicants should be scheduled to meet with a committee. Sometimes those letters are enough to determine who won't fit in for the training for the ultimate “job.”

“We advertise that we're with the Pope, that we're orthodox. Some people don't want to be formed, they want to form us,” said Father Halliwell.

“One man who wrote asked for $65 to get to the admissions interview.” He was not scheduled for an in-person interview.

Father Halliwell may also eliminate prospective applicants on the basis of a work history showing large gaps between employment, or a resume of 10 or more jobs. The prospective candidate must present documents that include four reference letters, a medical history, college credits, and proof of sacraments received.

Applicants participate in individual interviews with five people, including two priests and a psychologist.

Attitude is one of the traits that Father Halliwell will examine during the interview. “I look for someone who is upbeat, enthusiastic. He really believes in the body of Christ and the Church. He follows the Magisterium, and he has been able to hold a job,” he said. “He speaks clearly, is interesting, well-read, and humble enough to be changed.”

Liz Swain