Diocesan Priesthood is probably the most common image of
priesthood we have today. Your parish priest is most likely
a diocesan priest. He was ordained by the Bishop of Syracuse
and promised his life to the service of this diocese. The
priests of this diocese come in all shapes and sizes. They
have a variety of interests and hobbies. They also have very
different personalities and styles. The same is true of the
people of this diocese. God calls many different people to
serve his people. However, some qualities are consistent in
those who are called to priesthood. Be sure to look at the
discernment page for these characteristics.
On the way to priesthood, each man is
ordained as a "transitional deacon." On April 24, 2010,
Jamie Schultz was ordained by Bishop Robert Cunningham. Jamie
was ordained at St. Mary's Seminary where he has been studying since
2005. Jamie comes from a large family and every sibling was
able to join him for this special day, including his brother who is
a seminarian and his sister who is a Nashville Dominican.
Deacon James Schultz is scheduled to be ordained to the priesthood
in Syracuse in June, 2011.
Deacon Jamie, Bishop Cunningham and the Schultz family.
Formation of a Diocesan Priest
Philosophy Studies are the building blocks for the Theology
Studies required of priests today. Some candidates choose to
enter the seminary right out of high school. The College
Seminary program will cover the Philosophy requirements.
Others will attend, or have attended, another college or
university. Each students transcript will be evaluated and
the appropriate pre-requisite classes will be assigned during the
first two-years of "pre-theology."
Theology Studies follow college seminary, or the
pre-theology program. Candidates for priesthood will take
four years of Graduate Theology classes.
Pastoral Year is a special opportunity in the Diocese of
Syracuse. Each seminarian takes a Pastoral Year after 2nd
Theology. This "internship year" gives the student a chance
to live and work in a parish for an entire year. Getting to
know the flow of a year in a parish is very helpful for
The program of study, after college seminary or pre-theology, is
five years. Add in the pre-requisite work and the time of
formation is seven to nine years. This may sound like a lot,
but a lot is expected of priests today. We want to be sure
that you are prepared for a long and healthy life as a priest.