Monday, April 15, 2002

Priests: Entry requirements

By James Pilcher,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Would-be Roman Catholic priests face rigid requirements to enter seminaries. This is what's required at the Athenaeum of Ohio-Mount Saint Mary's Seminary in Cincinnati and Mundelein Seminary outside Chicago:

        • A bachelor's degree from a four-year college.

        • Five to 10 letters of recommendation, including one from the applicant's pastor.

        • A full psychological screening, including a session with a licensed psychologist.

        • Passage of a criminal background check, beginning this year. Policies on what previous convictions could exclude an applicant from seminary haven't been finalized.

        • An HIV test. The Athenaeum has no policy for what would happen if someone tested positive; no one has so far. A positive test would result in denial of admission to Mundelein.

        • Full tuition, including room and board, is $16,890 a year at the Athenaeum, and $18,771 at Mundelein. The Cincinnati archdiocese pays most of the costs; the Covington diocese covers all costs.


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