Business owners: Want to support vocations to the priesthood?

May I recommend to Catholic business owners…

If you want to support vocations to the priesthood, one way to do so would be to find or offer summer jobs to seminarians.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Ralph says:


    How would one go about this? Also, do the seminarians need specific types of jobs? Do they need to have a “pastoral” dimmension?

    When/if the economy improves, I might be able to offer a summer job to an able bodied seminarian who wasn’t afraid of a little hard work. They might not like it, but I bet it’d make them excited to get back to the seminary!

  2. Ralph: Don’t worry about “pastoral”. The jobs need to involve work that must be done, can be done, and then a paycheck at the end of the week.

  3. rakesvines says:

    The summer camps of the Salesians of St. John Bosco can always use counselors – specially seminarians.

  4. Is this normal? I thought seminarians went to school all year ’round. Do they have to pay for seminary, or is this a living-and-book-money thing? Are there other things seminarians need?

  5. Joe Gallaher says:

    Fr. Thanks for posting this. I think this is a very good idea. I work for a commercial painting/construction company based out of Ca. With 3 offices in Ca, 1 in Tx and 1 in Va we are always looking for extra summer help. If anyone is interested please send email to joe.gallaher(at)

  6. Charivari Rob says:

    My reaction was similar to Suburbanbanshee’s.

    My first thought was something along the lines of “Yeah, seminarians need money, too, but how would they have time for a summer job? Besides getting a little time off at home with their families, I thought seminarians usually spent their summers in-residence / observing in a parish setting.”

    But then…

    …maybe I’m just thinking of seminarians in the last year or so of their formation, after they’ve been ordained to the transitional diaconate.

  7. Kurt Barragan says:

    This is a great idea.

    Every seminary will have its own arrangements but mine (in the South of England) sends its students into parishes during May/June but then has quite a long summer vacation period. Many students would appreciate work during that period. The added income can be a real help and it is good to keep busy and use time well.

    I would add one practical suggestion. Seminarians will need to be able to get to Mass every day and, in some areas, daily Mass times are (sadly) not ideally suited to working people. If there are early morning or late evening Masses in the area, great. If not, employers would be doing a great service by allowing some flexibility so that the students can get to Mass.

  8. taleger123 says:

    Hey everyone. I’m Thomas and I’m a seminarian for the Diocese of Beaumont in Texas. First off, I’m a seminarian who, thanks to a generous family of parishoners who owns print shop in my town, has employment for this summer. I appreciate the offer for work, and I’m sure other seminarians would appreciate the work if offered as well. Thank you to those of you who are willing to give us summer work.

    To answer the questions as to why seminarians need summer jobs; almost all dioceses give their theology seminarians summer pastoral assignments, but not all of them give summer assignments to collegiate or pre-theology seminarians. Most dioceses like this require their seminarians to get a summer job. The jobs keep seminarians active doing something during the summer (Which is a blessing) and also help the seminarians save up some money. Although dioceses typically pay for the education and materials needed for it, sometimes their monthly stipends can run out quick for a seminarian, especially those who have a car. For this reason, the money saved from a summer job is great.

    I hope that answered a few questions.

  9. Lillian says:

    We are always in need of extra help in the summer on our farm, I would imagine there are other families in need as well.

    We are located in SE AL, have a guest house, and travel to an FSSP parish most Sundays. There is a local parish which does have daily Mass unless the pastor is out of town.

    Any interested seminarians are welcome to contact me if this type of temporary employment would be helpful.

  10. GoZagsGo says:

    And vocations to convents! Girls need jobs too! Dang student loans! :)

  11. APX says:

    I mean this as nicely as possible. I don’t feel seminarians should be getting hired over other students (I also see this as causing potential legal problems because you can’t hire or not hire someone based on religion). As it is here, our diocese pays for their education, room and board, textbooks and supplies, etc.

    As a sudent, I have to take out loans, which aren’t enough to cover my basic living expenses, and am required to work full time during the summer to qualify for student loans, as well as save up the money to make up the missing funds. Finding an employer willing to hire a student just for the summer around here is difficult. We don’t need to start discriminating against potential employees because of they’re not part of the right religious vocation.

    The most qualified person gets the job. Enough with the whole hiring of people because they’re from whatever special interest group.

  12. APX: This isn’t about preferential hiring. This is about encouraging employers not to be afraid to hire a seminarian (and to realize that seminarians are not cheating by working in the summer at a non-seminary job). It’s a very similar concept to campaigns asking employers to hire veterans and treat fairly those they hire.

    Even when it comes to very temporary summer jobs, many employers like to have the feeling that the worker is totally at their disposal forever, never to leave until they themselves let ’em go. Facts of life, even in a good economy. So this sort of plug is probably needed. (And it has been quite educational to me.)

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