Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to become a Priest or Brother in the Society of Mary?
What do you do at the seminary?
Does it cost anything to train as a Priest or Brother of the Society of Mary?
Can you leave if you want to?
Can you keep friends outside the seminary?
What are the three vows a Marist Priest or Brother take?
Can you get married?
What is the difference between celibacy and chastity?
Are you free to choose what work you would like to do?
Can you have your own car at the seminary?
What about stereos and computers? Can I bring these to the seminary?
Do you share rooms, or have your own room?
I have a student loan. What should I do about this?
I am interested in making contact about a vocation. Who can I talk to about this?
How do I know God is calling me to a priestly or religious vocation?
What process do I follow to enter the Marist seminary?

How long does it take to become a Marist Priest or Brother?

It takes about 8 or 9 years.

8 – 9 Years! That is a long time!

Not quite a question, but an exclamation that people often use. Eight years is a long time but seminarians would say that it goes by very quickly. It is also a decent length of time when discerning what God wants you to do for the rest of your life.

What do you do at the seminary?

Primarily we train as Priests and Brothers for the Society of Mary. We pray, study university level papers in theology, work in different organisations around Auckland and live as a community.

What does a seminarian’s routine look like?

Each seminarian is different, however, a typical weekly routine might begin at 6.15am for communal prayer, theology study during the day and communal prayer again in the evening. The structure is not overly rigid and there is time for extra prayer and social activities.

Does it cost anything to train as a Priest or Brother in the Society of Mary?

The Society of Mary covers all the costs of those preparing to become Marists.

Can you leave if you want to?

During the initial stages of formation, it is simple to leave. After Final Profession (life vows) in year 7 or 8, the person must seek a special dispensation to leave.

Can you keep friends outside the seminary?

Yes. It is healthy and good to keep up friendships and to keep making new ones.

What are the three vows  that a Society of Mary Priest or Brother takes?

The three vows are Poverty, Chastity and Obedience.

Can you get married?

No. Part of being a religious brother or priest is the vow of chastity. Like Jesus, we forego marriage to give our whole selves to the service of God’s people.

What is the difference between celibacy and chastity?

Celibacy is the free choice not to be married or have sexual relations. Chastity is the free choice to live one’s sexual life in accord with Christian values. The details vary depending on your marital status, but  everyone is called to live chastity.

In the case of Marists and other Religious, we desire to model our life on Jesus. Like him we are celibate, and try to live this in a generous and Christian way.

Are you free to choose what work you would like to do?

Religious take the vow of obedience, so such decisions are made by the Provincial of the Society of Mary, but always after consulting the person himself.

Can you have your own car at the seminary?

No. Because of our vow of poverty, religious share all material things. We have use of what we need for our ministry and studies.

What about stereos and computers? Can I bring these to the seminary?

Yes.

Do you share rooms, or have your own room?

Every seminarian and priest has their own room.

I have a student loan. What should I do about this?

If you are in accompaniment, then this is a good question to ask your director.

I am interested in making contact about a vocation. Who can I talk to about this?

Please feel free to call us at the Marist Seminary Hopetoun St Ph (09) 3600923 or to contact the administration centre for the Society of Mary in New Zealand (04) 499 3060.

How do I know God is calling me to a priestly or religious vocation?

Check out the Discernment section of this website. Talk to a priest about your thoughts.

What process do I follow to enter the Marist seminary?

Contact the Society of Mary, or the seminary. Normally, you will enter a period of accompaniment which entails a regular meeting with a priest. He will help you discern your vocation.