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Life at the Seminary

Many men discerning a vocation to the priesthood wonder what life at a seminary is like. The daily schedule of a seminary follows a fixed pattern of prayer, study, and community time so as to foster the atmosphere of stability and structure necessary for discernment and formation.

There is also, of course, free time for recreation and fellowship. Community events, which range from bowling to football to watching a movie, takes place some Friday evening. Saturday afternoons and evenings are free most weeks to allow the seminarian to take care of errands and spend time with his family. Once a month an entire weekend is free, from Friday evening until Sunday night.

The yearly seminary calendar closely follows the academic calendar at Duquesne University, which can be viewed here.

Yearly Calendar (2016–2017)

August 13 Students may begin to move in
August 14 All students report by 4 p.m.
Opening Mass (6 p.m.)
August 15–20 Orientation
August 21 Duquesne Mass of the Holy Spirit (11 a.m.)
August 22 Classes begin at Duquesne University
September 5 Holiday: Labor Day
September 13 Seminary Mass of the Holy Spirit (5 p.m.)
October 1 Come and See Saturday
October 8 Diocesan Pilgrimage to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.
October 10–14 Midterm Exam Period
October 28 51st Peru Mission Reception and Dinner
November 1 Holy Day/Day of Recollection/Pilgrimage: Solemnity of All Saints
November 18–27 Holiday: Thanksgiving Break
December 8 Holy Day: Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
December 9–15 Final Examinations
January 8–11 Seminary Retreat
January 12 Classes Resume at Duquesne
January 16 Holiday: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
January 26–27 March for Life, Washington, D.C.
February 2/b> Students Moving On Receive Assignment Letters
February 17–19 Helfant Basketball Tournament
February 27–12 Midterm Exam Period
March 3–March 6 Spring Break
March 18 Come and See Saturday
March 20 Holy Day: Solemnity of Saint Joseph
April 13–17 Easter Break at Duquesne University
May 3 Study Day on Campus
Mayl 4–10 Final Examinations
May 11–12 Days of Recollection
May 12 Duquesne University Commencement

N.B. The Fall 2016 Semester at Duquesne lasts from August 22nd until December 15th, and the Spring 2017 Semester at Duquesne lasts from January 12th until May 10th.

Typical Horarium (Daily Schedule)


5:45 a.m. Exposition / Adoration (Optional)
6:00 a.m. – 6:45 a.m. Penance available (Tues. and Thurs.)
6:45 a.m. Morning Prayer (7:15 a.m. on Thu.)
7:00 a.m. Holy Mass (5:15 p.m. on Thu.)
7:30 a.m. Breakfast
9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Classes at Duquesne / Apostolic Works / House Duties / Studies
12:00 p.m. Lunch Available
5:30 p.m. Rosary or Stations of the Cross (Fri.)
5:00 p.m. Conference (Mon.)
5:45 p.m. Evening Prayer (5:00 p.m. on Fri.)
6:00 p.m. Dinner
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. House Class (Tue. and Thu.) / Studies
8:00 p.m. Holy Hour (Exposition / Adoration / Benediction including Seminarian Reflection and Night Prayer). (Wed).
9:00 p.m. Night Prayer (Optional with Assigned Student Leader)
11:30 p.m. Rooms


6:40 a.m. Exposition / Adoration (Optional)
7:45 a.m. Morning Prayer with Mass
8:30 a.m. Breakfast
Unless otherwise noted, the afternoon and evening are free
11:59 p.m. Seminarians should be on campus

(On Campus)

10:30 a.m. Solemn Morning Prayer
11:00 a.m. Holy Mass
12:00 p.m. Formal Lunch
One Sunday a month, the community visits a parish in the diocese and serves two of the morning Masses.
9:00 p.m. Night Prayer with Assigned Student Leader
Grand Silence Until Breakfast
11:30 p.m. Rooms

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