Rite of Candidacy
A Q&A About the Rite of Candidacy with Seminarian Jeb Key
Q: What is the Rite of Candidacy?
Candidacy is a rite in the Church that all people aspiring to receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders receive before they become a cleric. If you are a cleric, that means you are either a deacon or a priest, that means you can wear clerics which is the collar and the black that all priests wear. The Rite of Candidacy is given to men who are preparing to give themselves to Holy Orders and it is the Church accepting a person to continue on to receive Holy Orders. It’s the church saying “this person has the qualities we are looking for to become a priest” and it means they have confidence in us. The confidence they have in us is affirming and instills the motivation to continue.
Q: How did you feel when you received notification that you are about to become a Candidate?
It’s something I’ve been very excited about, you’re getting closer to the end and that end goal is priesthood. In the same respect it means wow, this is getting close and it’s very real, it’s one of the first real steps towards priesthood and it’s not to be taken lightly.
Q: As you walked through the doors, what was going through your head?
It’s always awesome to go to diocesan events in the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans because this is the place I will be ordained a priest. That is what went through my mind as I walked through the doors, three more years and this is where I hope to be, laying down on the marble.
Q: What is something a reader should know Candidacy?
In many places, receiving Candidacy means you can wear clerics. It’s almost like an engagement in a relationship, it is both parties, the Church and the Seminarian promising that they will see this through to the end. Both parties have gotten to know each other and agree to be with each other for the rest of our days.
Q: Fun fact about being a Seminarian going through Candidacy?
One of the things seminarians are reminded is that you have no status. Candidacy is the Church saying we still have no status, but we’re getting closer to actually having status in the Church so Candidacy is all about looking forward to the day when we finally become a priest and that is strengthened through the graces received at Candidacy and is meant to motivate us more.
Q: Any fun stories to share regarding Candidacy?
I’ve been asked if people have to call me Father now. The answer is no. I’m still Jeb, no one has to call me Father or seminarian, but I am a candidate for Holy Orders.