Future Priests of the Third Millennium

A little insight into the life of seminarians from various dioceses preparing for ministry as Roman Catholic priests, including daily activities, personal interests, special events, the spiritual life, news from the seminary, and almost whatever comes to our minds!

Monday, March 10, 2008


Considering the comment received on the last post, I am motivated to give you a snippet of the Social Manual for Seminarians by Rev. Thomas Casey and Rev. Leo Gainor, O.P. It can be purchased, though I don't think it can be found easily, nor cheaply. I am borrowing one of my brothers' - I myself don't have one.

Now, we ought to contextualize this, a bit. It was written in the 1950s/60s, when our culture was much different in some significant ways (as will be evidenced by the snippet below). Nonetheless, there are some parts (some quite important parts) which are very valid yet today. For now, though, perhaps one on the funnier side of things.

Telephone Usage

The use of the telephone for incoming and outgoing messages is strictly limited in all seminaries, major and minor.

Each institution has its own rules to fit its particular circumstances, but generally, the seminarian can receive only emergency incoming calls. Outgoing messages are limited to certain times and usually from a pay station or booth telephone.

The proper procedure for you to follow is to respect the regulations of your particular seminary; to obtain the required permission' to limit your calls as to number, times, and duration.

This limited use of the telephone itself, however, should not affect your knowledge and practice of the accepted code of telephone behavior. Indeed the very fact that your actual usage of the telephone will be so limited during your seminary days becomes an important reason for you to learn and to put into practice the fundamental requirements of proper telephone etiquette. You may have many more opportunities to practice these conventions during your vacation periods, at home, at work, at recreation, than you have at the seminary.

In many seminaries the students act as switchboard operators for the telephone equipment. If you are one of these, the following comments are of vital importance to you in fulfilling your duties properly and courteously.

You, however, should familiarize yourself with the rules whether you are called on to operate a switchboard or not. The day will come all too soon when you will have to exercise these courtesies in a very definite manner in your priestly assignment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


No rules?

I asked Seminarian Barnes about this the other day, and he laughed, assuring me the post had been in jest. Clearly, he needs to be enlightened about the existence of the manual. I shudder to think that his formation is lacking in proper telephone etiquette. ;) There must be a licentiate available in this at the Anselmo (yes, that was a bit of an intentional dig on the Anselm).

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