Roman Catholic Diocese of Greensburg

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 Taking the Plunge

"Put out into the deep water and lower your nets for a catch."  Lk 5:4b

Peter and his fellow fishermen had been out all night.  You could say they had an unsuccessful night of work. Jesus calls them back to the seashore of Galilee and asks them to go out one more time. With hesitation they respond. After leaving the shore Jesus invites them once again to lower their nets for a catch. In their minds they were thinking, "Jesus, are you crazy. We have been at this all night and caught nothing." They are resistant because they do not want to go through the embarrassment of lowering their nets and once again only to find them empty. They take a leap of faith and accept Jesus' invitation and their life is forever changed as they pull in nets overflowing with fish.  Jesus says, ""Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men." When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything
 and followed him. Lk 5:10-11

It takes great courage to 'take the plunge' and begin the seminary process. Great fear can be experienced when a man considers taking the plunge by beginning the application process for the seminary. Jesus is inviting you to come with him out onto the sea of Galilee and lower your nets, even if it means the risk of embarrassment, facing fear, or going in a direction with life that you never imagined. Jesus will never lead you where his grace does not sustain you. 

 Meet Our Seminarians

​​           Below you will find information about our diocesan seminarians. We ask that, as they journey to priesthood, you keep them close in prayer.

Dunmire.gif Fourth Theology
Rev. Mark Dunmire | ​St. Margaret Mary Parish, Lower Burrell

Deacon Mark who was ordained into the Diaconate on June 22, 2019 entered the priestly formation program in 2013. He is a graduate of Burrell High School, Lower Burrell, and a 2007 graduate of Robert Morris University, Pittsburgh. Mark currently attends St. Mary Seminary, Baltimore, Maryland. Mark will be ordained a priest for the Diocese of Greensburg in the summer of 2020.

Slusarick_David_4x5_SaJKPH1uEItdZ-eALyKtq8t18q0ABlZBh_rgb_hd.jpgPre-Theology II
David Slusarick | St. Therese de Lisieux, Uniontown

David Slusarick earned his undergraduate degree in Journalism and Business Management from West Virginia University, then he continued earning a Master’s in Education Leadership Studies. Most recently he worked as a Senior Districe Executive for the Boy Scouts of America. He is currently a Seminary student at St. Mark Seminary, Erie. In his free time he enjoys listening to music, reading, community service, and spending time in the outdoors. He is a parishioner of St. Therese de Lisieux, Uniontown.

Dunmire.gif College I
Jeremy Zawelensky | ​St. Cecilia Parish, Whitney

Jeremy is a 2019 graduate of Greater Latrobe Senior High School. He was very active in many activities in High school. At St Cecilia he serves as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, altar server, choir member, and has been actively helping with Vacation Bible School and Youth Group. He has had his eye on the priesthood since a very young age and will start his college studies at Saint Mark Seminary and Gannon University, Erie in the fall of 2019. 


Theology II
Christopher Pujol | Mount St. Peter Parish, New Kensington

Christopher Pujol graduated from Valley High School in New Kensington in 2012 and in 2016 he earned his bachelor’s degree in international relations from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh. He is attending Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. In his free time, he enjoys studying languages, reading about medieval history and global politics, playing tennis, camping and hiking.

Theology I
Andrew Hamilton | Christ, Prince of Peace Parish, Ford City

Andrew Hamilton graduated salutatorian of his Ford City High School Class of 2015. He went on to attend Saint Vincent College in Latrobe to major in history. He was then accepted into the priestly formation program for the diocese in the spring of 2016. In the spring of 2019 Mark graduated from Gannon University and completed college seminary at St. Mark Seminary in Erie. He will continue his Seminary formation at Saint Vincent Seminary, Latrobe in the fall of 2019.

Alexander_Craig_4x5_SXiR4cLwyASYnWI_0m2Zzyu18q0ABlZBh_rgb_hd.jpgPre-Theology II
Craig Alexander | St. Peter Parish, Elizabethtown

Craig Alexander, originally from Harrisburg, recently retired from Penn-Dot as a Roadway Programs Technician Supervisor. He is currently a Seminary student at Saint Vincent Seminary, Latrobe. He enjoys reading, walking, hockey, and Sudoku.




Dunmire.gif College I
Aidan Kerlin | ​St. Joseph Parish, Derry

Aidan recently moved to Western Pennsylvania from Connecticut and is a 2019 graduate of Homeschool. He is the fifth of eight children. He serves both as a parish altar server and an Episcopal altar server. He also serves as a Lector at Sunday Mass. He will start his college studies at Saint Mark Seminary and Gannon University, Erie in the fall of 2019.



 What is Seminary Like?

"The formation of future priests. … is considered by the church to be one of the most demanding and important tasks for the future of the evangelization of humanity." –  St. Pope John Paul II

Daniel CarrThe English word seminary comes from the Latin seminarium, translated as seed-bed. The seminary is the place where a man is formed mind, body, and soul into the image of Jesus Christ. This is the place where the watering takes place, providing the seed with what it needs to grow. Often people think that seminaries are places where men walk around in silence all day chanting in Latin. This is not the case, rather, they are places of joy, brotherhood, and deep learning! Today's seminarians experience the best formation the church offers!

In order to become Catholic priest, a man must fulfill three basic requirements: a college degree, two years of philosophy study, and four years of theology study. Some men enter seminary while still in college and so they attend college seminary. Once they obtain a degree, they can transfer to major seminary. Currently the Diocese of Greensburg uses St. Mark Seminary for those men needing to complete either a college degree or pre-theology formation. The men attending St. Mark Seminary live at the seminary and complete their academic work at Gannon University.

Seminarians for the Diocese of Greensburg currently attend three major seminaries: St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pa., 
St. Mary's Seminary & University in Baltimore, Md., and The Pontifical North American College​ in Rome, Italy.  

Three Levels of Seminary

  • College Seminary:  A man who just graduated from high school would enter college seminary.  The man completes a normal college degree and also undergoes the formation required by the Church. 
  • Pre-Theology: A man who already has a college degree.  Before entering major seminary the man needs to complete two years of formation and philosophy requirements.
  • Major Seminary or Theology: Men who have completed either college seminary or pre-theology and are now in their last four years of seminary training.  

You are probably wondering what daily life is like for a typical seminarian? If it were to be described in one word: busy. Seminary formation focuses on four pillars: human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral, and because the demands of priesthood are so great, formation of future priests is rigorous. The seminarians engages in a process, called formation that prepares him for future ministry. In addition to master's level academics, seminarians pray together at least twice a day, go to daily Mass, meet with their spiritual directors, and go to pastoral assignments at local parishes. Plus there are special meetings, workshops, homework and the need for physical exercise.  

 Who Can be a Priest?

​​If you are:
  • A single male
  • Over 18 years of age 
  • In good standing with the Catholic Church
  • Enjoy a good reputation
  • Exhibit the necessary skills for seminary formation
  • Seriously believe that God may be calling you to a priestly vocation
  • Listen for the response to "Who do you want me to be?" "What do you want me to do?"

 Application Process

​Interested men are encouraged to contact Father Tyler Bandura​ in the Office for Clergy Vocations to learn more about the particular details of the Program of Priestly Formation for the diocese. As the diocesan vocations recruiter, he will be able to assist you in reviewing the particular diocesan requirements for seminary preparation and application.

The Diocese of Greensburg, like most dioceses, has particular guidelines and policies in place to govern and regulate the application process. However, each individual's personal and professional background varies and is taken into account on a one-to-one basis.  The major pieces of the application process include collection of personal and sacramental information, letters of recommendation, psychological evaluation, and application to seminary.

If you have a particular question regarding the possibility or viability of your own personal application, please 
contact us for further information.