Why You Should Consider The Quigley Scholars Program
If you're a high school-aged young man discerning your calling, the Quigley Scholars program is a great introduction to the seminary lifestyle and a way for you to receive initial guidance on discerning your vocation. The program was created in 2007 as a way to support young men, in public and Catholic high schools as well as homeschooled students, who are curious about priesthood and what steps to consider.
How Does It Work?
Quigley Scholars come to monthly meetings at either St. Joseph College Seminary or Mundelein Seminary. At these meetings, scholars meet with seminarians and priests for Mass, dinner, and a formation/faith sharing session. The formation session is geared towards inspiring prayerful discernment of one's vocation. In this way, you'll regularly interact and socialize with those already discerning their vocation so you can truly understand the lifestyle. Additionally, you'll have the opportunity to consult with a priest sponsor that will help guide you to find God's calling for you.
How Does It Help?
Conrad Espino, a Quigley Scholars alum and current seminarian, provided some great insights from his time in the program:
"it was key to my personal vocational discernment. From it, I was able to slowly develop a spirituality centered around discerning and following God's will -- a spirituality that I notice every good priest happens to have. The fraternity with seminarians alongside witnessing them pray plays an especially important role in developing priests. By being able to witness this, I was able to see that seminarians are extremely devout, but at the same time are also regular, college guys who can joke around and have fun. I found that really inspiring, to see that the priesthood is rooted in God but also rooted in virtuous, human fraternity."
Who Is A Typical Quigley Scholar?
A Quigley Scholar is a high school-aged young man who feels God is speaking to him in a real way and wants to enter more deeply into a conversation with Him. He is serious about living his Catholic faith and wants to talk about it with others and study it further. He feels that God might actually be asking him to learn more about what it means to be a Catholic priest; and ultimately, Quigley Scholars want to make a difference in the world through helping others.
As Conrad says, "I think the boys who enter the program should have some sort of desire to become closer to God and feel some sort of pull towards the seminary if they want to get the most out of the program. I think the most important traits for a Quigley Scholar to have are to be rooted in prayer and to ultimately be open and honest about their discernment."
What About The Quigley Scholarship Program?
We are able to grant two types of scholarships to those that are accepted into the program: offsetting Catholic high school tuition and a college seminary scholarship.
The first scholarship is for students attending a four-year Catholic high school within the Archdiocese of Chicago involved with our program. Recipients receive a $2,500 discount on their high school tuition, paid directly to their school in 2 installments -- once in the first semester and once in the 2nd semester. To qualify, candidates are required to be active in the Quigley Scholars program by attending the monthly meetings. Parents are also required to attend an annual meeting in order to learn how to foster their son's vocational discernment at home.
We also offer an annual $2,500 scholarship to those that are admitted into St. Joseph College Seminary. Those who qualify have attended a public high school or were homeschooled while involved in the Quigley Scholars Program. The scholarship is applied directly toward tuition and is awarded annually based on how long the student participated in the Quigley Scholars program.
Why Should I Consider Applying?
As Conrad states, "Now that I'm a seminarian, I've come to realize that the Quigley Scholars program does as much good for the seminarians as it does for the 'Quiglets'. It's a blessing to be given the opportunity to share my own discernment and development with guys who are now in the same place I was just a few years go. It's especially exciting to witness guys for whom I've led formation sessions make the decision to enter the seminary, then be able to walk alongside them toward the priesthood. I think this aspect of the program really stands testament to how the priesthood is a brotherhood, from the youngest of our brothers in the Quigley Scholars program all the way through to the guys who are nearing their ordination day in major seminary."
How Do I Apply?
Please ask your parish priest to assist you through the application process. Download the application form here.
The Quigley Scholars Program applications are accepted throughout the year. However, to be considered for a financial scholarship, your application must be received between January 1 and August 31 prior to the start of the year in which you begin participating in the program.
For further information about the requirements and expectations of a Quigley Scholar, please visit our website.