Formation of priests

He knows the challenge of priestly formation.

Why do we promote the formation of priests?

Without priests there is no Eucharist. As Christians we have a duty to support priests. In a special way, by preventing them from being lost. vocations for lack of financial means.

We all know the importance of taking care of the formation stage so that, later on, it will benefit the faithful in the exercise of pastoral work.

CARF y el desafío de la
priestly formation

The Centro Academico Romano Foundation, CARF, was founded in 1989 and since then has acted as a link between thousands of generous souls who are willing to contribute financially with study grants and scholarships so that priests and seminarians from all over the world can receive a solid theological, human and spiritual preparation.

More than 800 bishops from the five continents apply annually for places in the different faculties of Pamplona and Rome, and study grants for their candidates.
Each academic year we assist with direct and indirect scholarships to approximately:
- 400 seminarians.
- 1.120 sacerdores diocesanos.
- 80 members of religious institutions.

¿Dónde se forman los candidatos
enviados por sus obispos?


Sedes Sapientiae International Seminar
Established in Rome by the Holy See in 1991. It has capacity for 85 resident seminarians and their formators. It occupies the former Conservatory of St. Paschal Baylon, in Trastevere, very close to St. Peter's and the Pontifical University.
Bidasoa International Seminar
Founded in Pamplona by the Holy See in 1988. It has a capacity for 100 residents and 10 formators. It currently occupies a modern building in Cizur Menor, near the campus of the University of Navarra.


Sedes Sapientiae International Seminar
St. Josemaría Escrivá always had the desire to create in Rome a center for higher education in the ecclesiastical sciences. Blessed Alvaro del Portillo started it in 1984 as an Academic Center. It has four ecclesiastical faculties: Theology, Philosophy, Canon Law and Institutional Social Communication, and a Higher Institute of Religious Sciences.
Ecclesiastical Faculties of the University of Navarre
They were erected by the Holy See in 1988 and their academic degrees have full canonical validity. Today it has faculties of Theology, Philosophy, Canon Law, and the Higher Institute of Religious Sciences.

Priesthood and convict schools

Priestly Colleges in Rome
Altomonte and Tiberino are two priests' colleges with modern facilities and more than 100 places for priests studying at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.
Senior schools and residences in Pamplona
Echalar, Aralar and Albáizar, together with the Los Tilos residence, have places for more than 130 students who come from all over the world to study in the Ecclesiastical Faculties of the University of Navarra.

What priestly studies can they pursue?

Main areas of priestly studies in ecclesiastical universities:
Encompassing a diversity of cultural contexts included in today's society. It offers a formative project based on the conviction that the Mystery of Christ is fundamental.
It fosters the reconciliation between the knowledge of different cultures, and between reason and faith. It studies the understanding of truth in its anthropological and historical-cultural context.
Canon Law
A study of science that delves into the theoretical and practical juridical system of the Catholic Church in the world, combining juridical formation with pastoral sensitivity.
Its objective is to train professionals in the field of communication to serve ecclesiastical institutions.

Degrees of formation within priestly studies and specific programs:

All ecclesiastical studies completed in Pontifical Institutions qualify for priestly ministry in any part of the world if one has the proper license.

How to opt for the formation of priests?

Each diocese requests the positions it needs for its candidates directly from the corresponding institution.

At the end of the admissions period, the institutions make their requests to CARF for funds to cover the scholarships awarded.
See annual report
funds contributed by CARF to scholarships in 2021
funds contributed to teaching and structural expenses in 2021
"For me the most exciting thing about teaching at the University of Santa Croce is to see, in the faces and behind the faces of my students, the souls whose lives they will touch. The souls I will probably never meet from India, Africa, Latin America, Europe and North America; that is the future of the Church that I see in my students. I am keenly aware when I am teaching in my class that I am talking to people who will be teachers, perhaps even bishops, martyrs and saints of the 21st century."
Father John Wauck - Professor of Liturgy

Serving the church on five continents

Learn about the fruits of this work thanks to the interactive map and discover CARF's tireless work to serve the church - more than 800 bishops - in 131 countries.
Go to map

Make a donation

Every year more than 800 bishops from all over the world request study grants for their candidates, who need generous people to help them complete their ecclesiastical formation. We at CARF want to be able to respond to all requests.
Donate now