Autism and Holy Orders: How to help seminarians with autism become effective priests


“I have been waiting for decades for such a book to appear. I have taught men in pre-ordination formation at several seminaries and universities, in the United States and in Rome, and I have seen far too many men suffer needlessly because of misunderstanding of their condition … Autism and Holy Orders will be useful for faculty and formators, bishops and abbots. But my hope is that it will gain a much wider audience. It should be read by parents of boys and men with autism who are considering the seminary. It will be useful to the candidates themselves, for their own self-understanding and for their experience of community life. It can be tremendously helpful for parishioners who wish to understand the priests with autism who serve them.”
— Scott Hahn, from the foreword

“Thirty years ago, St. John Paul II outlined four “pillars” that are essential in a seminarian’s preparation for the ministry and life of a priest: human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral formation. He intentionally began with human formation for the following reason: “The whole work of priestly formation would be deprived of its necessary foundation if it lacked a suitable human formation” (Apostolic Exhortation, Pastores Dabo Vobis, 43). Deacon Sutton applies this key concern of JP II as it pertains to assisting seminarians with autism, a developmental disorder that may be overlooked or misunderstood. I have consulted with Deacon Sutton on human formation issues for more than 10 years, and I have seen his insights applied in concrete situations. Vocation directors, seminary formators, and bishops will appreciate his professional and practical insights. I highly recommend Autism and Holy Orders.”

—Most Rev. Mark L. Bartchak, Bishop of Altoona-Johnstown

“Dr. Sutton has done a tremendous service to all who minister in religious formation and to the Church at large. Every vocation is a gift from God and, now more than ever, dare not be squandered. This book masterfully identifies autism not as an insurmountable barrier to a genuine vocation, but as a condition that can in most cases be easily managed for the benefit of the person, his religious community, and the Church.”

— Archabbot Martin Bartel, St. Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, Pennsylvania

SKU: 9781950607129 Category: