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It is an activity of cooperation with the grace of God where by God Himself works in the man to form him into Christian man and sharer in the Priesthood of Jesus Christ.

Christ who Forms

It is the Holy Spirit who transforms believers into the very image of Jesus Christ, who himself is the image of God. Formation takes place when we make ourselves a ready place for the Lord to dwell in us and transform us into the person He intends us to be. All priestly formation takes place within the context of the Church as the Body of Christ, as Mater et Magistra Mother and Teacher , and in relation to the mission of the Church in the World.

The formation in seminary is therefore integrated within the wider ecclesial understanding of the Church. The seminarian must, therefore, entrust himself to the Church in his formation, at the same time knowing that he is the person primarily responsible for his formation. The seminary forms future priests by attending to their human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral formation, which are outlined in Pastores Dabo Vobis as the four pillars of priestly.

The purpose of Human Formation is to assist the seminarian in his task of becoming a man who reflects in himself, as far as possible, the human perfection which shines forth in the incarnate Son of God, Jesus Christ. The human formation of the priest shows its special importance in relation to those who receive the mission for which he is ordained: In order that his ministry may be humanly as credible and acceptable as possible, it is important that the future priest mold his human personality in such a way that it becomes a bridge and not an obstacle for others in their meeting with Jesus Christ the Redeemer of humanity.

Read more here Through the seminary program a seminarian grows in his humanity in such a way that he is well-oriented to the truth, respectful of every person, compassionate, just, and balanced in judgment and behavior.


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A man engaged in human formation follows the example of Jesus who "knew what was in humanity" Jn. Human formation is done through the everyday interactions of seminary life with brother seminarians, and faculty and formators, and through individual meetings with formation advisors, and through group conferences and seminars.

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These are some of the attributes of a man who has entered well into human formation in the seminary:. The spirituality of a priestly way of life is characterized by prayer, celibate chastity, mature obedience, simplicity of life and social justice in imitation of Jesus Christ. Spiritual Formation in the seminary includes having a Spiritual Director, a priest, with whom each seminarian meets on a regular basis.

It also includes a Life of Prayer manifest through daily Liturgy of the Hours, devotional prayer, regular confession, devotion to the Blessed Mother Mary, regular retreats and days of personal reflection and meditation.

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Seminarian Formation

The purpose of spiritual formation is to develop within the future priest a deep and abiding friendship with God, for the benefit of that man and in service to his future ministry. The main principle of seminary intellectual formation is that the seminarian is formed to seek an ever-deeper knowledge of the divine mysteries for the benefit of the salvation of those he will serve. As a disciple of Christ, a seminarian is one who learns not only about Christ, but about all things that will assist him in bringing Christ to others.

This saving knowledge is acquired not only once, but it is continuously appropriated and deepened. This knowledge is not simply for personal possession but is destined to be shared in the community of faith, and to serve the future priest in his ability to pass on the faith in an intelligible and intellectually attractive manner.

The Rosary - Glorious Mysteries (prayed by Archbishop Carlson & the seminarians)

Intellectual formation is directed toward the mission of the priest to go out and to proclaim the Gospel to all people. Intellectual formation includes the study of Philosophy, as a preparation and foundation for Theological studies. Typically, each seminarian, before ordination, will earn a Bachelors degree in Philosophy, and a Masters of Divinity, or Master of Arts in Theology Degree prior to Ordination. These courses of study include a strong focus on Metaphysics Philosophy, Systematic, Moral, Scriptural, and Practical Theology, as well as other courses specific to Priestly Ministry.

In pastoral formation, which is the culmination of the entire formation process, we see that not only should the whole formation have as its object to make the men true shepherds of souls after the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, teacher, priest, and shepherd, but also that the formation as a whole aims at preparing them to enter into communion with those whom they serve.

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