Formation, together the Church understands it, is not indistinguishable to a secular feeling of schooling or, also less, job training. Formation is first and foremost participation with the grace of God. In the United claims of Catholic Conference Bishops" record The straightforward Plan because that the Ongoing formation of Priests, a have fun on Saint Paul"s native in 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 leads to a description of formation. “The apostle Paul marvels in ~ the work-related of the divine Spirit that transforms believers into the an extremely image that Jesus Christ, that himself is the picture of God. This grace of the new covenant embraces every who have joined themselves to Jesus Christ in faith and also baptism. Indeed, that is sheer grace, every God"s doing. Moved by that grace, however, us make ourselves easily accessible to God"s work of transformation. And also that making all set a location for the lord to dwell in us and transform us we contact formation.” -The program of Priestly formation (5th Edition; #68)

Every seminarian has eventually five civilization besides himself who space responsible because that his formation. They room his bishop and his vocations director, the rector of the seminary that is attending and also his development advisor and spiritual director. The spirituality director has one job: to assist make the male holy. Conversations in between the spiritual director and also directee are considered internal forum, an interpretation that the priest does not gain to speak in ~ all around them. The is completely confidential and does not share anything with the development advisor, rector, vocations director or bishop. The formation advisor is the contrary of this, his job is to ensure that the seminarian is ending up being a well developed priest in every way. There are four main areas that the seminarian must be developed to end up being a priest: human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral. They are typically referred to together the 4 Pillars.

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Four Pillars or Four locations of Formation

The seminary and also its program foster the development of future clergymans by attending specifically to their human, spiritual, intellectual, and also pastoral formation, the 4 pillars that priestly formation arisen in St. John Paul II"s Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores dabo vobis (I will provide You Shepherds). These pillars of formation and their finality provide specificity to formation in seminaries and a feeling of the incorporated wholeness the the various dimensions the formation. -The regime of Priestly development (5th Edition; #70)

Human Formation basically deals through the an individual habits, behaviors and tendencies in ~ a person. Diet, exercise, sleeping habits, hygiene, social skills, fraternity, manners, job-related ethic, humor, time management - these room all good examples.

Spiritual Formation is the primary issue of the spirituality Director and is for this reason left private and also confidential, these would encompass his holiness the life, behavior of prayer, content for prayer, vices he struggles with, virtues he requirements to prosper in, his exercise of the sacraments and capability to do divine hours, spiritual analysis that the is law etc… when the majority of this is inner forum and thus is private; there space still many elements that have the right to be evaluated in a an ext public way. These would incorporate his attendance at Mass and public prayer, his much more obvious and also natural virtues, external behavior of prayer, frequency of divine hours, tardiness to house liturgies, attentiveness at morning and evening prayer.

Intellectual Formation is an ext than simply the graduate classes that the guys are taking. It likewise includes countless workshops and also practicums that prepare a seminarian to carry out the duties of monk effectively. It additionally can include coming to be a more well-rounded thinker through an understanding of art and also culture. Seminarians take 18 credits precious of Philosophy, Latin, Biblical Greek, and also Spanish, and also getting graduate levels in Theology.

Pastoral Formation is all the maintain of the seminarian to it is in a shepherd that God"s people. That includes occurring teaching, preaching and management skills. As component of their formation, every seminarian has actually apostolates, or avenues to volunteer and serve the people. They walk to parishes to visit the sick, take it communion come shut-ins, and also teach RCIA or spiritual education classes. They go to teach catechism or faith in schools, come hospitals, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, prisons, nursing residences etc.. All as component of your seminary formation. They are trained in pastoral counseling, meeting management, homiletics, marital relationship preparation and also marriage counseling among many other diverse dimensions of what a priest can encounter in his occupational as a parish priest.

Here is an post that covers these stages of formation and the history of priestly formation in the Church.

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Two paths of Formation

There room two basic paths for formation as a priest: with or there is no a university degree. If you execute not have actually a university degree, there room four years of university Seminary (studying philosophy), then 4 years of significant Seminary (studying theology). If you have actually your university degree, you start with two years that prerequisite classes and also formation, dubbed Pre-Theology, and also then four years of significant theology. Taking a spiritual or pastoral year can extend this timeline however is also very enriching because that the future priest.

College Seminaries we use:St. Man Paul II Seminary in ~ Catholic university of America in Washington, DCUniversidad de san Dámaso in Madrid, Spain

Major Seminaries we use:Mount St. Mar Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, PA Pontifical north American college in Rome, Italy Universidad de san Dámaso in Madrid, Spain