SEMINARY TIME: A PREPARATION TO
“Seminary years are a time devoted to intellectual formation and to discerning. Formation as one knows has several different aspects. There is the human dimension, the spiritual dimension, also the cultural part. But the main purpose in the Seminary to help our students to more profoundly know Our God through Our Lord Jesus Christ who showed us God’s own face.” August 19th 2005, Benedict XVI, WYD
According to the Holy Father’s teachings which also are a reflection in the light of the Church and its tradition of so many centuries, in a Seminary the students will get a Human Formation, and Spiritual, and Doctrinal. This will enable them to get a much deeper knowledge of Our Lord Jesus Christ Our Good Shepherd, and to acquire the capacity of becoming a Catholic Priest so as to continue Our Lord’s mission.
In our seminary of Saint Vincent of Paul we take a great care to ensure such a complete formation in these fields we mentioned:
Human Formation: This is to be achieved through life in a commune with rules inspired by the Wisdom of the Church. This includes Spiritual Guidance by a Priest.
Life in a commune is a good way to increase charity towards all present and it really gives a sense for responsabilities.
The Seminary Rule will encourage real silence in the premises and around and will favour a studying atmosphere. It will also enhance a liking for meditation. For fruitful and efficient working conditions, a very precise time table has been drawn up.
Spiritual Formation takes place all along Seminary years: liturgy, Studies, Silence, personal prayer: A Seminarian Life is fully oriented towards the Mystery of Our Lord Jesus Christ and a deep knowledge of The Blessed Virgin Mary. It is through genuine piety that our future Priests will find food for their inner lives as well as for the Apostolic Lights they will need and give out during their Sacerdotal Life.
First Year or Spiritually Year:
This year is a very useful introduction to the Sacerdotal Spirit. Our rector of the seminary, Rd. Father R. Perrel, is now in charge of this special year, which is so important for all future Priests: The Great Principles of Christian Life will be paid a special attention in this year: How to pray, first notions: in the Spiritual Fight, the Practice of sacraments, all this should also mean a deeper personal conversion.
Spiritual Directors are to examine carefully during this first year how genuine is the vocation of every new seminarian.
After this first year also called Propedeutic, seminarians will be given spiritual lectures at the end of each day and throughout the rest of their Formation, to contribute to a deeper Spirituality and at some time Human, necessary to any future Priest.
Cultural and Doctrinal Formation: We attach great importance to Doctrinal Formation as in our time the Catholic World seems to be lacking a true spiritual and intellectual elite and also because the Church is in urgent need of a positive Criticism of the Vatican II texts and orientations which are to be correctly interpreted. This cannot be achieved with the same untouchable vocabulary unceasingly repeated but through serious work from widely accepted competent people. So far we intend to set up an intense intellectual activity lead by qualified professors but also to encourage any able seminarian to pass University Degrees, such as Canonical License or a Doctorate.
The complete course of Formation is done through the teachings of Saint Thomas Aquinas’s, Our Great Catholic Doctor, and also in studying the great problems of our time in the light of the Church Doctrine. And especially nowadays Priests will be points of reference in the World so sick with Doubts: This is why we decided to give such great importance to a very serious mind in our Doctrinal Formation. And if we do mean a Traditional Formation this indeed does go together with a special open mindedness when we consider the great problems of our present time! This is why every month of the School Year a lecturer from outside will come and talk about a topical subject, and will give the answers of the Catholic Church to it. These lectures are to be followed by informal talk between lecturer and seminarians so that they will develop a sound sense of judgment, and will also in so doing, be taught of how to find in the teachings of the Church the proper answers to the questions of our time.