The Pillars of Formation

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Human Formation Future priests need to cultivate all the virtues that lead to human flourishing. Just as Christs' humanity is a bridge between ourselves and God, so a priest's humanity must be an effective bridge that leads all to Christ. The goal is to become a well-rounded man of communion; a man who fosters true unity and peace among all those he serves.

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Intellectual Formation The primary responsibility to preach the Gospel requires a future priest to undergo a substantial program of study. In this exploration of Divine Revelation and Church tradition, God is known more fully and can be shared more effectively with the world.

The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity pursues this goal through a Theology Program with the goal of forming well-educated men who will continue to seek knowledge of the mysteries of God throughout their life and encourage others to do the same.

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Spiritual Formation We grow according to our God-given natural human efforts. Additionally, and more importantly, God gives His grace which makes us His friends. The future priest must deepen his relationship with Christ in a unique way by the gift of the Holy Spirit. He conforms himself to Christ's example of self-gift so that he can make his life a total gift to the Church.

The heart of seminary life is the sacraments, especially the daily celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice and prayer.  The man who seeks to be an instrument of God's grace for others must, in every way, seek to receive it himself.

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Pastoral Formation Formation culminates in the development of the mind and the heart of the True Shepherd, Jesus Christ. All that is received in seminary must be integrated and oriented toward true pastoral charity. In this way, a future priest will effectively minister to those whom he is called to serve. This is not simply about technique, but about giving one's entire life to the responsibilities of Catholic priesthood.

As a diocesan seminary, this formation is directed toward effective parish ministry.  Throughout formation, seminarians engage in all facets of parish life so they are ready, upon ordination, to be the servant that every Catholic community deserves.