Our Mission, Vision, Beliefs, and Principles
The Seminary Formation Council serves diocesan seminary formation by providing education, practical tools, spiritual enrichment and fraternal support to seminary formators, including seminary faculty and vocation directors. Under the patronage of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Star of the New Evangelization, we serve the bishops who have the “responsibility for the formation of those who have been given the task of educating future priests” (PDV 66) in order to equip missionary disciples to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations.
We want to provide every formator of seminarians an in-depth and thorough formation for their important task. We want them to understand and be able to do integrated formation through the accompaniment model based on the Ratio Fundamentalis (2016) and PPF 6. We seek to create a community of formators that supports and strengthens each other as they also strengthen our seminary system.
The principal agent of formation is the Holy Trinity (Ratio, 125; PDV 65) and we want to teach formators how to cooperate with this work. Thus, we seek to operate in a contemplative atmosphere to create room for the work of the Holy Spirit.
Faithfulness to the Magisterium and sentire cum Ecclesia are essential to the work of formation.
The accompaniment model is the way to facilitate authentic, integrated growth.
Every formator must be attentive to his or her personal need of deeper integrated formation, thus a retreat experience is essential to our mission and programs.
Our model is to teach through practicum experiences that both open up formators to their own growth and equip with tools for formation, not simply through didactic presentations.
It is important to foster a community of formators in authentic friendship, sharing best practices, carrying forward the vision for formation of the Ratio Fundamentalis 2016.
Formators need to be experts in both individual mentoring and creating a formative environment in the entire seminary.
All faculty and staff should see themselves as an integral part of the formative community.
Principles at the Center of Every Module
1. We emphasize the primacy of one’s own interiority in communion with the Trinity and with the Blessed Virgin Mary. Our model is ongoing formation of the self, not job training.
2. We teach contemplative living as the model of priestly life at the heart of missionary discipleship.
3. We teach and practice spiritual discernment and the role of the Holy Spirit in formation.
4. We emphasize affective maturity as the goal of integrated formation.
5. Accompaniment is our model of formation and we practice this in our program through practicum experiences and individual mentoring.
6. We seek to deepen our appreciation of multi-cultural realities in the Church.
7. We teach a clear understanding of the complementarity of the internal and external fora.
The Church Speaks of the Importance of This Work
“The formation of future priests, both diocesan and religious, … is considered by the Church one of the most demanding and important tasks for the future of the evangelization of humanity” (PDV, 2).
“Each formator should be possessed of human, spiritual, pastoral and professional abilities and resources, so as to provide the right kind of accompaniment that is balanced and respectful of the freedom and the conscience of the other person, and that will help him in his human and spiritual growth. Moreover, those who are marked out to become formators need a specific preparation and generous dedication to this important task.” (Ratio Fundamentalis 2016, 49).
Approved by the Seminary Formation Council, April 9, 2021