Overview: The seminary community plays a significant role in the growth of seminarians toward the priesthood. The give-and-take between those who share the same vocational goals provides mutual support and promotes increased tolerance while allowing fraternal correction to take place. Community life affords the opportunity for the development of leadership skills and individual talents. It can also motivate seminarians to develop a sense of self-sacrifice and a spirit of collaboration. The seminarians and the formation faculty form the center of the seminary community. This center needs careful cultivation so that the distinctive aims of seminary formation are achieved.
Diocesan Residence: Diocesan seminarians reside in Leander Hall and the Elizabeth J. Roderick Center, and each one is a member of the Student Leadership Forum. The Forum promotes the welfare of diocesan community life, and its elected officers keep the administration aware of student needs. The Diocesan Community Life Handbook provides the rule of life and outlines the rights and responsibilities of diocesan students.
Monastic Residence: Benedictine monks and other religious seminarians who pursue theological studies in the Seminary reside in the monastery. As such, their human and spiritual formation follows the Saint Vincent Archabbey Formation Handbook. For access to this, please contact the Monastic Formation Director. Academic and pastoral formation for monastic seminarians is primarily the concern of the Seminary. Junior monks from monasteries other than Saint Vincent and seminarians from other orders study theology in the Seminary and continue their monastic formation in the monastery. Religious monks in final vows are accountable to the Director of Finally Professed Religious Seminarians, and those in temporary vows to the Junior Master.
Discernment: Saint Vincent Seminary’s Priestly Formation Program presumes that students who enter have already manifested clear and positive signs of a priestly vocation. We understand that dioceses and religious orders entrust their priesthood candidates to the Seminary so that this vocational choice may be tested, nourished, and guided. The Saint Vincent Seminary Priestly Formation Program will test a seminarian’s vocation by engaging the candidate in an ever more complete and penetrating self-knowledge as he continues to listen and respond to God’s call. Nurturing his vocation will clarify and reinforce his original call as he comes to a deeper understanding of the direction of his own vocation. As each seminarian deepens his relationship with Jesus Christ and better realizes his own gifts, as well as the demands of ministry in the Church, he will grow in his priestly identity. By deepening his relationships with Christ and the Church, he will grow into the priest that God and the Church call him to be personally, spiritually, pastorally, and intellectually.
Evaluation: The Program of Priestly Formation commissions seminaries to evaluate whether or not the candidates possess sufficient intelligence, personal maturity, interpersonal skills, common sense, moral character, and aptitude for ministry to continue in the seminary program and finally to be ordained to the priesthood. This the Seminary does throughout the year by way of numerous avenues, but most formally in the annual evaluation process, which the Director of Human Formation administers in support of and as an integral part of the Seminary’s Priestly Formation Program. The annual evaluation considers a priesthood candidate from the perspective of the four pillars of formation.