The Goals and Objectives of the Seminary Human Formation Program - Saint John's Seminary
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The Goals and Objectives of the Seminary Human Formation Program

Institutional Goal:

The human formation program seeks to promote in the candidate for diocesan priesthood a level of affective maturity with which a man can commit himself to Christ, to the Church, and to priestly life and ministry with true self-knowledge and acceptance, inner freedom, emotional balance, and a generous capacity for self-donation.

Self-knowledge and acceptance. With regard to self-knowledge and acceptance, the candidate should know realistically who he is: his talents and limitations, his strengths and weaknesses. He should understand clearly the influences which have shaped his personal and psychosexual development, including his family origin, significant friendships, and working relationships. He should give evidence of honesty, security, and a genuine humility in the way he presents himself and sees himself in relation to his peers, his elders, and those younger than himself.

Inner freedom. With regard to inner freedom, the candidate should display an appropriate level of self-control and discipline in the way he manages his time, his needs and desires, and in the way he responds to the demands which others make upon him in the many roles he will exercise in ministry. He should recognize the many motives and impulses that might shape his thoughts, speech, and actions, and be able to choose consistently the highest good as the principal motivation for his decisions.

Emotional balance. With regard to emotional balance, the candidate should have achieved an overall calm, self-possessed demeanor through a variety of situations in which he finds himself. He should be able to deal patiently and prudently with all the human feelings he meets in himself and in others; for instance, anger, sadness, and sexual desire. He should exhibit joy and good humor, empathy, and sensitivity to the feelings of others. He should have found an appropriate, regular place in his life for rest, relaxation, and recreation.

He should deal well with the ambiguities and complexities of life, without compromising his beliefs and moral values.

Self-donation. With regard to self-donation, the candidate should show that he can give himself fully and consistently to the work he is called to do, to both the areas of ministry he enjoys and welcomes and those which he finds difficult and tedious. He should give evidence of being a man for others, a person who can sacrifice his own personal likes and dislikes for the sake of the Gospel and for the good of the individual or the community he is serving. He should be able to sustain good, close friendships with men and women that support both his vocational commitment and theirs.


a. through regular participation in the days and evenings of human spiritual formation as scheduled in the comprehensive calendar;

b. through open and self-disclosing conversations with one’s spiritual director and faculty adviser;

c. through the required courses in pastoral theology, which provide the occasion for seminarians to develop self-understanding and pastoral and relational skills;

d. through participation in the various dimensions of theological Pastoral Formation.

e. through presence and involvement in the Seminary community and, more specifically, in the life and activities of one’s class and corridor.