The formation at the seminary

While the Community of Saint Martin defines itself as being totally at the service of bishops and dioceses of the universal Church, its only own work consists in the formation of seminarians in the bosom of its House of Formation. During six years, under the leadership of the priests in charge of the formation, the seminarians seek to discern and develop their vocation for the service of souls.

Because of the fraternal life specific to the Community, the formation has a specific colour as well. It is in fact about acquiring three habits:

1). First of all, it is necessary to know how to share the prayer as well as the apostolic activity and to life under the same roof, in order to exercise the munus sanctificandi, that is, the mission of the sanctification of souls.

2). It is also necessary to know how to listen, to the Word of God to begin with and also during the studies, in order to be able to pass on a word, an example, a service to others; this permits the exercise of the munus docendi, that is, the proclamation of the faith.

3). Finally, it is necessary to learn to depend on another or several others, in order to exercise the munus regendi, the mission of governing.

The Propaedeutic Year

The “Year of Saint Martin”: The Community of Saint Martin proposes a propaedeutic year

The new Ratio of the formation of future priests, published in the end of 2016, prescribes that every entry to the seminary should be preceded by a propaedeutic year, and rends thereby systematic and universal a mode of operation already largely spread. Without waiting for new Ratio to come into force, and after having presented its project to the Congregation for the Clergy, the Community of Saint Martin introduced, ad experimentum, starting with the entry in September 2016, a propedeutic year, called “Year of Saint Martin”, which precedes the entry to the formation properly speaking. The main particularity of this “Year of Saint Martin” is to be a propedeutic year adapted to the specific character of the Community of Saint Martin. The young men who participates in this year of pre-discernment, benefiting at the same time from a supervision and a place dedicated to them, follows a course articulated around four major axes: apprenticeship of the fraternal life in common in the way it is lived in the Community of Saint Martin; the initiation to the spiritual and liturgical life (including, among other fundamental elements, lectio divina, continual reading of the Bible, mental prayer, personal spiritual direction and the discovering of the character of Saint Martin); the resumption of the basics of the intellectual formation (introductory courses, catechetical education, general culture, working methods, etc.); and finally, through experiences of charity works, initiations to the apostolate and retreats, a deepening of the vocational discernment. At the end of this “Year of Saint Martin”, the young men who have decided to do so will make an official application for admission to the House of Formation of the Community of Saint Martin.

The Stages of Formation

The formation team

It consists of 6 priests. They live all the year at the Mother House, sharing the life in common with the seminarians. Other priests of the Community, serving neighbouring parishes, also provide spiritual direction to seminarians. Some of them are likewise professors of the School of Theology.

Don Louis-Hervé Guiny
Don Louis-Hervé GuinyResponsible for the formation. Ordained priest in 2000. Professor of Moral Theology and Spirituality.
Don Pascal-André Dumont
Don Pascal-André DumontSpiritual director. Ordained priest in 1997. General accountant and chancellor. Professor of Canon Law.
Don Philippe Seys
Don Philippe SeysSpiritual director. Ordained priest in 1990. Professor of Exegesis.
Don François-Régis Moreau
Don François-Régis MoreauDirector of the School of Theology. Spiritual director. Ordained priest in 1997. Professor of Dogmatic Theology.
Don Jean-Rémi Lanavère
Don Jean-Rémi LanavèreDeputy Director of the School of Theology. Spiritual director. Ordained priest in 2012. Professor of Philosophy.
Don Enguerrand de Lorgeril
Don Enguerrand de LorgerilSpiritual director. Ordained priest in 2014. Professor in Moral Theology.
Don Augustin Azaïs
Don Augustin AzaïsSpiritual Director. Ordained priest in 2015. Professor of Moral Theology.

One day at the House of Formation

6h30WAKING BELL
7hBREAKFAST AND COMMON SERVICES
The maintenance services practiced at the house – assigned in turn to everyone – contribute to the education of the seminarians who, wanting to become priest or deacon, are called to be men of service.
7h30LECTIO DIVINA, FOLLOWED BY MENTAL PRAYER
Everyone meditates the Word of God, in particular the texts of the liturgy of the day. The fruit of this meditation then nourishes the intimate dialogue with Christ in the mental prayer.
8h30CHANTING OF THE OFFICE OF LAUDS
The Lauds is the morning praise, in which the whole day is consecrated to God in the light of the risen Christ.
9-13hCLASSES
Four 45-minute lectures are given every morning by the professors of the school of theology and philosophy of Évron, followed by 10 minutes of methodology allowing seminarians to ask questions they may have over the material, or to go further in the topic
13hLUNCH AND COMMON SERVICES
14h-14h50REST OR SPORT
The relaxation and the sport brings together the seminarians, teaching them not only the awareness of the others, but also the necessary attention to the body and the health, so precious in order to always be available on the apostolic field.
14h50-15h20SPIRITUAL READING
The reading of spiritual masters of all periods nourishes the spiritual life of the seminarians and lets them discover all the richness of the saints and the spiritual currents which the Holy Spirit has given and gives to the Church.
15h30-18h15STUDY
The seminarians study with their brothers of the same year in the class room, and may have daily tutoring by the more advanced seminarians.
18h30CELEBRATION MASS FOLLOWED BY VESPERS
“We have to regard the mystery of the Eucharist as the centre and the root of all the life of the priest and the seminarian, as well for the profile of the personal spirituality as for the pastoral mission.” (St. John Paul II)
Vespers, at sunfall, is the office of thanksgiving for all the blessings received from God.
19h45DINNER AND COMMON SERVICES
20h30 CHANTING OF THE OFFICE OF COMPLINE OR RELAXATION
Compline is a privileged time to enter in the peace of the night while examining our conscience and recommending ourselves to God so that the Lord Almighty may grant us a quiet night and a perfect end. Two evenings a week are also devoted to relaxation (spiuritual group talks, movies, etc).
23hLIGHTS OUT

The life in a seminary must be harmoniously divided between prayer, work, rest, and fraternal service. The Eucharist unites all the activites of the day for from it ensues the truth of choral praying and pesonal prayer, the depth of intellectual effort and fraternal charity.

Saturdays

After the celebration of morning mass, a great housework is organized in which evryone takes part, followed by an hour of sport. In the afternoon, the seminarians have a gregorian chant rehearsal and a long time of  service for their assigned responsibilities (sacristy, garden maintenance, secretary, laundry, IT, library, …) Afterwards, the Day of the Lord is introduced by a spiritual conference and the first vespers.

Sundays and solemnities

The morning is consecrated to the celabration of solemn mass at 11:00 a.m. preceded by hour and a half of lectio divina. After a festive lunch, the afternoon is free for the welcoming of families or a hike in the countryside.