AT THE SEMINARY, WHAT ARE THE STUDIES?
No formation without studies…
Without counting the introductory propaedeutical year, the studies are divided into two cycles:
- The first is a cycle of philosophy which aims to give a better understanding of man, of the world and of God.
- The second is a cycle of theology which permits to acquire a deep knowledge of the mysteries of the Christian faith (Trinity, Creation, Incarnation & Redemption…), through the study of the Word of God and the teaching of the Church. Even if every priest isn’t called to become a specialist in theology, as a pastor he has to be capable of announcing, exposing and defend the faith of the Church.
At the end of each semester, an examination session checks the knowledge acquired; it is also used to learn to transmit what we have received and to “account for the hope that is in you” (1 P 3,15).
A complete formation
At the seminary, the studies take an important place: four hours of lectures in the morning and three hours of studies in the afternoon. The teaching of the Church is not acquired in the blink of an eye. But the intellectual formation isn’t the only dimension of the formation: the Community does not want to form specialists in one field, but pastors, “experts in humanity”.
The most important element of the formation is the spiritual dimension: a seminarian must first of all grow in the intimacy and friendship with Christ in order to become a witness of the faith. For that, more than three hours of the day are consecrated to prayer: Mass, offices in common, mental prayer, reading of the Bible…
The human formation is the foundation of the formation. Father Guérin, the founder of the Community of Saint Martin, loved to say that “Before forming a priest, it is necessary to form a man”. This dimension of the formation is partly played out in the exercise of services and tasks where the seminarian learns to give himself and to exercise a responsibility, as well as in the fraternal life.
The pastoral dimension recalls the objective of the formation: to become pastors of souls. Concretely, the seminarians help out at summer camps, at colonies, at the service of sick in Lourdes… Especially, they spend one year of internship in a parish, between the two formation cycles. The internship permits to confront the parochial ministry as well as the community life of four or five.
For a typical day at the seminary, click here.