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Pastoral Formation

The Vision of Pastores Dabo Vobis

Preparing Seminarians to be Future Pastors

Pastoral formation guides a seminarian in the process of becoming a good leader and a good shepherd in imitation of Christ. To accomplish the goal of preparing men to be pastors in today's Church, the program is carefully focused on the actual dynamics of parishes. Seminarians are assigned to a different "learning parish" in each year of theology and as a member of a seminary pastoral team. Through graduated and cumulative experiences over the course of four or five years, they are able to develop their priestly and pastoral leadership skills and to learn how to lead communities of faith in a collegial manner with true pastoral charity. Each seminarian spends five to seven hours weekly in prescribed pastoral learning exercises in their assigned parishes. Under the direction of the Director of Pastoral Formation, 4th Year seminarians (ordained transitional deacons) do basic coordination of learning teams as part of their formation in pastoral administration.


Our Eight Point Model of Pastoral Formation

  • Parish-based Pastoral Formation in teams every Sunday for 1st to 4th Theology

  • Advanced training in the Pastor’s Role in leadership, administration, budget, and staffing

  • Parish staff meetings bi-monthly with seminarian teams at St. Mary’s Seminary to discuss current parish issues

  • Seminary Faculty members audit bi-monthly meetings for formational integration

  • 4th Theologians trained in practical Pastoral Leadership skills

  • Tracking seminarians each week and over four years on a range of pastoral skills

  • Pastoral Spanish, Hispanic Ministry options, ESL Training

  • Learning how parishes function… from the ground up.