Formation Overview

Formation

The faculty and support staff of Holy Trinity Seminary are committed to creating and nurturing a seminary in accord with the vision of the Program of Priestly Formation (PPF), sixth edition, issued by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), which states:

Priestly formation…is a continuation in the Church of the apostolic community gathered about Jesus in which men called to share in a unique way in the priesthood of Jesus Christ relive today the formation offered to the Twelve by the Lord [149]. The seminary’s life in the community mirrors ecclesial communion, which itself is rooted in the Blessed Trinity. This ecclesiology of communion lived out in seminary community is decisive for understanding the identity of the priest, his essential dignity, and his vocation and mission among the People of God and in the world [150].

The statement further explains:

The essential work of the seminary takes place in the context of community. Personal growth and character development should progress together harmoniously within a deepening spiritual life. Community life can help overcome difficulties caused by excessive individualism. The seminary is a school of human virtue, of growth in honesty, integrity, intellectual rigor, hard work, and tolerance, where the common good is built with solidarity and discipline – all leavened by humor and healthy enjoyment. The seminary also must be a school of spiritual growth in which seminarians are formed into men of prayer, imbued with those virtues that only grace can bring: faith, hope, and charity. The seminary should help seminarians develop the relationship and dialogue skills necessary for healthy interpersonal relationships as priests” [150].

Holy Trinity Seminary and its programs foster the formation of future priests by attending specifically to their human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral formation—the four pillars of priestly formation developed in Pastores Dabo Vobis. The goal is the development not just of a well-rounded person, a prayerful person, or an experienced pastoral practitioner, but rather one who understands his spiritual development within the context of his call to service in the Church, his human development within the greater context of his call to advance the mission of the Church, his intellectual development as the appropriation of the Church’s teaching and tradition, and his pastoral formation as participation in the active ministry of the Church.