In July of 2022, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, in union with an initiative of the Vatican, published a new program of seminary work that requires all seminaries and dioceses to institute an introductory stage of seminary life called the propaedeutic stage.
The propaedeutic stage of formation provides seminarians a year to focus on their relationship with Christ through prayer, trust, evangelization, and fraternity and enables them to lay a foundation for a new way of life centered in Christ. Men in this new propaedeutic stage are required to live as a distinct community with their own designated priest formators.
Implementation of the Propaedeutic Program
Holy Trinity Seminary began offering this new stage of formation in the fall of 2023. All men who enter Holy Trinity Seminary for their first year of formation are required to spend a year in this propaedeutic stage prior to moving on to the discipleship stage of formation.
The formation faculty worked diligently to develop a distinct horarium, scope and sequence for this additional required year of formation. To allow more time to focus on the human, spiritual and pastoral pillars of formation, propaedeutic seminarians are enrolled in fewer academic classes each semester than seminarians in the discipleship stage.
Holy Trinity Seminary has a designated hall within the seminary that allows for the distinct community space required by this new propaedeutic program, a hall which also provides direct access to the dormitory hall where the propaedeutic seminarians reside.
This hall has an oratory (the St. Joseph Oratory), a sacristy, two classrooms, a kitchen, a student lounge, and a refectory.
The new altar was installed in the St. Joseph Oratory on Friday, July 14.
Kitchen as of 07.12.23
Blessing of Statues
Statues of Mary and Joseph, designed in Germany, were joyfully welcomed and placed in the arches of the altar-ledge of the St. Joseph Oratory in January 2024. The propaedeutic seminarians then gathered on January 17 for a special blessing of the statues by Fr. Vincent Anyama, Rector. In his homily, Fr. Vincent reminded the seminarians that St. Joseph, in his radical embrace of a celestial vocation as chaste spouse of Mary and foster father of Jesus, models masculine identity for seminarians and priests, and the features of the St. Joseph statue were specially crafted to capture a healthy masculine image for the seminarians’ own reflections and prayers.