The basic principle of human formation is that the human personality of the priest is to be a bridge and not an obstacle for others in their meeting with Jesus Christ the Redeemer of the human race….Human formation is the “necessary foundation” of priestly formation. (PPF, #75)
Formation advisors: They observe seminarians and assist them to grow humanly by offering them feedback about their general demeanor, their relational capacities and styles, their maturity, their capacity to assume the role of a public person and leader in a community, and their appropriation of the human virtues that make them “men of communion.” These same formators may, on occasion, teach the ways of human development and even offer some personal mentoring or, at times, coaching. More generally, they offer encouragement, support, and challenge along the formational path. These formators function exclusively in the external forum and are not to engage in matters that are reserved for the internal forum and the spiritual director. (PPF, #80)
Frequency: Three times per semester for about 1 hour with each seminarian.
- Check in, challenge and encourage.
- Review covenant with the seminarian.
- Review specific issues and four pillars.
The basic principle of spiritual formation is to live in intimate and unceasing union with God the Father through his Son, Jesus Christ, in the Holy Spirit. This is the foundational call to discipleship and conversion of heart. (PPF, #107)
Spiritual directors: These priests, functioning in the internal forum, also play a role in the human formation of seminarians. When they engage in the dialogue of spiritual direction with seminarians, they can be of great assistance in cultivating those virtues of self-reflection and self-discipline that are foundational for human development. (PPF, #80)
Psychological counseling: On occasion, consultation with a psychologist or other licensed mental health professional can be a useful instrument of human formation. Some patterns of behavior, for example, which became set in the candidate’s early family history, may impede his relational abilities. Understanding one’s psychological history and developing strategies to address elements of negative impact can be very helpful in human formation. (PPF, #80)
The basic principle of intellectual formation for priesthood candidates is “For the salvation of their brothers and sisters, they should seek an ever deeper knowledge of the divine mysteries.” Disciples are learners. (PPF, #137)
The basic principle of pastoral formation is to make them true shepherds of souls after the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, teacher, priest, and shepherd.”To be a true “shepherd of souls” means standing with and for Christ in the community, the Christ who teaches and sanctifies and guides or leads the community. (PPF, #238)