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What is the Spirituality Year?

The Spirituality Year is the first phase of formation for the priesthood at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake’s Mundelein Seminary. Running from August through June, this year is designed to help the candidate focus on the human and spiritual foundations of his vocation, with a special attention to developing his prayer life, relationship with God, and making a good discernment about his call in life, whether that is to the priesthood or some other vocation.

Where is the Spirituality Year located?

The Spirituality Year is located at the Bishop Quarter House, 750 N. Wabash Ave, Chicago, next to Holy Name Cathedral. While we visit the Mundelein Seminary campus throughout the year, our separate house allows us to focus on an intentional community life.

What is a standard day like?

Each day includes prayer together from the Liturgy of the Hours as well as a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament. There is time for reading as well as one seminar-type class each day, which explores themes like Sacred Scripture, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Documents of the Second Vatican Council, priesthood, celibacy, discernment, and the spiritual life. The men have apostolates to work with the poor and homeless each week together with religious brothers and sisters. The men take responsibility for house chores, going shopping, and cooking meals for each other. There is also time for spiritual direction and formation meetings every two weeks.

Are there any special experiences as part of the Spirituality Year?

During the month of January, the men are sent on a mission for one month to live with and to serve the poor in another part of the United States. This is an important time of learning to accept their own human weaknesses while they minister to others in their vulnerability. At the end of the year, during May and June, the participants have the opportunity to undertake the 30-day Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola as a way of continuing to deepen their experience of God and make a firm decision about continuing their formation for the priesthood. Finally, each Sunday we visit a different parish of the Archdiocese of Chicago to celebrate Mass and meet the priests and people of the parish.

Are these men seminarians?

Yes, those who participate in the Spirituality Year have completed the seminarian admissions process for their respective dioceses and Mundelein Seminary, where they are considered full-time enrolled students.

Who leads the Spirituality Year?

Fr. Pat Gorman is the Director of Chicago Seminarians and the Director of the Spirituality Year.  Fr. Thomas Hickey, a retired priest of the Archdiocese, is the Spiritual Director. Many priests of the Archdiocese collaborate in teaching different courses over the course of the year.

How can I find out more information?

Contact Fr. Pat Gorman at pgorman@usml.edu or 847-651-1643.

The Spirituality Year is the Propaedeutic Stage of Formation at Mundelein Seminary, as outlined by PPF 6.