Human formation: Rationale

Human formation must be experienced in the context of a lived community life. It is not simply a personal or individual project. Jesus’ priestly ministry began with his Incarnation when he became a “Pontifex” a bridge builder, joining men to God. He was born into a community – a family. He kept his apostles “with him” for three years. It takes a seminarian time and effort to build bridges, i.e., to acquire those dispositions that make meeting him easy, conversation with him a joy, trust and cooperation daily experiences, and objective serene judgment, a habit.

The seminarian’s openness to his own and the community’s existence in time and space and in a changing world calls him to cultivate human qualities of self-possession, balance, inner freedom and the capacity to bear responsibilities. St. Paul’s simple program of human formation is applicable here:

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8).

His capacity for relating to others as a man who will shepherd a community, will depend a great deal upon his growing perception of the mystery of Christ in each person. Human maturity thus touches his affectivity and sexual maturity. It is sexual maturity that traces out for him the narrow but joyful path to self-mastery and self-gift. The celibate generous love is a nuptial love in the power of the Holy Spirit and the Resurrection. Human sexuality, and its gift in celibacy, is illumined and sustained by a delicate but strong conscience that is at the heart of interior freedom.

SCK’s Contribution

The seminary lays a special emphasis on this foundation for priestly and religious formation. In recent years, seminarians have taken a conscious role in pursuing their human formation. With the assistance of the diocese during the summer, the prudent and wise use of psychological tools throughout the year, the accompaniment of student advisors and regular spiritual direction, seminarians strive to acquire human integration and maturity. To sanctify the whole person, body, soul and spirit is the hope and goal of our human formation here at the Seminary of Christ the King.