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A Program of Spiritual Formation for Candidates to the Priesthood

The Lay Monastic Community of Caryana












           How We Shall Proceed. We will first present the ideal program of formation; it is ideal because it is the formation program Christ gave His apostles, the program provided for by the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, the founders of monastic orders and recent saints like St. Phillip Neri and St. Vincent de Paul. It is the program in monasteries and religious houses where the holiest and best priests came from. It is the original model from which the institution of seminaries was patterned. It is simply the Life of the Gospel as lived and taught by Christ. It is FORMING in the seminarians the PERSON of CHRIST.

      It is only when we know the ideal that we can aim at something. Without an ideal there is nothing to aim at. While aiming, we may deviate a little here and there from the ideal but the deviation cannot be far. But without an ideal, our aim will be wild and away. When the ideal is not clear, efforts to attain it become weaker and weaker until one completely gives up. But with the ideal clear, all rules, procedures, activities and practices in the seminary will be perceived by the seminarians as attempts to form them into the person of Christ.

      a. No one will deny that the spiritual life is the most important aspect that must be developed whether one is a layman or seminarian. All documents say so. And so we shall start by presenting a program of spirituality for all Christians, which is the common denominator for laymen, seminarians, priests and bishops... the Evangelical spirituality. This way of life leads to holiness.

A priest must first be a good Christian before he can become a good priest. And Christ showed us how this is done by word and example. We shall review His way.

b. In preparing this program we have consulted FIRSTLY, Scriptures and the Fathers of the Church and the writings of the Doctors and saints. SECONDLY, Vatican documents on the formation program for seminaries. THIRDLY, we also consulted formation programs of a few select seminaries that have begun their renewal programs: notable are the St. Gregory the Great seminary in the Diocese of Lincoln - Denver, Redemptorist seminaries, the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Our Lady of Guadalupe seminary of the Fraternity of St. Peter, and Madonna house in Canada. We were not fortunate to find European counterparts. We also consulted the formation program made by Bishop Oscar Cruz for Philippine Seminaries, the Formation manual for Diocesan priestly life and ministry for the Archdiocese of Caceres and the Renewal of Spiritual formation in seminaries by Msgr. M. C. Vergara.





(updated 01-02-02))

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