By Sr. Marion Dobos, O.S.B., Director of Pastoral Formation
The Program for Priestly Formation (P.P.F.) promulgated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is specific regarding the broad exposure to pastoral service a seminarian should receive during his time in the seminary.
In a recent article in Origins, a publication by Catholic News Service (April 2018), Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the U.S. said, “Pope Francis wants priests not to be managers or mere functionaries of the sacred but rather to be priests with inclusive and compassionate hearts who show forth the tenderness of God.”
In keeping with these directives the Pastoral Program for seminarians at Ss. Cyril and Methodius has been recently revised to include a more extensive participation in the active ministry of the Church.
In addition to participating in parochial ministry the seminarian will be required to get experience in Cultural Sensitivity, Ecumenism, Respect for Life, and Ministry to the Poor. These experiences will provide a gradual and integrated approach to Pastoral Ministry, producing men who are willing to be disciples and missionaries in a Church that faces great cultural, spiritual, and educational challenges.