Discernment in Community

The Seminary as Community

Pope Saint John Paul II wrote that the seminary is “a community established by the bishop to offer to those called by the Lord to serve as apostles the possibility of reliving the experience of formation which our Lord provided for the Twelve. … Such an experience demands of the Twelve … a detachment that in some way is demanded of all the disciples, a detachment from their roots, from their usual work, from their nearest and dearest (cf. Mark 1:16-20; 10:28; Luke 9:23, 57-62; 14:25-27). The seminary is called to be … a continuation in the Church of the apostolic community gathered about Jesus, listening to his word, proceeding toward the Easter experience, awaiting the gift of the Spirit for the mission” (Pastores Dabo Vobis 60).

Friendship & Fraternity

The seminary community is not merely a residence; rather, it exists as a vibrant Catholic community. Seminarians live, work, study, and pray together, building friendships and fraternity and offering support to one another. “The experience of seminary community plays a significant role in the personal and spiritual growth of seminarians. … The give-and-take between those who share the priesthood as a common vocation … provides mutual support, promotes tolerance and fraternal correction, and gives an opportunity for the development of leadership and talent among seminarians” (Program of Priestly Formation 262).

Joys & Hardships

Seminarians must, therefore, learn the joys and sorrows, the difficulties and hardships, as well as the peace and happiness of true Catholic community life. Community life is an achievement dependent both on God’s grace and the consistent serious efforts of its members.

Charity & Mutual Concern

Every aspect of community life is important for discernment and formation. The faculty strives to secure an environment of fraternity, charity, peace, trust, loyalty, and mutual concern in order that seminarians can truly discern their call to serve the Church as priests.

Contact Us

To learn more about formation in community at the Pontifical College Josephinum, please contact us.