Thanks for your interest in our priestly formation program here at XXIII seminary. The pastoral component of the process is interesting, exciting, and widely varied. Most of our classes and practica have direct pastoral reference and / or application. Over his 4 – 5 year career with us, a seminarian also receives “on the job training” in many different settings for pastoral ministry. Among these are included: wide experience of different parishes and of rectory life, liturgical and sacramental celebration ( including sacramental catechesis ), preaching, evangelization and faith formation ( at all levels ), social justice ministries, ( e.g. Catholic Charities, Prison Ministry, Pro-Life ), parish administration, youth, young adult and family-based ministries, pastoral outreach among elders, and visiting with the sick in hospitals, nursing homes, and at home.
First year seminarians visit several local parishes for an experience of Sunday liturgy, fellowship with / among parishioners, and a panel discussion with the pastor and staff. Each subsequent year, the seminarian works on a different project at an assigned pastoral internship, while being supervised and mentored in his skill-building. During the summers, too, the seminarian may also participate in varied programs of spiritual formation, specialized language / culture learning, and / or assigned parish internships at home in his own (arch-)diocese. All of this real-life experience of pastoral ministry is intended to nurture and enhance both his competence for ministry and his growing confidence in preparation for Holy Orders.
Father Michael A.J. Alfano
Director of Pastoral Formation