As Vice Rector and Director of Human Formation, I welcome the opportunity to provide a short overview of the seminarian’s experience at Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary. As a theological institution dedicated to the preparation of second-career seminarians, it is important for us to respect and to integrate the life experiences and accomplishments of our seminarians. The various aspects of seminary life at Pope St. John XXIII reflect our commitment to this goal.
Prayer is at the heart of seminary life. Our day begins in prayer with the communal celebration of the Divine Office. The Eucharist is the source and the summit of our communal life. We gather for the Eucharist every day in our beautiful chapel. We celebrate special liturgies throughout the year including liturgies dedicated to the institutions of Acolyte, Reader and Admission to Candidacy. On Fridays our celebration of the Mass is bilingual/ Spanish.
Once a week we gather for communal Adoration of The Blessed Sacrament.
The seminary has three fulltime spiritual directors and each student meets on a regular basis with his spiritual director. The spiritual directors also offer monthly conferences. The Sacrament of Penance is available at any time but it is scheduled on a weekly basis with the assistance of outside confessors. The seminary has a week’s retreat during the month of October.
We also gather as a community for meals and for various social celebrations. These gatherings help nurture a good sense of community. We realize that if a priest is to be a man of communion an important dimension to achieving this goal is a strong community life. The seminary has various house committees that offer valuable input and advice to assist the faculty in establishing seminary policies and new initiatives. They also nurture a sense of collaboration within the community.
The students are encouraged to take advantage of the many cultural and sporting events that are in our vicinity.
We have recreation privileges in a nearby college in which the pool and sports complex are available to us. We also have a small gym on campus. The seminary has recently endorsed a nutrition program to assist all of us in embracing a healthier diet and life stlye.
Many of our guests remark of that in our community they experienced great joy and hospitality.
Classes are held in the morning, with elective classes also meeting in the afternoon. Many of the classes include a seminar component. The professors respect that they are engaged in teaching adult learners and teach in such a manner. Many of the courses help the students to explore ways in which theology meets practical problems encountered in ministry.
We have the opportunity to have guest lectures who make presentations on timely topics.
The Seminary Library provides invaluable resources to the students in their reading and research.
The Seminary is located in Weston, Massachusetts, 13 miles west of downtown Boston, on over 35 acres of wooded land. Our proximity to Boston makes available to us numerous educational, cultural and recreational opportunities. The Seminary features the main chapel and dining room on the first floor, where two exceptional chefs prepare meals which are served family style. Residence areas are on the first and second floors. Seminarians are assigned a single room and share a bathroom/shower with their neighbor. Rooms are equipped with high speed internet/local area network connection and cable TV hookup. In addition to classrooms and offices, the building has a learning center, media room, bookstore, laundry, computer lab and seminarian lounges
All classrooms are equipped with wireless internet access. A smoke free environment is preserved in the building.
It is our mission to provide priests who are men of God and of the church. It is our goal to help form priests who can lead, teach, and shepherd God’s people with integrity, commitment, imagination and mercy. Men who are configured to Christ the Good Shepherd.
We are grateful for our many alumni who are serving the church throughout the country and the world.
Yours sincerely in Christ,
Rev. Paul Miceli
Vice Rector and Director of Human Formation