What kind of priest do you want to minister to your family?
That is a question we take to heart at Saint Francis de Sales Seminary as we work to form holy priests. Spiritual, pastoral and intellectual formation are crucial, but the foundation upon which these areas rest is human formation, and the foundation of human formation is Jesus Christ.
Christ, in his humanity, made a free and total gift of himself. Priests are called to imitate this perfect humanity, so seminarians have much to learn before ordination. Our human formation process is designed to foster growth in each seminarian so that he can be described as:
- a free person
- a person of solid moral character, with a finely developed conscience
- a prudent and discerning man
- a man of communion
- a good communicator
- a person of affective maturity
- a man who relates well with others, free of prejudice, and willing to work with people of diverse cultural backgrounds
- a good steward of material possessions
- a man who can take on the role of a public person.
Timothy Schumaker, Milwaukee, is in his second year of theology and shares, “My experience of human formation has been centered on becoming the person God created me to be. This is my true identity which can only be known by looking through God’s loving eyes.”
Tim continues, “God created us to be persons of relationship, and our first relationship must be with Him, for it is by receiving God’s unique love for each of us that we may uniquely love in return. At Saint Francis de Sales Seminary, we are blessed to have an excellent program which teaches us how to create and maintain good, holy relationships and become the men we were created to be.”
Daniel Williams, La Crosse, says, “The formators walk beside us as we seek to become modeled after Jesus Christ. What really strikes me is that I can have an individual formation session with Fr. Luke, and then a few hours later, he’s washing dishes beside me in the kitchen! Most seminaries don’t have seminarians doing chores – I think that’s unique to us – but it is part of becoming a servant leader, and the faculty are right there with us.”
We are working hard to form healthy, holy and joy-filled priests who will serve the people of God well. Our formation is not limited to the classroom and chapel. It extends into every area of a seminarian’s life, so that once-ordained, his gift of self will be complete.
Thank you for your past support of our mission. It bore fruit last spring with eight new priests! Please continue to help us form more servant leaders for the priesthood, more servant leaders for the Church. These are the men who will minister to your families in the future. Please help them prepare now.
Grace and Peace,
Father John Hemsing