"The foundation and center of all human formation is Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. In his fully developed humanity, he was truly free and with complete freedom gave himself totally for the salvation of the world." (Program of Priestly Formation 74)
Human formation is the necessary foundation of priestly formation. The priest, in and through his humanity, is called to be an instrument of Christ and his redemptive gifts. For this reason, Pastores dabo vobis describes the basic principle of human formation as such: "The human personality of the priest is to be a bridge and not an obstacle for others in their meeting with Jesus Christ the Redeemer of the human race." (Pastores dabo vobis 43; Program of Priestly Formation 75) In his fully developed humanity, the priest brings others to an encounter with Christ. He imitates Christ as a man of communion. This means that the priest is called not only to enter into deep relationship with God, but also to communicate this relationship to God's people in the community that he serves. It is the priest's human personality which allows him, in service to the Church, to share effectively the gifts of Christ with the community he shepherds.
Moreover, human formation prepares the priest for a life of celibacy, simplicity of life, and obedience. In a particular way, human formation emphasizes the importance of a healthy and balanced celibate sexuality, and thus demands a comprehensive program on celibacy and human sexuality. The program of human formation at Saint Francis de Sales Seminary "fosters the growth of a man who is a free person, of solid moral character, prudent and discerning, a man of communion, a good communicator, a man who respects his body, who relates well with others, a good steward of material possessions and a conscientious public person." (Program for Priestly Formation 76) By receiving this formation, seminarians build the foundation necessary to proclaim the Gospel, bringing Jesus Christ to the world.