In the seminary, the agents of this basic and complex component of the formation process are the staff, other seminarians, the student himself, and the occasional professional counsellor. In addition, students continue to be in contact with family and friends, who have influenced them so much already. The employment and travel that they undertake during the summer holiday is an important part of formation, too: every seminarian is expected to take work ― paid or volunteer ― at this time.
Celibacy for the Kingdom
All seminarians participate in annual week-long seminars for formation in chastity and celibacy, conducted by Father Tim Costello SM, of the Gregorian University. There is plenty of space in the program for the seminarians to pray, reflect, read and discuss things with one another and with Fr Costello himself. The work is built on year by year.
During the year, there are regular cultural and social events organized to broaden students’ experience. A great deal of the explicit human formation takes place in the supervised pastoral formation programme. Before embarking on the pastoral year, students are introduced to the practical and theoretical fundamentals of counselling. The academic and spiritual components of formation also provide many opportunities to monitor and help the human development of the seminarian.
Each seminarian is assigned to work on one of seven ministry groups which manage the day to day life of the College: Cluny (catering); Information Systems & Culture; Grounds & Buildings; Chapel; Management; Service; Sport & Recreation. These activities bring to the surface how seminarians organize their work, take initiatives, and relate to one another and to the seminary authorities.
The physical health and fitness of seminarians is important. The student-run Sports & Recreation Ministry Group promotes a range of sporting activities to encourage everyone to participate. Everyone must participate in some form of physical activity on Friday afternoons. There is a small gym in the seminary which is available for use in students’ spare time. Moreover, seminarians are expected to walk or use public transport when travelling to the Theological College or pastoral work.