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Formation Conferences

  

Mount St. Mary's of the West provides a gradual year-by-year series of conferences oriented toward the acquisition of knowledge, wisdom and holiness at each level of formation. In each academic quarter, in addition to a general conference given by the House Spiritual Director, to the entire seminary, there are three formation conferences for each year residential study; the one exception is first pre-theology which has eight conferences during the first quarter and three per quarter thereafter. The following is the proposed schedule of conferences for the respective years of formation:

Pre-Theology I

Autumn

Formation Conferences

Winter

Spring

Pre-Theology II

Autumn

Winter

Spring

First Theology

Those responsible for Formation at Mount St. Mary's recognize that the seminarian enters into formation for the priesthood already formed by the world and the life he has led up to this time. The men bring with them both strengths and weaknesses. The formation conferences of this first year have as their aim the strengthening of the foundations upon which the seminarian can endeavor to be conformed to the Gospel by the "renewal of his mind" and his heart.

The conferences address the weaknesses a man carries with him by inviting him to consciously entering into the via purgativa, a way of honest knowing and feeling, Thus, the nature of sin and the examination of conscience is tied to the practice of bringing this to prayer, meditation and penance. The challenge of the internal commitment to formation and growing in the evangelical counsels, the basis for the pursuit of holiness, is then treated.

Six sessions are then devoted to exploring the structure and dynamics of human sexuality and its proper sublimation within the life and ministry of one called to celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom.

Autumn

Winter and Spring

Second Theology

Formation conferences during the second year focus on the seminarian's interior journey toward an understanding of the priest as a man of God and a man for the people of God. Preparation to approach the altar, not only in persona Christi but also as paterfamilia begins with learning to accept celibacy, the lives and trials of others and Jesus Christ as Lord, teacher, role model and companion.

Autumn

Winter

Spring

Third Theology- Pastoral Internship Year

The seminary has a fully-integrated program for the placement of seminarians in a one-year parochial internship. There the seminarian experiences the spiritual life in the context of a faith community. In addition to a "departure" seminar, seminarians on their pastoral year return to the seminary twice during the year for various seminars and workshops. Following the pastoral year, seminarians journey to the Holy Land on pilgrimage

Fourth Theology

Autumn

Winter

Spring

Fifth Theology

Autumn

Winter

Spring

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