Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Different Seminary Life

I always like a look into other Catholic seminaries and how they run the place.

There was a recent article on a seminary that is a whole lot different from any diocesan seminary. No, I am not talking about the FSSP seminary in Omaha but a Neocatechumenal Way seminary in Denver.

Here's a snippet.

"The seminarians' wallets are empty, except for driver's licenses and insurance cards. To buy clothes or anything else, they must ask their superiors for money -- an exercise in obedience and a reminder that material things aren't important.

They have virtually no time alone, on or off campus, and are required to travel in pairs, like Jesus' disciples. They live in a world without cell phones or personal computers, and their evenings end promptly at 10.

No Roman Catholic seminary is a resort, but few men who study for the priesthood endure the sort of rules that govern life at the Redemptoris Mater House of Formation, which is in a leafy residential neighborhood in southeast Denver.

Redemptoris Mater is a new experiment in molding Catholic priests who are faithful to church teaching and authority, and zealous in their desire to lead other Catholics down that same road.

On one hand, the rules are a throwback to 50 years ago, when would-be priests led regimented existences apart from the rest of the world. But Redemptoris Mater men also teach the faith at parishes and spend two years on mission trips, knocking on doors looking for Catholics in Bronx housing projects or Minneapolis suburbs."

Here's the link for those who want to read more.

I remember thinking seminary would be something like this when I first thought about joining. But every seminary I have been to is much more worldly. We have a schedule and a ton of rules. Yet we are still very much in contact with culture, whether good or bad. Obviously there needs to be a healthy balance in every seminary. There needs to be a certain amount of structure, lest we become like a seminary of the 70s or 80s but not too much that we become like a seminary of the 50s. That's the beauty of seminary formation right now. We have kind of struck a balance and at least from my perspective, it's working. We are producing good, strong, and healthy priests ready to bring souls to Christ.


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