D. Pastoral Formation
“Formation in its different aspects must have a fundamentally pastoral character… ‘The whole training of the students should have as its object to make them true shepherds of souls after the example of Jesus Christ, teacher, priest, and shepherd.”‘ (PDV 57; Optatum Totius, 4)
“[P]astoral formation certainly cannot be reduced to a mere apprenticeship, aiming to make the candidate familiar with some pastoral techniques. The seminary which educates must seek really and truly to initiate the candidate into the sensitivity of being a shepherd, in the conscious and mature assumption of his responsibilities, in the interior habit of evaluating problems and establishing priorities and looking for solutions on the basis of honest motivations of faith and according to the theological demands inherent in pastoral work” (Pastores Dabo Vobis, n. 58).
Primary Outcome: To become proficient in each of the twelve pastoral competencies (listed below) while reflecting on why they are good and reasonable skills to acquire.
How do I become pastorally proficient?
- By acquiring a genuine interest in pastoral theology
- By being enthusiastically engaged in pastoral matters, i.e., the one who does the work learns the most
- By prayerful reflection on field education experiences and other pastoral experiences
- By preparing and presenting theological reflections that are insightful and useful, especially for parochial ministry
- By seeking ways to improve pastoral skills
In order to acquire the following pastoral competencies:
- To preach the Gospel prophetically
- To celebrate the Eucharist and other liturgical services properly and with sincere devotion
- To provide leadership, support and inspiration to the lay faithful for evangelization and pastoral renewal
- To witness and promote the Gospel of Life and all Catholic social teaching
- To exercise prudence, dialog and collaboration while maintaining a proper priestly persona
- To answer correctly contemporary moral questions using Faith and Reason
- To advocate and witness the Church’s preferential option for the poor
- To bring pardon, healing, peace and hope through pastoral care, pastoral counseling, spiritual direction and sacramental confession
- To support marriage, family life and vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life as the Spiritual Father of the parish
- To teach parishioners and parish catechists
- To advocate Inculturation, Ecumenism and Inter-Religious Dialog
- To administer the parish effectively