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Priestly Formation

Priestly formation begins at home with parents as the first catechists/teachers of the faith to their children at an early age. The late Pope John Paul II referred to a Christian home as the "Domestic Church" where husband, wife and children grow in knowledge and wisdom of God: to know, to love and serve God in all things. It is in a Christian home where a strong foundation of faith is laid and faith is passed on in the daily experience: e.g. going to church services with the child, teaching the child to make the sign of the cross before eating, introducing the child to the Bible as the word of God, talking to the child about God as creator and savior, etc. This spiritual encounter is so important and serves as the rite of initiation of children into Catholic faith and practice. This shows the important roles played by the parents in the life of the church. It is parents who supply the seminaries with vocations to various ministries in the church. Thanks to the generosity of the parents in offering their children for service to humanity through the ministry of the church.

The second level of priestly formation is at the seminary. The word seminary comes from a Latin word "semen/semis", meaning "SEED". It is the seed of vocation to church's ministry and refers to the young men who feel called by God to dedicate their lives in the service of humanity. Once a young man feels that he has a vocation to priesthood, he makes it known to his parents, the pastor and the Christian community from whom he expects recommendation and support. He then makes application to join a Minor Seminary such as Sacred Heart Seminary, which is a secondary school where seminarians spend six years learning basic skills with emphasis on religious education to prepare them for ministry. The boys are here from the age 14 to 19 years old. Sacred Heart Seminary has 148 seminarians studying for the priesthood. After completing six years of education at the Minor Seminary, the young men, upon the recommendation of the Rector and staff of the Minor Seminary can choose to go to the Major Seminary for three years of philosophy. After three years of philosophy, the young men will spend a year of pastoral work in a parish before going on for another four years of theology before being ordained a priest.

The long years they spend in the seminary are meant to prepare them to be mature pastors, dedicated, responsible, prayerful, holy and orally oriented. Please remember our seminarians and priests in your daily prayers.