Pastoral Formation is centered on preparing each candidate to stand and act in the community in the name and person of Jesus Christ, Head and Shepherd of the Church,through evangelization, service, and sacramental ministry, pre-eminently in the Eucharist. (Kenrick-Glennon Seminary Mission)
Activities of the Pastoral Formation Program
Seminarians serve in parishes on weekends under the supervision of parish pastors. The supervised ministry program includes evaluation by pastoral supervisor and theological reflection with peers. The pastors and parishes involved in this program are identified in close cooperation between the President-Rector, the Director of Pastoral Formation and the Archbishop of St. Louis. Those who are selected as Pastor-Supervisors are in many ways an extension of the faculty of the seminary. They meet regularly with the seminarians under their supervision and provide feedback to the seminarian and the seminary.
In Theology I, ministry concentrates on pastoral care of the poor such as St Vincent de Paul Society or other parish based charitable outreach. May also work in the area of Youth Ministry or other special ministerial project (i. e. pro-life, ecumenism, evangelism). Parish ministry in Theology II concentrates on the care of the elderly, homebound, sick and dying including home visits and visits to hospitals and nursing homes. In year III, seminarians concentrate on Religious Education: particularly classroom teaching in the parish school but can also include teaching in RCIA, RCIC, Adult Education, etc. Includes evaluation by pastoral supervisor and theological reflection with peers. In Theology IV, Deacons serve in parishes assigned by the Archbishop of St. Louis.
Students meet 4-8 times during a semester in small groups of peers. A faculty member sits in as an observer. At each reflection session, two seminarians present a critical incident in their parish ministry and offer reflections on what the incident taught them about God, themselves and those whom they serve. Peers offer feedback to elicit shared insights for future pastoral practice. The crucial question for reflection sessions is: how is God at work in the seminarian’s developing priestly spirituality, and how is the seminarian responding to God’s presence in his pastoral work.
Courses in Pastoral Formation
Pastoral Theology (3), Pastoral Counseling (3), Pastoral Issues and Grief Counseling (3), Marriage Preparation and Natural Family Planning (2), Canon Law (3), Sacramental Law (3), Religious Education (2), Introductory and Advanced Homiletics (6). Liturgical Practica (non-credit) include Sacred Music Practicum (one semester), Deacon Practicum (2 semesters) and Priest Practicum (2 semesters).
Goals of Pastoral Formation
- A missionary spirit, zeal for evangelization, and ecumenical commitment;
- A spirit of pastoral charity and openness to serve all people;
- A special love for and commitment to the sick and suffering, the poor and outcasts, prisoners, immigrants, and refugees;
- Demonstration of appropriate pastoral skills and competencies for ministry;
- Ability to exercise pastoral leadership;
- Ability to carry out pastoral work collaboratively with others and an appreciation for the different charisms and vocations within the Church;
- The ability to work in a multicultural setting with people of different ethnic and racial and religious backgrounds;
- A commitment to the proclamation, celebration, and service of the Gospel of life; and
- Energy and zeal for pastoral ministry.