Human Formation is centered on the Person of Jesus Christ, the Word made fleshv, so that each candidate may become an apt instrument of Christ’s grace. By growing in affective maturity, the seminarian is prepared to donate his life in imitation of Jesus, thus becoming a bridge and not an obstacle for others in their encounter with God. (Kenrick-Glennon Seminary Mission Statement)
Activities of the Human Formation Program
The Program for Priestly Formation (#280) gives the qualities and characteristics which are expected of a man in the area of Human Formation. Although certain qualities such as faith, honesty, integrity and other virtues are expected in every seminarian, there is also the application of the principle of gradualism. As the seminarians progress along the years of formation, these virtues should become more deeply rooted in the heart and soul of the man seeking to be called to the priesthood of Jesus Christ. The following are some of the opportunities available at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary to help a man grow in Human Formation:
Each seminarian has a Formation Advisor with whom he meets once per month. These conversations are in the external forum. The Formation Advisor discusses the progress which the man has made in all areas of formation. This is also an opportunity for a discussion of areas of challenge which the man is confronting. Through this advising the seminarian is offered assistance in his annual growth plan and the Church is able to more clearly understand the man who is seeking ordination.
Kenrick-Glennon Seminary has on staff a trained, professional, licensed psychologist whose role is to assist the men in growth counseling. Most of the men who meet with the psychologist are self-referred. In certain circumstances the Spiritual Director or Formation Advisor will recommend that a man meet with the psychologist to discuss personal and family of origin issues.
Each month the rector gives a conference on some aspect of human and spiritual growth related to affective maturity. These conferences are opportunities for the seminarians to receive encouragement in an atmosphere of trust and personal interest. The conferences are attended by the Spiritual Directors and Formation Advisors so that the topics can be discussed in greater depth.
Human Formation Conferences
Twice each month the seminarians also attend conferences on many topics which pertain to Human Formation. Some of the topics which are presented involve time management, diet and exercise, the art of conversation, proper social interaction and basic elements of what it means to be a Christian gentleman. Some of these conferences are given by members of the seminary staff. Others are given by guest speakers who have a specialty in a certain area of formation.
There are numerous activities which are available at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary which provide occasions for growth and personal maturity. The Student Life Association offers opportunities for roles of leadership. Sports and social events foster interaction among the seminarians. Service to the community is also provided by the in-house jobs fulfilled by the men. All these activities and others foster growth in Human Formation.
Goals of Human Formation
- The human qualities of truthfulness, respect for others, justice, integrity, affability, generosity, kindness, courtesy, and prudence;
- The capacity to relate to others in a positive manner and the ability to get along with others and work with them in the community;
- Good self-knowledge, self-discipline, and self-mastery, including emotional self-control;
- Good physical and mental health;
- A balanced life-style and balance in making judgments;
- Affective maturity and healthy psychosexual development; clarity of masculine identity; an ability to establish and maintain wholesome friendships; the capacity to maintain appropriate boundaries in relationships;
- Skills for leadership and collaboration with women and men;
- Capacity to receive and integrate constructive criticism;
- Simplicity of life, stewardship of resources, and responsibility for financial obligations;
- Mature respect for and cooperation with Church authority; and
- Engagement in the community life of the seminary.