Aparecida 319: Comprehensive Formation

One cannot argue against the comprehensive formation urged here:

319. There must be a seminary formation plan that offers seminarians a true comprehensive process—human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral—centered on Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd. It is crucial that during the formation years, seminarians be authentic disciples, and come to have a true personal encounter with Jesus Christ in prayer with the Word, so as to establish with Him relationships of friendship and love, ensuring an authentic process of spiritual initiation, especially during the Propaedeutic Period.

It’s important to distinguish between this overall holistic orientation and the particular manifestations we’ve often seen in clergy that may not be backed up by the solid spirituality. By that I would mean one of two things. First, the adoption of an approach to rules that is more clever than wise in applying it to human beings and situations. And second, an overzealous piety that doesn’t engage the full measure of priesthood–the leadership of prayer that invites others to express their baptismal call to pray. In other words, a focus entirely on one’s own spirituality.

The spirituality promoted must respond to the identity of the particular vocation, whether diocesan or religious.(Cf. Congregation for Catholic Education, Circular Letter Concerning some of the More Urgent Aspects of Spiritual Formation in Seminaries, January 6, 1980, p. 23: ID The Propaedeutic Period May 1, 1998, p. 14.)

For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in 2007 Aparecida document, bishops, evangelization and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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