A seminary is the place where men discerning their vocation undertake discernment and formation. Once a man enters the seminary, the decision to be a priest is by no means final. The discernment process continues as he begins preparation for the priesthood, especially in the first few years. Entering the seminary is the optimum environment for a man to grow deeper in his spirituality and earnestly ask God, ‘Is this really what you are calling me to be?’ Men who enter the seminary undergo a process of formation which has four dimensions:
This formation takes place normally over a period of seven years. You might think that this seems like a long time! But the formation of priests is a very important task and can’t be rushed. Seminarians experience life in community, working, studying, praying together and sharing meals and leisure time as brothers in Christ. In their free time they might play sports, work out, read, or visit friends and family. The friendships they share with each other are a great source of joy, support and encouragement as they journey towards the priesthood.