Society of St. Peter and Paul Seminary

Pillars of Priestly Formation

The mission of SSPP Seminary is to provide an environment that forms men to be committed disciples of Christ who are free to respond to God’s call to the priesthood, including the call to the chastity as religious men and women.

It is an environment that strives to form Christian men characterized by a life of holiness, human virtue, and generous service. Such a life is nurtured by a deep interior life of prayer and sound piety, filial devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and a profound love for the universal and local Church. It is further nourished through a rigorous intellectual formation in a faithful and loving obedience to the Magisterium and the sacred truths entrusted to the Church.

The SSPP Seminary strives to instill the pastoral charity and priestly witness modeled by its patrons, Sts.Peter and Paul  and fulfills its mission through a balanced program of spiritual, human, intellectual, and pastoral formation, as outlined in Pastores Dabo Vobis and the Program of Priestly Formation.

 Blessed John Paul II outlined in his Apostolic Exhortation, Pastores Dabo Vobis, four essential areas of a seminarian’s preparation for the priestly vocation. These four pillars of seminary life are human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral formation. The seminary seeks to assist men in precisely these four areas, because all four are of vital importance in forming a man to be a balanced, holy, learned, and effective priest of Jesus Christ.

In Pastores Dabo Vobis, Pope John Paul II described the principal foundations for priestly formaltation as human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral.  Each area, while distinct in itself, is naturally linked to the others. The four pillars form the comprehensive structure of formation that guides the development of the candidate toward Priesthood.
 Saint Peter and Paul Seminary’s highly skilled formation advisors work with candidates to integrate thoroughly the necessary priestly qualities and virtues in their lives.
Saint Peter and Paul Seminary provides an atmosphere that fosters and ensures a thorough process of formation, so that the man called to the Priesthood by God will have a strong priestly identity, a desire to serve, and a love for the people of God.
Upon entering Saint Peter and Paul Seminary, each seminarian is assigned an individual formation advisor, who meets with the seminarian at least twice each semester to discuss his progress in Skpy. The seminarian’s personal growth is examined in the areas of human, spiritual, intellectual, pastoral, physical, social, apostolic, and emotional development.  This process ensures that the candidate will grow in the virtues that will enable him to be a priest of the highest personal integrity.

 Ecclesial Context of Formation
Uniting these four pillars of formation is the purpose and context of the SSPP seminary itself, which is to form, in the words of the Program of Priestly Formation, “not just of a well-rounded person, a prayerful person, or an experienced pastoral practitioner but rather one who understands his spiritual development within the context of his call to service in the Church, his human development within the greater context of his call to advance the mission of the Church, his intellectual development as the appropriation of the Church’s teaching and tradition, and his pastoral formation as participation in the active ministry of the Church” (PPF 71).