THE PROPAEDEUTIC YEAR

The propaedeutic year is both a year of discovery and a spiritual and doctrinal formation students are able to understand. They can fully assess this initial call to priesthood which is present in their hearts. They are not yet seminarists and no matter what the outcome of the year will be they still benefit from a basic Christian formation and from a taste of a more substantial engagement towards faith.

A close encounter with Christ is, in any case, achieved. Benedict XVI said : “It is only in experiencing Christ personally that a young man can understand His will and as a result, his own vocation. The more you get to know Jesus, the more attracted you become to His Mystery, the more you meet Him and the more you search for Him. It is a state of the spirit which lasts for a whole lifetime”.

The preparatory year offers a specific progression, well integrated in the day to day life of the Seminary. During the year, students are supervised by a team of teachers from the Seminary. They monitor individual progress whilst ensuring stability and harmony in the community. The more advanced students are encouraged to help and support newcomers with their progressive immersion into the spirit of the place and the teaching itself. If students continue to the first cycle, they can benefit from a continuity of approach throughout the three years. This is a precious help during the time of ascertainment and fundamental training.

First year students share the life of the community, (accommodation, meals, services, liturgy, key events etc…). They also have their own rhythm and separate activities: sessions, retreats, theatre plays etc…).

THE PROPAEDEUTIC YEAR

Preparatory year “calls for patient an demanding work on the person, who is open to the action of the Holy Spirit. Its purpose is to form a priestly heart.”

Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis

THE PROPAEDEUTIC YEAR

The propaedeutic year is both a year of discovery and a spiritual and doctrinal formation students are able to understand. They can fully assess this initial call to priesthood which is present in their hearts. They are not yet seminarists and no matter what the outcome of the year will be they still benefit from a basic Christian formation and from a taste of a more substantial engagement towards faith.

A close encounter with Christ is, in any case, achieved. Benedict XVI said : “It is only in experiencing Christ personally that a young man can understand His will and as a result, his own vocation. The more you get to know Jesus, the more attracted you become to His Mystery, the more you meet Him and the more you search for Him. It is a state of the spirit which lasts for a whole lifetime”.

A close

encounter

with Christ

 

A specific progression,

well integrated

in the day to day life

of the Seminary

 

The preparatory year offers a specific progression, well integrated in the day to day life of the Seminary. During the year, students are supervised by a team of teachers from the Seminary. They monitor individual progress whilst ensuring stability and harmony in the community. The more advanced students are encouraged to help and support newcomers with their progressive immersion into the spirit of the place and the teaching itself. If students continue to the first cycle, they can benefit from a continuity of approach throughout the three years. This is a precious help during the time of ascertainment and fundamental training.

First year students share the life of the community, (accommodation, meals, services, liturgy, key events etc…). They also have their own rhythm and separate activities: sessions, retreats, theatre plays etc…).

FORMATION OF A NEW HUMAN BEING

DURING THE PREPARATORY YEAR

The preparatory year students are fully integrated in the brotherhood of the first cycle, they participate in all the activities but hold less responsibilities. Each brotherhood is made of six or ten students or seminarians supervised by the priest from the seminary and accommodated in the same living quarters. The brotherhood has in part, its own schedule of prayer and service; it does assist the young men to enter life in a community more easily. This close proximity to each other allows them to deepen their vocation and discover, in a concrete manner, the demands of such a life style. They are led to transcend their own limitations and surrender all, joyfully to the call of the Lord.

Half way through the year, the preparatory year student experiences life with the poor during a period of three to four weeks. Jesus did come to announce the God News to the poor. His Apostles must therefore be available for the more destitute people, to get to know them, to understand their needs and expectations, to love and serve them. After having washed his disciples’ feet, Jesus said to them: « This is an example I have given to you in order that you do to others what I have done to you. (John 13,15). This placement can be done with disabled people, in the Jean Vanier’s Arche community, with the elderly at the little Sisters of the Poor, with destitutes at the Emmaüs community. There is indeed a large number of other organisations catering for all kinds of disadvantaged people for students to chose from. Each year a theatre play is produced highlighting individual skills and qualities such as : Selflessness, team work, the mastering of language, the appreciation of beauty, etc…

FORMATION OF A NEW HUMAN BEING

The preparatory year students are fully integrated in the brotherhood of the first cycle, they participate in all the activities but hold less responsibilities. Each brotherhood is made of six or ten students or seminarians supervised by the priest from the seminary and accommodated in the same living quarters. The brotherhood has in part, its own schedule of prayer and service; it does assist the young men to enter life in a community more easily. This close proximity to each other allows them to deepen their vocation and discover, in a concrete manner, the demands of such a life style. They are led to transcend their own limitations and surrender all, joyfully to the call of the Lord.

Half way through the year, the preparatory year student experiences life with the poor during a period of three to four weeks. Jesus did come to announce the God News to the poor. His Apostles must therefore be available for the more destitute people, to get to know them, to understand their needs and expectations, to love and serve them. After having washed his disciples’ feet, Jesus said to them: « This is an example I have given to you in order that you do to others what I have done to you. (John 13,15). This placement can be done with disabled people, in the Jean Vanier’s Arche community, with the elderly at the little Sisters of the Poor, with destitutes at the Emmaüs community. There is indeed a large number of other organisations catering for all kinds of disadvantaged people for students to chose from. Each year a theatre play is produced highlighting individual skills and qualities such as : Selflessness, team work, the mastering of language, the appreciation of beauty, etc…

SPIRITUAL FORMATION

This first year acts as an initiation in spirituality, a positioning of the student in the very presence of Christ:  “I no longer call you my servitor but my friends as all I have heard from my father, I have now told you”.

This familiarity with Christ is essential to support the period of ascertainment of a vocation. It allows for the hearing of the Lord’s call. The training of private spiritual life is a priority. Two training sessions to develop the orison are organised at the begining and in the middle of the year. They are designed to foster this heart to heart connection with the Lord; (at least half an hour a day). There is also a daily hour of Lectio Divina which allows for a reading in full of the Bible during the year.

To belong to a large community encourages the development of a liturgical life through a spiritual formation focused on the Eucharist. The preparatory year students enter the Liturgy of Hours in a progressive manner with the daily Laudes, Vespers and, on certain days, Compline. As in the first cycle, major liturgical festivals (Christmas, Easter Triduum) are celebrated in the community.

The preparatory students have their own retreats. In November, they have a five day retreat in a monastic environment with a priest from the seminary. It gives them a fundamental and guiding experience of silence and prayer. During the third term, a retreat based on Saint Ignatius, for ten days, enables the student to reconnect with his own vocation.

Spiritual guidance has an important role to play in his progress. The student must search his soul deeper in order to re-assess the Lord’s presence and call. Each student is guided by a spiritual father with regular meetings every two or three weeks.

SPIRITUAL FORMATION DURING

THE PREPARATORY YEAR

This first year acts as an initiation in spirituality, a positioning of the student in the very presence of Christ: “I no longer call you my servitor but my friends as all I have heard from my father, I have now told you”.

This familiarity with Christ is essential to support the period of ascertainment of a vocation. It allows for the hearing of the Lord’s call. The training of private spiritual life is a priority. Two training sessions to develop the orison are organised at the begining and in the middle of the year. They are designed to foster this heart to heart connection with the Lord; (at least half an hour a day). There is also a daily hour of Lectio Divina which allows for a reading in full of the Bible during the year.

To belong to a large community encourages the development of a liturgical life through a spiritual formation focused on the Eucharist. The preparatory year students enter the Liturgy of Hours in a progressive manner with the daily Laudes, Vespers and, on certain days, Compline. As in the first cycle, major liturgical festivals (Christmas, Easter Triduum) are celebrated in the community.

The preparatory students have their own retreats. In November, they have a five day retreat in a monastic environment with a priest from the seminary. It gives them a fundamental and guiding experience of silence and prayer. During the third term, a retreat based on Saint Ignatius, for ten days, enables the student to reconnect with his own vocation.

Spiritual guidance has an important role to play in his progress. The student must search his soul deeper in order to re-assess the Lord’s presence and call. Each student is guided by a spiritual father with regular meetings every two or three weeks.

INTELLECTUAL FORMATION

DURING THE PREPARATORY YEAR

The intellectual formation supports the whole teaching of the year. It is based on a broad vision of the work, devised to suit, the philosophical and theological studies to come. Disciplines included are as follows:

  • Study of the Holy Scriptures to acquire an overall understanding of the Bible (chronology, interpretation of the Scriptures) presentation of the various Books and Christian readings).
  • Spiritualty through the various aspects of the Christian Prayer.
  • Introduction to the Credo from the catechism of the Catholic Church.
  • Introduction to the Mysteries of the Church and articulation of different vocations from the Lumen Gentium.
  • A panoramic view of two thousand years of Church seen through the lives of the saints.
  • Introduction to philosophy
  • Introduction to the liturgy: the Liturgy of Hours and the liturgic year.
  • Saint John Mary Vianney: his life, his grace, his message.

There is no examination per se to close this period of study but an evaluation will be carried out in each discipline. A trimestrial report of ten to fifteen pages will also be expected. Each week the seminary’s rector meets the students to accompany them in their progress, to deepen the formation’s spirit, to better understand the mystery of Man in all its aspects, vocational issues etc…

INTELLECTUAL FORMATION

The intellectual formation supports the whole teaching of the year. It is based on a broad vision of the work, devised to suit, the philosophical and theological studies to come. Disciplines included are as follows:

  • Study of the Holy Scriptures to acquire an overall understanding of the Bible (chronology, interpretation of the Scriptures) presentation of the various Books and Christian readings).
  • Spiritualty through the various aspects of the Christian Prayer.
  • Introduction to the Credo from the catechism of the Catholic Church.
  • Introduction to the Mysteries of the Church and articulation of different vocations from the Lumen Gentium.
  • A panoramic view of two thousand years of Church seen through the lives of the saints.
  • Introduction to philosophy
  • Introduction to the liturgy: the Liturgy of Hours and the liturgic year.
  • Saint John Mary Vianney: his life, his grace, his message.

There is no examination per se to close this period of study but an evaluation will be carried out in each discipline. A trimestrial report of ten to fifteen pages will also be expected. Each week the seminary’s rector meets the students to accompany them in their progress, to deepen the formation’s spirit, to better understand the mystery of Man in all its aspects, vocational issues etc…

PASTORAL TRAINING DURING THE PREPARATORY YEAR

Pastoral engagement during the year is voluntarily limited. Each Sunday, students join the Christian congregation in the parish. This gives them a fresh appreciation of the ministry as well as some valuable insight into spiritual life at large.

PASTORAL TRAINING

Pastoral engagement during the year is voluntarily limited. Each Sunday, students join the Christian congregation in the parish. This gives them a fresh appreciation of the ministry as well as some valuable insight into spiritual life at large.

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