In many respects, life as a seminarian is similar to that of other students. Seminarians take classes with a particular emphasis on philosophy and theology and enjoy time with other students on campus, both male and female, and especially with their brother seminarians. However, due to the unique characteristics of a priestly vocation, they live by a rule of life that assists them as they grow in virtue and the interior life. It includes daily Mass, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, regular conferences, days of recollection, apostolic work, and devotions, as well as ample time for study and recreation. The family atmosphere of the seminary is a school of charity and a way to grow in the human virtues that are an indispensable preparation for priestly work.
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.
Life in the seminary is very rich, building up the entire person, both humanly and spiritually, in a warm and supportive environment. A typical day at The College Seminary of the Immaculate Conception at St. Andrew’s Hall, for instance, might look something like this:
|6:45 am||Lauds (Morning Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours)|
|7:15 am||Holy Mass|
|8:00 am||Breakfast, Classes and Study|
|12 noon||Lunch, Afternoon classes and Study, Sports and Exercise|
|5:00 pm||Vespers (Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours)|
|7:00 pm||Time for personal prayer, study, intramural sports and fraternity, formation conferences, or communal Eucharistic Adoration|
|10:00 pm||Compline (Night Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours|