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.
Saint 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 Saint John Paul II Seminary, for instance, might look something like this:
|7:15 am||Lauds (Morning Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours)|
|7:30 am||Holy Mass|
|Classes and study time|
|Afternoon classes and study|
|Sports and exercise|
|5:00 pm||Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament|
|6:00 pm||Vespers (Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours)|
|6:15 pm||Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament|
|7:30 pm||Music practice, formation conferences, or personal and study time|