Human Formation, which is centered on Jesus Christ, true God and true man, is the necessary foundation of all priestly formation and every priest “should mold his human personality in such a way that it becomes a bridge and not an obstacle for others in their meeting with Jesus Christ the Redeemer of humanity” (Pastores Dabo Vobis, 43).
In effect, “as the humanity of the Word made flesh was the instrumentum salutis, so the humanity of the priest is instrumental in mediating the redemptive gifts of Christ to people today” (P.P.F., 75). Thus, human formation prepares future priests to be suitable instruments of God’s grace.
The goal of the Human Formation Program at Saint Joseph’s Seminary, as described in our Mission Statement, is to form seminarians “who, as priests, will have a clear sense of their identity as ministers who are set aside to act in the name and person of Jesus Christ, Shepherd and Head of the Church … who exercise a priesthood distinct from the common priesthood of all the baptized … and are men of ecclesial communion, united by special bonds with the Pope, the College of Bishops, their own Bishop, other priests, deacons, consecrated religious and the lay faithful.”
Our Program for Human Formation cultivates the personal and emotional maturity of each candidate for the priesthood and develops the human qualities which are necessary for them to be balanced and capable of bearing the weight of pastoral responsibilities. These include the ability “to love the truth, to be loyal, to respect every person, to have a sense of justice, to be true to their word, to be genuinely compassionate, to be men of integrity and, especially, balanced in judgment and behavior” (Pastores Dabo Vobis, 43).
The means by which these skills are developed in each student include regular meetings with Faculty Advisors, community life with the faculty, staff and fellow seminarians, working together for the completion of House jobs, Rector’s Conferences, social events and community celebrations.
Another primary aim of the Human Formation Program at Saint Joseph’s Seminary is to prepare seminarians for lives of celibate chastity. This is accomplished through a multifaceted program which unites elements from all four central areas of priestly formation: i.e., the human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral. The Seminary educates students concerning the theology and meaning of celibacy and inculcates the necessary skills for embracing chastity joyfully and wholeheartedly, including the need for healthy friendships, emotional maturity, self-reflection, priestly fraternity, priestly asceticism and spiritual direction.
Our forty-four acre campus includes baseball, football, and soccer fields as well as tennis courts. It is also home to the Cardinal Spellman Recreation Center, which houses basketball courts, bowling alleys, an exercise center with state-of-the-art cardiovascular equipment, squash and racquetball courts, and an Olympic-size swimming pool.