June 30, 2017

Deacon Andrew Clyne, seminarian, wrote about priestly formation for Our Sunday Visitor’s The Catholic Answer.

Seeing the priest in the pulpit or at the altar on a Sunday, it is only natural and understandable for people to have in their minds, from time to time, the question, “How did he get here?” The question may be considered not only in the sense of what is his own unique vocation story, but in the sense of what was the process by which the Church discerned his suitability for ministry, and what did his preparation for ministry entail.

The history of priestly formation in the Catholic Church is long and varied, but a decisive moment in that history came with the Council of Trent (1545-63), especially in its Twenty-Third Session, when the council fathers laid down the framework for the establishment of seminaries as permanent institutions for the training of clerics. While it took some time for the seminary model to take hold, the result remains the essential place of priestly formation to the present day. ...

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