Foundations of Priestly Formation - S.E. Mons. Patrón Wong

Patron Wong
S.E. Mons. Patrón Wong

The objective of the diocesan seminary is to form shepherds. This simple idea demands that all the other formative elements be subordinated to this end, thus acquiring their proper place in formation. If one wishes to expand this brief description, it can be said that the seminary must form men-disciples and missionaries-shepherds for the people of God. When we put it this way, with hyphens in between, it is clear that we are talking about one and the same process of faith, with a certain complexity, which, departing from a healthy personality and a well cultivated Christian life, prepares the future priests that will guide the people of God.

As Bishops and formators, the main objective of formation must be clear, precisely because the seminary does not intend to form only intellectuals [intellectualism], despite taking the intellectual preparation of the seminarians very seriously. It also does not intend to achieve a monastic type of formation [spiritualism], although it certainly grants a central place to prayer and the sacramental life. It does not intend to form good organizers [“pastoralism”], although it is concerned with offering seminarians the best preparation for pastoral activities. Lastly, it is not concerned with forming only ministers of cult [“liturgism”], although it offers seminarians the best possible liturgical formation.