"Since spiritual formation is the core that unifies the life of a priest, it stands at the heart of seminary life and is the center around which all other aspects are integrated" (Program of Priestly Formation, 115).
Spiritual direction is especially helpful in assisting seminarians in this integration. The confidentiality characterizing the relationship between a seminarian and his spiritual director assists the seminarian especially "in ongoing vocational discernment, proximate preparation for the reception of ministries and orders, and formation for celibacy" (PPF, 133).
In meeting with his director every two to three weeks, the seminarian has the opportunity to assess his growth according to the human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral demands and expectations of seminary life and, ultimately, the priesthood.
Although the spiritual direction relationship functions strictly in the internal forum, the insights obtained through these dialogues assist the seminarian in his accountability to the external, more observable demands of growth in the spiritual life, for it offers seminarians the essential components of challenge and accountability.
Although the PPF states that preparation for celibacy is one of the primary aims of the seminary human formation program (PPF, 90), the spiritual formation program - and especially the spiritual direction relationship - contributes to the opportunities for, and challenges to, growth in this area.
The director of spiritual formation and his associate are contributors to "Together in One Place," Saint Meinrad's comprehensive, four- to six-year program of formation for celibacy. A Spiritual Formation Committee composed of student representatives assists in overseeing the program.