"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4:15)

In Pastores Dabo Vobis, Pope John Paul II cites this passage from St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews as affirmation of the "human character" of God's minister. Just as the humanity of Jesus Christ was the instrument of salvation, so the human character of his priests is the essential bridge connecting God's people to the redemptive gifts of Christ.

During the Discipleship Stage, seminarians are challenged to reach the following benchmarks (PPF, 192­-97):

  • Growth in affective maturity, charity, and self-awareness
  • Integration of self-awareness in relationships within the seminary community
  • Growth in self-acceptance, self-possession and self-gift
  • Growth in “admirable human qualities” such as humility, constancy, truthfulness, gratitude and perseverance
  • Growth in managing stress and maintaining balance in life
  • Transparency with formators, openness to formation, and accountability regarding expectations
  • Greater understanding of and commitment to celibate chastity.
  • Progress in achieving simplicity of life and growing in a spirit of generosity.
  • Development of a healthy understanding of obedience.

During the Configuration Stage, seminarians are challenged to reach the following benchmarks (PPF, 198-99):

  • The ability to exercise authority and leadership among peers
  • The capacity to respond appropriately to conflict and stress
  • The willingness to volunteer for additional responsibilities in the seminary
  • Avoiding gossip and cynicism
  • Care for bodily health and sound strategies for dealing with psychological issues
  • Good habits regarding the proper use of technology
  • Continued progress in achieving simplicity of life and a spirit of generosity
  • Continued progress in manifesting a healthy understanding of obedience.

In His IMage

As sacramental representations of Christ, priests embody His humanity and way of life. Human formation is the foundation of the process that prepares seminarians to be fitting instruments of Christ's grace. Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology seeks to prepare well-integrated priests who take responsibility for their own emotional, physical, sexual and spiritual well-being.

Saint Meinrad's program of human formation fosters these qualities in seminarians:

  • A highly developed moral conscience and strong moral character

  • Openness to strong, empathetic relationships with others

  • The ability to work with people of diverse cultural backgrounds without prejudice

  • Emotional maturity

  • The capacity for critical observation and analysis

  • Respect for one's own bodily integrity and health, including the skills and habits necessary to  embrace a life of celibacy

  • Financial responsibility

  • The ability and inclination to communicate well

  • The confidence and comportment necessary to serve as a public person representing the Church

Human formation encompasses student recreation and athletics; concerts, performances and lectures; psychological counseling; and an annual evaluation of a student's progress in formation.

Fr. Tobias Colgan, OSB
Vice Rector
200 Hill Drive
St. Meinrad, IN 47577


Sr. Diane Pharo, SCN
Director of Counseling Services
200 Hill Drive
St. Meinrad, IN 47577