The vow of celibacy is one of a priest's most significant gifts to God and to the people he serves through the Church. It should be undertaken only when the candidate has attained the emotional maturity necessary for a thorough understanding of its purpose, challenges and rewards.
"Together in One Place," Saint Meinrad's groundbreaking program of celibacy formation, encourages seminarians to develop knowledge of their own sexuality, to value it and learn to direct it to God's service, and to learn the habits and skills that enable a lifelong commitment to healthy and effective celibate chastity.
"Together in One Place" integrates reflection on celibacy into each of the four dimensions of priestly formation (human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral) through six formation themes that are spread over the seminarian's education:
First Philosophy: Healthy Sexuality and Christian Spirituality
Second Philosophy: The Culture of Christianity and Theology of the Body
First Theology: Spirituality and Priesthood and the Theology of Celibacy
Second Theology: Parish Realities
Third Theology: Celibate Living Skills
Fourth Theology: Transition to Priesthood
In addition to topics such as celibacy, healthy sexuality and relationships, and sexuality in the media, the program covers the practical issues of living alone or in a group, such as exercise, cooking, hobbies and other day-to-day issues.
"Together in One Place" views celibacy in light of the whole community, encouraging healthy appreciation of a celibate way of life not only among seminarians, but also with others involved in their formation.
Ongoing formation is available through Saint Meinrad's Institute for Priests and Presbyterates, which serves the newly ordained priest in the crucial years following his ordination.