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.

An Integrated Approach

“Together in One Place,” Saint Meinrad’s program of celibacy formation, encourages seminarians to develop knowledge of their own sexuality, to value it, 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.  This program attempts to integrate reflection on celibacy into each of the four dimensions of priestly formation: human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral.

During the Discipleship Stage, topics include:

  • Dynamics of community living
  • Self-knowledge, self-possession, and self-gift
  • Loneliness
  • Etiquette and hospitality
  • Perfectionism
  • Emotions and empathy
  • Online sexual activity
  • Marriage

During the Discipleship Stage, the seminarian is challenged to come to a growing understanding of himself in light of the threefold dynamic described in the PPF: self-knowledge, self-possession and self-gift.

During the Configuration Stage, topics include:

  • Collaboration
  • Psychological well-being
  • Sexual offending among clergy
  • Addictions
  • Intergenerational dynamics
  • Narcissism
  • Intimacy
  • Finding one’s own true voice
  • Becoming the father
  • Support groups
  • Authority
  • Pornography
  • Obedience
  • Parish friendships
  • Remaining faithful
  • The Incarnation and the power of priestly mission

During the Configuration Stage, as the seminarian moves closer to the moment of lifelong self-gift, it is expected that he be able to give evidence of continued growth in self-knowledge and self-possession—at a level commensurate with his proximity to ordination. 

Community and Context

"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.