The Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology’s Year of Spiritual Discernment, El Camino, introduces men who are discerning priesthood to the depths and richness of Catholic culture, while simultaneously helping them to discover how their story and vocation fits within that broader story.

Following the Program For Priestly Formation, 6th Edition and its proposed propaedeutic stage, Saint Meinrad offers a robust year of discernment, where participants begin to develop “a life of prayer, study, fraternity, and appropriate docility to formation.” (§92)

 El Camino provides:

  • Introduction to spiritual direction, lectio divina, and daily lessons in spiritual practice (PPF 6th Ed., §§94, 100).
  • A community of daily prayer and worship, separate from the Saint Meinrad seminarians in the discipleship and configuration stages (§§98, 100-102).
  • Weekly, seminar-style study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, esp. parts I and III (§95).
  • Seminar-style classes on works from the Western tradition with a view toward supplementing the aspirants' general education and fostering a love of learning (§§95, 105).
  • Spanish language acquisition classes for native English speakers and ministry opportunities emphasizing intercultural competency (§§97, 103).
  • Introduction to the practice of theological reflection and introductory lessons in good habit formation aimed at a life of celibacy (§§93-94).
  • The opportunity for pilgrimage (the El Camino Santiago de Compostela) as a capstone retreat.

How Dioceses can use El Camino

In Person: The aspirant lives, prays and learns within a community of peers at Saint Meinrad, which will be set apart from the general seminary population. Worship space would be shared with the on-campus graduate theology lay community.

Online: The aspirant lives, prays and learns in a community organized by and internal to the diocese. Seminarians take part in the seminar and classroom-style meetings as chosen by the diocese.