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Spiritual Moms - Week 6
July 1 - July 7, Week 6
Week 6 Courses: Course on Authentic Manhood with Christ the Priest concludes.
Week 6 - Prayer Intention: To receive a sense of the Lord's call to celibacy as a diocesan priest
"And I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it."
Overview of The Institute for Priestly Formation's Summer Program for Seminarians
In response to the Holy Spirit's guidance in the 1990 World Synod of Bishops' call for a more intense period of formation for priesthood candidates, the Institute for Priestly Formation has created a summer program of spiritual formation for diocesan seminarians. The IPF program offers an experience both personally challenging and spiritually inspiring.
This program responds to our contemporary age's need for concentrated spiritual formation and instruction in the Catholic faith by integrating prayer and shared faith, study and supervised pastoral work in a profoundly personalized manner. All of these elements in their appropriate integration are explicitly aimed at the religious experience of recognizing and cooperating with Jesus' Spirit stirring in the seminarian's heart and in our world.
Growth in relational prayer stands at the heart of this program's formation for seminarians. Through daily prayer, retreats and weekly one-on-one spiritual direction, the heart is exercised and expanded to be able to receive God's love by relating with the Trinity and Mary as real persons.
This Trinitarian love is witnessed to the seminarian in a variety of ways: in the chaste love of those in the formation community, in the apostolate, as well as in other relationships. The experience of this love is deepened by systematic theological reflection, guided by a curriculum which exposes the seminarian to the spiritual tradition of the Church and helps him to receive it anew in our own day. A special integrating element in this reflection is the course, "Growing into Authentic Manhood with Christ the Priest."
In this holistic human formation the seminarian deepens his appreciation of the gift of celibacy. Celibacy is understood not as a denial of sexuality, rather as a gift that leads to fulfillment in a spousal experience of Trinitarian and Marian love- a love always fueling the generative, active ministry of the priest.
Finally, this program helps participants to receive the unique identity of the diocesan priest and to learn how to pray in such as a way as to find God in the midst of the day-to-day busyness of the priest's life. As a means to this end, the program makes use of Ignatian spirituality with its emphasis on active, apostolic spirituality, so central to the life of the diocesan priest.