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The Propaedeutic Stage: Reimagining Priestly Formation

2023 Symposium

Resources from the Symposium are available hereContact the IPF office for the password to access these resources.

The symposium will be an opportunity for all those engaged in priestly formation to come together first, to appreciate the beauty of the Church’s vision for priestly formation in our contemporary world and second, to take a broad look at priestly formation with the aid of the Propaedeutic Stage.  In other words, the symposium will invite participants to see the Propaedeutic Stage, not simply as an add-on to the itinerary of priestly formation, but as a lens through which the whole formation enterprise might be reimagined.

The days will feature large group presentations, small group discussion as well as a panel discussion which will highlight the Propaedeutic Stage in dialogue with vocation directors and seminary rectors.  Each day will also offer time for Eucharistic Adoration, Morning and Evening Prayer and the celebration of Mass.


March 16-19, 2023


The Conference Center at Mundelein Seminary/University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein, Illinois

For Whom

For bishops, formators, vocation personnel and all those involved in priestly formation

Symposium Schedule

Thursday, March 16

4:00 p.m. - Guest Check In (Early arrivals can place luggage in the Living Room)
6:15 p.m. - Dinner
7:30 p.m. - Session: Lectio on Ratio and PPF 6 Texts
                  Fr. Brian Welter, IPF Executive Director
8:30 p.m. - Adoration

Friday, March 17

8:00 a.m. - Breakfast 
9:15 a.m. - Session: The Church's Vision for Forming Priests in Contemporary Culture 
                  Deacon James Keating
10:30 a.m. - Response: Bishop Ronald Hicks
10:45 a.m. - Large Group Conversation
11:30 a.m. - Mass
12:30 p.m. - Lunch
2:00 p.m. - Session: The Propaedeutic Stage in Dialogue with the Formation Itinerary
                  Panel: Fr. Thomas Byrne, Fr. John Floeder, Fr. Paul Hoesing, Fr. Andrew Merrick
3:15 p.m. - Small Group Session
5:00 p.m. - Optional Adoration/Evening Prayer
6:15 p.m. - Dinner
7:30 p.m. - Session: Large Group Conversation
                  Fr. Brian Welter, Moderator
8:30 p.m. - Social

Saturday, March 18

8:00 a.m. - Breakfast
9:15 a.m. - Session: Interior Maturity: A Common Thread for the Formation Itinerary
                  Bishop Andrew Cozzens
10:30 a.m. - Response: Fr. Brady Wagner
10:45 a.m. - Large Group Conversation
11:30 a.m. - Mass
12:30 p.m. - Lunch
2:00 p.m. - Session: Interior Maturity: Implications for Formation
                  Deacon James Keating
2:45 p.m. - Small Group Conversation (Groups: Bishops, Seminary Personnel, Propaedeutic Stage Personnel, Vocation Directors)
4:00 p.m. - Large Group Conversation
5:00 p.m. - Optional Adoration/Evening Prayer
6:15 p.m. - Social
7:00 p.m. - Banquet
8:00 p.m. - Program, Sharing of Graces

Sunday, March 19

7:30 a.m. - Grab and Go Breakfast Available (til 10:30 a.m.)
9:00 a.m. - Mass
11:00 a.m. - Brunch
11:00 a.m. - Guest Check-Out


We wish to thank the generous sponsors of this symposium: The William H. and Lois J. McEssy Foundation and Mundelein Seminary/University of St. Mary of the Lake.


Registered participants will have a room reserved in the Conference Center Lodge at University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. These are private rooms with a bath, whose cost is included in the overall symposium fee.


Guests are advised to fly into the Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), which is roughly 1 hour from the seminary. Alternatively, General Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee (MKE) is about an hour and 15 minutes from USML.

American Taxi provides reliable and economical transportation from the airport to the Conference Center and you can schedule online before your trip.

For any ride to USML, please use the address of the Conference Center Lodge, 300 Principal Avenue, Mundelein. The driver should drop you off in the Purple Lot, it is a short walk to the Conference Center Lodging and Registration/Building E on the campus map.

Late arrivals can contact the University of St. Mary of the Lake Public Safety department: 847-970-4815.

Symposium Fee

The symposium fee is $190 per person. The fee includes the cost of rooms for 3 nights and meals for Thursday dinner, Friday breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as Sunday brunch.


Any questions or concerns about arrangements to attend the symposium are best directed to the IPF office staff. They can be reached at 402-546-6384, or by email. All other questions can be directed to the USML Conference Center at 847-970-4908.