Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Insights: What the seminarian life is like

By Wilson Kubwayo
Cardinal Staff
Photo by Wilson Kubayo

The top priority of an Immaculate Heart of Mary seminarian’s life is prayer, which is one of the four pillars of formation. This spiritual pillar includes private prayer and public prayer.

Private prayer requires a seminarian to spend an hour each day in personal prayer. On the other hand, public prayer, such as Mass and Liturgies are mandatory to attend each day.

The seminary offers seminarians retreats throughout the school year that helps with pastoral discernment. “A retreat gives the opportunity to spend time and focus on prayer. It takes away all the distractions of school work and allows one to concentrate on his relationship with God,” said seminary rector Monsignor Thomas Melvin.

There are a variety of retreats that are offered to seminarians that are in different stages in their spiritual life. A retreat about learning how to pray and how to have a deeper relationship with God is available to first-year and second-year seminarians. For third-year and fourth-year seminarians, a retreat about spending time with God aims to help them discover their own vocation.

“I really enjoy seeing Seminarians mature and grow in their spiritual life as men and disciples of Jesus Christ,” said Msgr. Melvin.

Other priorities of a seminarian’s life are life of study, taking care of academic work; fraternity, spending time with the other brothers and growing together by learning from each other; and life of service, learning how to serve other people in doing pastoral works and house jobs.

Each seminarian is assigned a pastoral work and a house job at the beginning of each year. Pastoral works help to serve communities, and is divided by class.

There are a wide variety of pastoral works ranging from visiting the nursing homes, substituting or teaching at schools, visiting the prisons and the Little Buddy program here at campus.

Similarly with pastoral works, house jobs help to serve one another and live as brothers. House jobs include cleaning the stairs, bathrooms, halls, and dishes. Each seminarian is required to spend a few hours a week doing both pastoral works and house jobs.

An IHM seminarian is also required to dress a certain way throughout the school year, making it easier for others to distinguish him as a seminarian, and helping him with his discernment by living as a public person.

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