Spiritual Formation

Admission Procedures

*Note: St. Augustine's Seminary accepts candidates from the U.S.A. and Canada.

Admission Procedures
A candidate for ordination to the priesthood contacts his Vocation Director or Bishop of the diocese of sponsorship. A candidate will not be reviewed for admission by St. Augustine’s Seminary without being approved by a diocese. Those wishing to pursue their vocation through a religious order will only be admitted to the Seminary after being approved and sponsored by the Order. Admission interviews begin in the month of May. Some seminarians come to the Seminary following years of experience in careers or professions. At all stages of formation men are encouraged (especially in Spiritual Direction and at various Year Group Meetings), to discern their own suitability for priestly ministry so as to make a free and conscious decision regarding their readiness for Holy Orders.

Admission interviews begin in the month of May. St. Augustine's Seminary must receive all of the necessary application documents at least two weeks prior to the interview. Admission forms are to be obtained through the Vocations Office of the candidate’s diocese.

The Spiritual Formation Program works in co-ordination with the academic, experiential, and evaluative components of the total Formation Program in preparing candidates for priestly service among the people of God. The Program's specific purpose is to foster the human and spiritual maturity of the candidates as they grow in relationship with, and imitation of, the person of Jesus Christ. Students are called to see their lives as a daily, free response to the animating presence of the Spirit of the Risen Christ. This is a gradual and life-long journey of discernment, one that is encouraged and promoted in various ways during the six years of training in the Seminary Formation Program. It is the Holy Spirit who calls, forms, and transforms the seminarians in our care. Nevertheless, the formation faculty has the responsibility in a human way for the training and formation of the seminarians by providing the context, climate, structures, and opportunities for them to do their part in disposing themselves and responding to God's grace through all the activities, situations, events, and persons that they encounter each day. 

Formation at St Augustine’s Seminary
St. Augustine's community is enriched by the presence of resident priest-faculty and seminarians coming primarily from many different Canadian dioceses. We must acknowledge that the Seminary is not merely a theological students' residence but a place where an ever-deeper conformity to Christ is fostered. Community life is an integral and essential component of priestly formation. The Seminary provides an irreplaceable environment that fosters the qualities of sacrificial love, mature obedience, celibate chastity and pastoral poverty. Seminary Formation demands that, for the five years of Seminary residence and one year of Parish Internship, the seminarian give of himself generously in all circumstances to the Seminary community.

As role models, the entire faculty, both lay members and clergy, play an important part in the formational development of the candidates. The collaborative effort is divided according to gifts and responsibilities. Priest-faculty members reside in the student residence and thereby provide presence and guidance. Priest-faculty members serve as spiritual directors for the candidates, meeting regularly with the Director of Spiritual Formation for the ongoing development of goals, approaches and methods of direction. Priest-faculty members in large part moderate the year groups.

Specific Goals


The Spiritual Formation Program focuses its efforts on developing the religious identity of the candidate within the understanding of the priest as one who grows in his commitment to become:

1. A friend and disciple of Jesus.
2. A proclaimer of God’s word and teacher of God's people.
3. A servant of, and shepherd within, the faith community.
4. A presider over the celebration of the Church's sacramental life.
5. A prophet of God's justice in the world.

As these are all dimensions of the same person, the Program attempts to guide the candidates through an exploration of the human and spiritual foundations necessary for fulfilling such personal and ministerial commitments. 

Personal Resources


1. As role models, the entire faculty, both lay members and priests, play an important part in the formational development of the candidates. The collaborative effort is divided according to gifts and responsibilities:

A. Priest-faculty members reside in the student residence and thereby provide presence and guidance.
B. Priest-faculty members serve as spiritual directors for the candidates, meeting regularly with the Director of Spiritual Formation for ongoing development of goals, approaches, and methods of direction.
C. Priest-faculty members mainly moderate the year groups.

2. The Director of Spiritual Formation co-ordinates the overall Program for the candidates, ensuring the students the availability of personal spiritual direction, the selection of themes appropriate to the formation needs of the class year groups, the invitation of guest speakers to address the Seminary community, the arrangement of retreats and retreat directors, and the overall spiritual life of the Seminary.

3. The Human Formation Counsellor is a full-time member of the Formation Council responsible for promoting the human formation, growth, maturity, and freedom of every candidate, especially in the areas of intimacy, sexuality, and celibacy. This work begins with the co-ordination of the students' psychological assessments at the time of admissions and continues with the availability for individual counselling through the formation process as each seminarian may desire.

4. Other professional personnel are drawn upon for specialized aspects of the Program, including professional psychologists and counsellors outside of the Seminary who are available for personal growth issues for individual students.
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