Beyond the four walls: A look at the hands-on parish experience a seminarian receives

Seminarians interacting with parishoners in parish
The Saint Paul Seminary offers opportunities for seminarians to be able to have hands-on experiences in the parish and beyond.

In addition to chapel, classroom and residential hall experience, seminarians and transitional deacons at The Saint Paul Seminary have the opportunity to participate in the institution’s highly-acclaimed teaching parish program.

This allows for real experiences in real parishes.

Under the guidance of seminary faculty and an experienced pastor, each man is assigned to a teaching parish during his years in the configuration stage. Seminarians grow in pastoral charity through extensive engagement with the lay faithful and follow a plan for ministerial development that will best prepare them for ordained pastoral ministry in their dioceses.

They identify competencies essential to the role of the priest, practice those skills with supervision, receive valuable feedback from a committee embedded within the parish, reflect theologically on their experiences and identify their gifts for service and leadership in the Church as well as areas for continued growth.

Additionally, newly-ordained transitional deacons participate in a 10-week parish placement in their home dioceses to experience parish life, live in a rectory, practice pastoral care and preside and preach at liturgies. These deacons work with their supervising pastor, parish staff and parishioners.

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