Propaedeutic Stage

A year of “pre-seminary” formation focused on human and spiritual growth in preparation for the discipleship and configuration stages.

A component of the 2016 Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis and the new sixth edition of the Program for Priestly Formation is the addition of a propaedeutic stage. In 2021, The Saint Paul Seminary became one of the first North American seminaries to institute a propaedeutic stage program.

Around 20 men share in a life of prayer, study, recreation and fraternity at a former convent in St. Paul, Minnesota, just a few blocks from The Saint Paul Seminary’s main campus.

Aspirants meet twice a week as a group with the seminary’s staff psychologist to focus on personal growth, maturity, family background, concerns around anxiety and depression and the integration of chastity.

Aspirants fast from media including their phones, tablets, or computers throughout the year. An appropriate amount of technology use is allowed on Saturdays.

In addition to much prayer and reflection, the schedule includes weekly work in the community, from ministering to local underprivileged youth to working with Latino immigrants to performing maintenance and upkeep at a local convent.

Fr. John Floeder brings 10 years of seminary formation experience, living with and accompanying the men in their formation and discernment.

Participants learn the key tenets of discipleship from seminary faculty, including renowned Biblical expert and catechist Jeff Cavins.

andy renier testimonial

“What I have enjoyed most about the program is the detachment from all my media devices. It has taught me how busy and noisy the world is, and what a gift it has been to turn off the world’s noise from entering my heart and fill it with holy silence.”

Andy Renier


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