PROGRAM FOR SEMINARIANS
The Teaching Parish Program at the Saint Paul Seminary began in 1983. The program was established because it is through the Church that God forms ministers and calls them to leadership: therefore, the local Church must be intimately involved in these critical formational years of seminary education.
At the heart of the Teaching Parish program is the formation of a future pastor’s heart in the pattern of the Good Shepherd and with the love He has for His Church. SPS currently directs over 50 Teaching Parishes around the Archdiocese (and a few in nearby dioceses). These pastors have been selected, with the approval of the Archbishop, to help form and accompany our future pastors. Seminarians observe pastoral practice in their Teaching Parishes, reflecting on how God is calling them to be shepherds of souls. They visit one day each week and one weekend a month, interacting with the parish staff and ministry leaders, both clergy and lay, attending Sunday Masses, forming and meeting with their Teaching Parish Committee, and exploring the work and culture of the parish office.
The supervising pastor of a Teaching Parish and the lay parishioners serving on the seminarian’s Teaching Parish committee are considered valuable contributors to the seminarian’s formation to the priesthood. Pastoral Formation is truly “behind the wheel” training for our future priests, and the Teaching Parish is where it all happens.