Message from Director of Pastoral Ministry

Dear Friends,

Welcome to our Pope Saint John XXIII National Seminary web-page!  Thank you for your interest in the priestly formation program at Pope St. John...  We have a very special program here that helps the more experienced man prepare for the Holy Priesthood.

We have designed the Pastoral Formation Program to help seminarians appreciate, understand, and experience the three key dimensions of priestly ministry that reflect the service and work of Jesus himself as teacher, priest, and leader.

A full priestly formation program provides a seminarian with “on the job training” in several different settings of pastoral ministry.  Seminarians are given the opportunity to visit and work within a variety of parishes.  They prepare and participate in liturgical celebrations, build evangelizing and faith formation skills and develop effective communication skills in various settings.  Our program brings seminarians to work among various age groups to experience the how and why of pastoral care with the younger and the older, the sick and the dying, the grieving and those who mourn.  They are trained to give witness to all who need the hope that comes from the compassionate and merciful Good Shepherd.

Attention is given to social justice ministries through Catholic Charities, prison ministries, immigration services and respect for life programs.  We help seminarians to prepare for parish leadership with the different age groups, families and individuals.  Seminarians are guided to offer pastoral outreach to those struggling with cultural, personal and social challenges.

New seminarians first visit different types of parishes for Sunday Eucharist, fellowship with parishioners and to meet experienced and seasoned pastors and staffs. Each subsequent year, seminarians work on different projects as pastoral interns.  They are assisted along the way by several talented pastoral supervisors; these supervisors are great supporters to our pastoral formation program and seminarians.  This “field” experience provides opportunities and builds relationships to help seminarians develop leadership and team-building skills.  Additionally, summer programs and trainings provide other occasions for seminarians to learn languages, cultures, enrich spiritual growth and understand diocesan parish life and ministry in their home diocese.

Together, all these experiences of priestly life and ministry are intended to enhance a seminarian’s competence for the ministry and to build their confidence in preparation for Holy Orders.

Please stop by often to see where and how these men prepare for the great mission to teach, bless and lead like the Lord!

God bless you and stay strong,

Rev. Stephen J. Linehan
Dean of Seminarians and Director of Pastoral Formation

"The whole formation imparted to candidates for the priesthood aims at preparing them to enter into communion with the charity of Christ the Good Shepherd.  Hence, their formation in its different aspects must have a fundamentally pastoral character."
(Pastores Dabo Vobis, #57)

"The whole training of the students should have as its object to make them true shepherds of souls after the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, teacher, priest, and shepherd.
"Pastores dabo vobis, #57. Optatam totius,