The pastoral formation of the college seminarian aims to help him face the question arising from his stage in life as he comes face to face with the demands of service. Pastoral exposure to and involvement in specific community or ministry is meant to strengthen his self-identity and to identify his mission which can occur only when he has discovered the meaning of service to others. It cannot be denied, however, that shepherding is not yet a realistic goal, much less the primary goal of the pastoral formation of a college seminarian. Rather, the emphasis lies in self-discovery through growth in service.
1. The pastoral formation of a college seminarian:
a. Provides an occasion for him to get in touch with a wide range of human experiences to acquire more awareness of himself.
b. Tries to help a seminarian develop a healthy affective relationship with others.
c. Helps a seminarian to be service-oriented.
d. Guides and purifies the motivation of a seminarian so that he may learn to serve selflessly like Jesus.
e. Helps in identifying and cultivating the personal charisms and talents of a seminarian, encouraging him to utilize them for the service of the common good.
f. Assists a seminarian in acquiring skills in communication, facilitating groups, leading him to interact and collaborate with others.
e. Initiates a seminarian into acquiring and developing leadership skills.
2. Pastoral Formation Program Approaches:
a. The program observes the principle of gradualism in giving apostolic assignment.
b. It bases itself on the emerging needs of the society.
c. Pastoral formation must be interlinked with the other aspects of formation.
d. An orientation shall be given before sending the seminarians to a pastoral involvement, such as their summer apostolate and vocation campaign, chapel apostolate, apostolate with the elderly, catechism, feeding programs, etc.
e. Their pastoral experiences will be brought into prayer through the weekly MAKALIPANG (Bible sharing) and will be processed through their Significant Incident Report (SIR).
f. It prefers team approach to pastoral work.
3. The Agents of Pastoral Formation
a. The college seminarian himself is the first agent of his pastoral formation.
b. The community of seminarians should be challenged to support one another in their common pursuit to be men for others.
c. The formation team and teachers, as a body, are responsible for pastoral formation.
d. The Pastoral Director takes charge of coordinating the pastoral formation program.
e. The Families of the seminarians can provide a setting for pastoral formation.
f. The diocesan Bishop is primarily responsible for the seminarians’ pastoral formation.