The heart of pastoral formation is the Pastoral Year Internship, which takes place between the second and third year of theology. This experience is central to priestly formation and all seminarians who attend the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception are expected to participate in it.
In efforts to integrate the pastoral and theological components of priestly formation, seminarians participate regularly in pastoral workshops whereby they become acquainted with the many ministries exercised in the Church, such as Ecumenical relations, Respect Life, Youth and Young Adult Ministry, Evangelization, and Multicultural Awareness, to name but a few. Third-year seminarians further develop their pastoral skills by participating in off-site pastoral work. Ministries include prison ministry, hospital ministry, and Catholic Charities.
In addition to the Pastoral Year Internship and the pastoral workshops, seminarians must attain competency in a second language so that he can celebrate the sacraments, preach, and engage in pastoral conversation with parishioners at the time of ordination. They also attend a two-week mission experience in the Dominican Republic in January of the final year of study. At the mission, the seminarians assist priests, religious, and laity in their various ministries to the Catholic people of this region. Competency in a second language is an absolute must.
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