"Since spiritual formation is the core that unifies the life of
a priest, it stands at the heart of seminary life and is the center
around which all other aspects are integrated" (Program of
Priestly Formation, 115).
Spiritual direction is especially helpful in assisting
seminarians in this integration. The confidentiality characterizing
the relationship between a seminarian and his spiritual director
assists the seminarian especially "in ongoing vocational
discernment, proximate preparation for the reception of ministries
and orders, and formation for celibacy" (PPF, 133).
In meeting with his director every two to three weeks, the
seminarian has the opportunity to assess his growth according to
the human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral demands and
expectations of seminary life and, ultimately, the priesthood.
Although the spiritual direction relationship functions strictly
in the internal forum, the insights obtained through these
dialogues assist the seminarian in his accountability to the
external, more observable demands of growth in the spiritual life,
for it offers seminarians the essential components of challenge and
Although the PPF states that preparation for celibacy is one of
the primary aims of the seminary human formation program (PPF, 90),
the spiritual formation program - and especially the spiritual
direction relationship - contributes to the opportunities for, and
challenges to, growth in this area.
The director of spiritual formation and his associate are
contributors to "Together in One Place," Saint Meinrad's
comprehensive, four- to six-year program of formation for
celibacy. A Spiritual Formation Committee composed of
student representatives assists in overseeing the