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The Seminarian is Not a Semi-priest

by Fr. Fada Jude Ofuani, CMF

in the photos are seminarians of San Carlos Seminary

The first question that came to me upon penning this down is, “what is a seminary?” It comes from the Latin word “seminarium” which means “plant nursery,” or “breeding ground.” Invariably, the seminary is “seedbed.” It is the seedbed of the Catholic priesthood, a place where seeds are natured to grow into maturity. But before any seed can grow, it must first have a firsthand encounter with the soil; it is the meeting of the seed and the soil that gives impetus to growth. In this case, God is the soil, the candidate is the seed. Furthermore, the seminary is a laboratory where not only the intellect is formed, but most importantly, the heart is formed. The hearts of men who, though Christians, are formed to become pastors of souls.

The seminary therefore, is a place of encounter, where the candidates encounter the Lord, maybe in different and varied degrees, but the Lord must be encountered in the process of formation. The seminary also is a place where transformation takes place and the real change in the candidate begins to manifest. The seminary formation then, is for transformation, so in the candidate, there should be:

  • A change of attitude

  • A change of mind

  • A change of heart

  • A change in values

  • A ch