USD Magazine, Fall 2003
half rhe priests, he says, of what the parish ideally should have. There are 40 service organizations and other ministerial groups sponsored by St. Rose, and supervising them all makes for a more rhan full day. "The two of us divide work with the groups, but we are definitely stretched," Dolan says. "We have a retired priest who handles the hospital chaplaincy, and thank heaven for him, because that is a full-rime job in and of itself. Without him and the lay ministers to conduct th e daily adminis– tration of the organizations we have here, I just don't know how we could offer (the programs)." To increase the number of men entering the priesthood, many in the church have reexan1ined the structure of the seminaries
T he semin ary at USO was no exception. St. Francis DeSal es Seminary, located on the eastern end of campus and named fo r one of the patro n saints of priests, has trained men fo r the priesthood since 194 1. In July, it officially became St. Francis DeSales Center for Priesdy Formation, a change chat puts it among the fi rst wave of U .S . semin aries to adapt to the chang– ing demographics of men who want to become priests.
"It's not chat there are no vocations our there, but the invitation to examin e and explore church ministry and che necessary formation is more challenging because che
"There are fou r basic elements to semi– nary instruction," says Father Marr Spahr, the center's directo r of priesdy fo rmation. "There is human fo rmation, covering rela– tionship and communi cation skills and psychology. T here is a spi ritual element rhar instructs men how to lead a li fe of prayer, and a pastoral dimension mar exposes participants to different ministries and ways of preaching the Gospel. The fin al piece is the academic requirement." T he process chat culminates in ordina– tion typi cally cakes eight years, four to earn an undergraduate degree and another fo ur in a rheologate, or graduate schoo l. T he college seminary model employed at St. Francis for 60 years required men to
variety of potenti al candidates has changed, as has our culture," says
Monsignor Daniel Dillabough, USD 's vice president for mission and ministry. "The typical seminarian of 20 or 30 years ago - a man in his teens or early 20s - is no longer the rule. Many men are entering the priesthood with much more life experience, some coming from second and even third careers. T hat alone has brought about a change in the ways the church muse train priests, and seminaries have had to adapt. "
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