Four Pillars of Formation
Mount St. Mary's of the West has received a commission from Holy Church to form those preparing for the priesthood into the persons God has called them to be, to help lay the foundations of who they will be for others in the universal mission of the Church. "Upon this rock" has an analog in the formation of the seminarian, for it is upon his experiences at the seminary that the future priest will first build.
Formation is "first and foremost cooperation with the grace of God" (Program for Priestly Formation, 68). The seminary and its programs foster the formation of future priests by attending specifically to their human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral formation in an integral and integrated way in the heart of the Church.
As the Program for Priestly Formation (73) states: "Human formation is the foundation for the other three pillars. Spiritual formation informs the other three. Intellectual formation appropriates and understands the other three. Pastoral formation expresses the other three pillars in practice."
At Mount St. Mary's we recognize that we are to form men for the priesthood who are both men of prayer and men filled with zeal for the pastoral and sacramental work of Christ's Church. Contemplative ministers of the demanding work of salvation â€” this is what we pray for and work toward in our Formation Program.