A Catholic Seminary is a place of formation, where men can discern God’s will for their lives and learn the skills and knowledge necessary to answer His call to service. It’s a time and place for men to formally prepare for religious vows and ordination.
As with all priests, an Oblate of the Virgin Mary’s lifetime of service begins at the seminary.
Our Lady of Grace Catholic Seminary
At Our Lady of Grace Seminary, the Oblates of the Virgin Mary’s Catholic Seminary in Boston, men first go through an application process before joining the seminary and beginning their journey to becoming an Oblate.
The decision to dedicate one’s life to serving the Lord through the Oblates of the Virgin Mary requires discernment and a good deal of thought and prayer. That discernment process is ongoing throughout formation, until an Oblate makes his final profession and dedicates his life to service.
While working toward that day, seminarians will actively participate in community life as they experience the work of our mission, build a daily habit of prayer, undergo careful spiritual direction, and study philosophy, theology, and the charism of the Oblates and our founder, Venerable Bruno Lanteri.
The Oblate formation process is grounded in the prayer and study necessary to teach and defend the truths of faith and moral values in a modern world. There are three stages of the program, which typically take a total of eight to nine years to complete:
- During the two-year Postulancy stage, seminarians begin to live religious life, study the meaning of vows, and pursue a degree in philosophy and liberal arts.
- The Novitiate stage is a full year of intense spiritual maturation in preparation for religious profession, including prayer and study of the religious life and the Oblate charism.
- After their first temporary profession of vows and reception of the Oblate habit, seminarians enter the five-year Theologate stage, where they pursue a masters degree in theology and prepare for their final profession of vows and ordination. In addition, one year will be spent experiencing Oblate life and ministry outside of the seminary.
At Our Lady of Grace, our seminarians are diligently working toward the day when they can profess their final vows and begin their lives as priests and brothers of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary. You can get to know our seminarians who are currently working through the formation program by reading their bios.
We are proud to offer a solid intellectual formation, vibrant community life, and exceptional spiritual direction to seminarians at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Seminary. Their typical weekly schedules balance prayer, study, work, and recreation. And in true community form, seminarians often spend their downtime together, enjoy meals together, and work together to manage and maintain their home at the seminary.
Time spent at a seminary is always formative. Seminarians may still have doubts around what God is calling them to do with their lives and whether this life is the right fit for them. A Catholic Seminary offers time, space, and resources for young men to discern their calling and acquire all the skills and knowledge to answer that calling.
The Seminarian Fund
This is why the seminarian fund is critical for our young men working through this process. It’s not an easy path and financial barriers should not get in the way of a man answering God’s call. There are plenty of other obstacles for him to overcome!
The Seminarian Fund helps to cover costs from housing, education, formation, and spiritual direction for our seminarians. It is one burden that we can take from these dedicated young men as they work to answer God’s call of service to others.Support the Seminarian Fund
Each year, proceeds from our annual gala also go to support our seminarians for the year ahead. Consider celebrating the commitment and dedication of our Oblates and seminarians at this year’s event. You won’t want to miss it! You can get the details and register through our website.
The path that our seminarians walk to join the Oblates of the Virgin Mary involves years of discernment, study, prayer, and hard work. The commitment and dedication of the men who are working through and who have completed the formation process is truly inspirational, and our whole community is grateful for the leadership, direction and comforting presence of our Oblates.
Have you spent time at a catholic seminary? What was your experience like? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.