Spiritual Formation

Spiritual formation for seminarians

The Church expects and demands that priests be deeply prayerful and, in turn, able to instruct and lead others in prayer. The seminary's program of spiritual and liturgical formation is intended to encourage and guide the student preparing for priesthood to pray alone and within the community of faith. It provides for the daily celebration of the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours, as well as for other forms of communal prayer.  Reflection on Sacred Scripture, spiritual reading, learning from the lives of the saints — all these are promoted as means of building and strengthening the foundation of spiritual life, which comes to expression in the priestly ministry of prayer.

Spiritual direction

Each seminarian chooses his own spiritual director from among the priest members of the full-time seminary faculty or other designated priests. The spiritual director guides the seminarian in his development of an integrated, healthy relationship with God, attentive to the special needs and conditions of diocesan priestly ministry and spirituality. Emphasis is thus placed on the development of a personal discipline of reflection and prayer to complement the active life of the secular priesthood.  Directors seek to cultivate those virtues found essential to effective priestly ministry: sacrificial love, mature obedience, celibate chastity, pastoral poverty, and commitment to social justice.  Seminarians ordinarily meet with their spiritual directors on a monthly basis. 

Days of prayer and retreat

In addition to the daily schedule of prayer and meditation, a day of recollection is offered at the beginning of the Fall Semester.  These days of prayer focus upon the specific qualities of diocesan priestly spirituality and offer to the seminarian an ever-deeper appreciation of their personal relationship with the Lord.  In January, just prior to the beginning of the second semester, all the seminarians are required to participate in an annual retreat. This experience will enable the student to integrate the various components of formation, along with their ongoing discernment and movement towards priesthood.

Spiritual formation for lay students

Christ the King Seminary believes in the essential connection between spirituality and ministry, between psychological wholeness and holiness, and between faith and theology.  A healthy integration of these areas is necessary to prepare the ministry student to be well equipped to accept the challenge of serving the people of God.  This integration is particularly important for those wishing to serve in leadership positions in the Church.  Consequently, degree students in the MAT, MAPM, and MDiv programs participate in various components of the formation program which allow for the spiritual and personal growth necessary to be adequately prepared for service in the Church.

The goal of spiritual formation is to empower, guide, and challenge students to deepen their relationship with the Lord, to discern their gifts of service in the community, and to accept their call to ministry in the Church and the world.  The ultimate goal of spiritual formation is to assist the student to prepare for active ministry or to deepen their response to a current ministry.  

The required components respond to individual learning styles of the students and are building blocks to facilitate active ministry.  These components also help students connect "the head and the heart" of spirituality and ministry.  The requirements include:

  • Annual formation meeting with the Director of Lay Formation
  • Annual retreat or recollection day
  • Workshops and/or seminars
  • Spiritual direction with a director of the student's choice
  • Assessments:
  • Living Your Strengths—Catholic Edition
  • Myers Briggs


Buffalo Seminary School