Promotes vocations to the priesthood and religious life; assists those who are discerning their vocation to the priesthood; supplies vocational material to parishes and schools.
Contact: Fr Jean-Noël Antoine Marie (Vocations Director for the Archdiocese)
JOURNEY TO ST CHARLES' SEMINARY
Those who feel called to the priesthood should first contact the Vocations Director for the Archdiocese. The Director will speak with each person and suggest some programme of prayer and charitable works that could be undertaken. He will also ask the prospective student to keep contact with his Parish Priest as well as the Vocation Director.
At an appropriate time, if the person wished to continue, he will be asked to make an application and to collect various documents and references which will be passed on to the Seminary Rector. Towards the end of each year an interviewing panel meets and each applicant is interviewed. As a result of the interview, a report is forwarded to the Archbishop who will accept, delay or refuse the applicant's request.
JOURNEY THROUGH ST CHARLES' SEMINARY
The formation course centres on the four areas of human, spiritual, academic and pastoral development.
Human formation is centred on five academic units and regular individual sessions with a professional counsellor. All academic units are taughts at University standard and apply theories to reflective understanding of self and others as well as to future priestly ministry. These units also emphasise - woman's prospective, understanding cultural influences, sensistivity to minority groups and to people with special needs.
Spiritual formation is the first priority of priestly formation. The identity of the priest and his ministry are founded on Jesus the Priest. Therefore an intimate relationship with Jesus and personal prayer are crucial. For these to develop, a seminarian needs to value silence and reflection. Hence the annual retreat, days of reflection and daily meditation are very helpful.
Devotion to Mary especially through the Rosary is an essential part of priestly formation.
Every seminarian has a spiritual director to guide him on his journey. Spiritual formation is all about developing a priest who is a man of prayer and deep faith and a leader of people.
Academic formation allows the students, under the direction of the competent members of the staff, to study the appropriate subjects that complement the other areas of formation that will equip them for a ministry that is professional, spiritual and selfless.
The first year at the seminary has an essentially introductory and spiritual purpose. Classroom work takes second place, as students make the transition to the rhythm of Seminary life with the emphasis on Spiritual formation.
The following two years are marked with an emphasis on philosophical studies with the students attending classes at University of Notre Dame, Fremantle for the majority of these subjects.
Part, if not all of the fourth year of the student's preparation is devoted to placement in a parish. The Seminary regards this experience as an important time of discernment and a necessary prelude to a student applying to his Bishop for enrolment as a candidate for Holy Orders. Further theological, liturgical, sacramental, biblical, pastoral and canonical studies are then undertaken both at NDA and the Seminary.
Usually, students are placed in a parish for a month, under the supervision of a local priest who provides a review at the end of the placement. A staff member liaises with the supervising priest and the student. During the year, each student is expected to spend time regularly in some apostolic work such as visitation of a hospital, nursing home or other charitable work. These apostolic works are undertaken after consultation with members of the formation staff.