propaedeutic Immersion Year
(* Note: The directives of the Program for Priestly Formation in the United States of America, 6th edition will be fully implemented in Fall 2024 and will change the nature and structure of the Pre-Theology program as given here. Watch this page for more information as it becomes available.)
The first step in the process for admission to the seminary and the Master of Divinity degree program is to contact the Vocation Director, Father Eric Garris, at the Center for Pastoral Leadership. For more information about the admission process, please visit: www.clepriesthood.org .
The Propaedeutic Immersion Year (PY) is the church’s response to living in a culture that is becoming increasingly antagonistic to living the faith. God still speaks quite profoundly in His silent love language, but it is growing evermore difficult to hear and receive His message in an age of constant distraction and noise. The PY, therefore, presents an opportunity to step out of the prevailing culture for a time so that seminarians can wisely critique the culture and learn to listen deeply to the voice of God. Then they can reengage with the culture, embracing what is good in it and letting go of what is detrimental, as they undertake the rest of their seminary formation.
- What is the start date and how long will it last?
The Propaedeutic experience will be tailored to fit each individual student. For those coming to the seminary having already acquired a Bachelor’s degree, they will enter directly into the Propaedeutic Immersion Year (PY), lasting from mid August until the end of July. For those entering seminary directly after graduating high school, they will first spend two years at Borromeo Seminary, taking introductory and general education courses, mostly at John Carroll University. Their formation during these years will be help them to grow in the maturity necessary to properly engage the PY. Thus, for those who already have an undergraduate degree, the PY is expected to take one year. For those entering right after High School, it will be three years, including two preparatory years and one PY immersion.
- What is the purpose of the Propaedeutic Stage?
The PY is the church’s response to living in a culture that is becoming increasingly antagonistic to living the faith. God still speaks quite profoundly in His silent love language, but it is growing ever more difficult to hear and receive His message in an age of constant distraction and noise. The PY therefore presents an opportunity to step out of the prevailing culture for a time, so that seminarians can wisely critique the culture and learn to listen deeply to the voice of god. Then they can reengage with the culture, embracing what is good in it and letting go of what is detrimental, as they undertake the rest of their seminary formation.
- What is a typical day?
Monday through Friday the students will take on a technology, media, and commerce fast. This means they will not have access to cell phone or internet, nor will they be able to do any shopping. The schedule of these weekdays will be something like this:
6:30a Holy Hour
7:30a Morning Prayer
8:15a Silent reflection and study
9:30a Class time (non-credit immersion in Catholic culture and love of learning)
Afternoon unstructured time for exercise, hobbies, formation meetings, house cleaning, or other personal pursuits
5:30 Evening Prayer
7:00 unstructured time
9:00 Night Prayer followed by grand silence
Saturdays will be free time from 9:00a to 9:00p. After Morning Mass, the seminarian will be able to use phone and internet, and enjoy time away to visit family and friends. He will return by 9:00pm to enter back into the new week in prayer.
Sunday mornings, the group of seminarians will go together to morning Mass in a parish. Different parishes will be selected each week for the group to attend. Afternoons will be for recreation, and in the evening we will watch a movie together from the Vatican’s top 100 list.
- What about academic classes?
There will be classes on weekday mornings, but we do not plan to offer academic credit for them. This is so that the seminarians can enjoy learning just for the sake of learning, without any academic pressure. Topics will include things like biblical literacy, spirituality, writing and study skills, and Christian living.
- How often will we do service projects or apostolic ministry?
At least once per week there will be time for ministry, usually ministry for the poor. This may include Labre Ministry, or working with Cosgrove Center or West Side Catholic Center. Most of the month of January will also be a “poverty immersion,” in which the seminarian will spend the month off campus, living and working in a ministry to benefit the disadvantaged.
- When will I get to see my family? will there be holiday breaks?
Seminarians will be free most Saturdays, from 9 am to 9 pm. We will also take short (3-8 day) breaks for Fall, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring, and Easter. There will be a two week break in early August, before the beginning of the next school year.
- There will be no financial obligation for the seminarian, because you will not have any time to work a job to earn money.
- Do we get to interact with seminarians at the seminary?
Yes, in a limited way. We will certainly join in large community celebrations at the seminary, such as, Candidacy, institutions of Acolyte and Lector, and Ordinations. We may also join in community events like holiday parties Eucharistic Devotions, and John Paul II Night of the Arts. We will be able to use the gym facilities at the seminary, and perhaps participate in Wednesday evening open gym.
Download the Propaedeutic Year flyer here.