The Cathedral Seminary House of Formation, located in Douglaston, Queens provides the necessary preparation for the graduate study of theology – but it also much more.
While it is not a college dormitory, Cathedral Seminary is not a monastery either. The mission at Cathedral Seminary is not to remove men from the world because this will be the very place they are called to serve. Rather, it strives to fulfill the demands of the Seminary Program while allowing the seminarian to be close to family, friends, as well as pastoral and parish situations.
Cathedral Seminary House of Formation is a full Seminary Program, following the dictates of the Program of Priestly Formation as mandated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which defines Seminary
Life at Cathedral Seminary revolves around two important aspects for those considering religious life: discernment (finding out if God is calling you to the priesthood) and formation (beginning to prepare for this vocation). To achieve this, the cultivation of spiritual life, intellectual life, communal life and apostolic services serve as the four, core foundations.
The spiritual life developed at the Cathedral Seminary is designed to help the seminarian come to love God, other, and himself more deeply. Through daily celebration of the Eucharist and regular use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the Liturgy of the Hours prayed together and privately, Eucharistic Adoration, regular days of recollection, annual retreats, weekly formation sessions and spiritual conferences, private prayer and individual spiritual direction, each seminarians is given the opportunity to understand that, “Love knows no why, it is a free gift to which one responds with the gift of self.”
Men who come to the Seminary House of Formation for their entire College education will, in most instances, take their classes at St. John University or other nearby colleges. Although they will be expected to take the requisite courses in both philosophy and theology, they may also “major” in other areas if they so choose. For those who come to the House of Formation after having already begun College, they may be allowed to continue their studies in the College in which they are already enrolled as long as this College is within reasonable commuting distance of the Seminary. For those who come to the House of Formation after having completed College, but without the required credits in both philosophy and theology necessary for advancement to the Theologate, they will be enrolled in our “pre-theology Program,” which is one to two years in duration. During this time, the courses taken will be taught at either at St. John University or on sight at Douglaston.
Both seminarians and staff try to create a true community in which each member of the seminary plays a part. Whether through sharing meal, participating in team sports, trips to the outstanding cultural and sporting events throughout NYC or spending time in the common room, each member learns that “The fraternal life is a God-enlightened space in which to experience the hidden presence of the risen Lord.”
“The seminary years are a time of preparing for mission.” Discernment and formation for priesthood would be incomplete without an opportunity to serve others out of love for Christ. Each seminarian at Cathedral Seminary has a placement for apostolic service. Teaching religious education in a parish, working in a Catholic home for the elderly or with mother Teresa’s sisters in a men’s homeless shelter, and other areas of service are ways in which seminarians put their spiritual, intellectual, and communal experiences into concrete action. Through apostolic service they learn that, “Their task is to guard and nourish the constant memory of Christ, of His Holy Face, of his ineffable love.”
Who should come to Cathedral Seminary House of Formation?
Any young Catholic man who is applying to college, or who is currently in college, or who has graduated from college, who is open to the idea that the Lord Jesus might possibly be calling him to the priesthood and is willing to seriously consider this possibility is an ideal candidate for Cathedral Seminary House of Formation.