House of Formation

The House of Formation of San Alberto Hurtado of the Diocese of Fréjus-Toulon for vocations from the Americas has as its goal the formation of priests according to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and in full identification with Him. The priests from our house of Formation will gain for themselves an authentic missionary spirit, which in living poverty, chastity, and obedience in imitation of Christ, shall zealously seek the salvation of souls.

Saint John Paul II said: “Since the commitment of ordained ministers and consecrated persons is decisive, some mention must be made of the disturbing shortage of seminarians and aspirants to religious life, especially in Western Europe. This situation calls for everyone to be involved in an effective pastoral program of promoting vocations. Whenever the person of Jesus Christ is presented clearly to young people, he inspires in them a hope that motivates them to abandon everything in order to follow him in response to his call, and to bear witness to him among their peers.” The pastoral care of vocations is thus a vital issue for the future of the Christian faith in Europe and, in turn, for the spiritual advancement of the very peoples who inhabit the continent. It is a challenge which must be met by a Church which wishes to proclaim, celebrate and serve the Gospel of hope.” (Ecclesia in Europa, 39).

The House of Formation arose from the wishes of the Bishop of Fréjus-Toulon, His Excellency Dominique Rey, who saw the need of priests for the New Evangelization in some dioceses of Europe and his own France and the hope thereof amongst those living in the Americas. This lack of priests (some have charge over thirty or more parishes) destroys the soul of Europe, which from its beginning was Christian as the mother of nations; today it suffers the loss of the Faith and it withers from a lack of spiritual life.

For this reason, in addition to the requirements that the Church demands for suitable candidates to the priesthood, the candidates for the House of Formation of San Alberto Hurtado should be young with a profound zeal for the souls they meet wherever they are, searching like a Good Shepherd for the lost sheep, feeding and taking care of them in imitation of Our Lord, Who gave His life for his sheep.

The House tries to inculcate in its young men a particular human formation, based on the conviction that grace does not destroy nature, but takes it up, purifies it, and elevates it. In effect, without an adequate human formation, all the priestly formation would be deprived of its necessary foundation.

Therefore, considering the need for the priest to express his human personality in a way that serves as a bridge and not an obstacle to others in their encounter with Jesus Christ the Redeemer of mankind, the seminarians will take cultural courses and conferences in addition to academic studies founded, folowing the mandate of the Second Vatican Council, on the philosophy and theology of Saint Thomas Aquinas. The House of Formation ensures an education of the intellect, the will, and the emotions capable of awakening a passionate love for the truth that leads to contemplation and expresses itself in a robust spirit, firm and free, i.e. in the formation of a responsible freedom capable of giving a conscious and free response to the demands of God and His love. It will also cultivate a life of piety founded on the great spiritual authors.

The formation of young candidates for the priesthood will be the responsibility of the Fraternity of Saint Joseph the Guardian, which will be sure to provide for the seminarians worthy professors who are faithful to the Magisterium of the Church. With this in mind, there will often be additional professors invited from abroad. In the same way, within their studies, the seminarians will be instructed in the major languages of Europe, especially French and English, necessary for the strongest exercise of their ministry.

To bring about their pastoral formation, the seminarians will participate in apostolic works in parishes of the Diocese in order to insert themselves from the beginning of their formation in the reality in which they will need to exercise their ministry. For the same reasons and in the same way, they will come to know both forms of the Roman Rite.

The candidates for priesthood ought to be young men coming from countries on the American continent with the goal of being missionaries in Europe, and thus helping in the reëvangelization of the Old World.

Web site of the Fraternity of St. Joseph the Guardian (in spanish only for the moment): www.fsjc.info