It has been a quite difficult moment for us this time as we face this COVID-19 pandemic. The current health crisis has indeed brought us atrocious effects. One aspect that it has badly affected is the formation of seminarians.
Ordinarily, seminary formation is done in the seminary setting. Seminary formation is designed in such a way that the formandi (seminarians) has to be physically present so that the formators can effectively accompany them in the four aspects of formation, namely, the Human, Intellectual, Pastoral and Spiritual formations.
Given the present situation, seminary formation is in a quagmire – if we continue with the ideal seminary setting, the threat of viral infection is highly probable since even if seminarians and formators stay inside the seminary premises all the time, teachers, staff and personnel do not. On the one hand, formation cannot be suspended or cancelled. When the government first declared an entire lockdown in Luzon, we’ve found ourselves in a quandary on how to pursue the seminarians’ formation. I know that the parents and teachers share the same sentiments.
And so, after much deliberation and prayer, we, the Formators, with the approval of the Archbishop, have decided to continue their formation even at home; thus, in this page, you can find the Formation at Home Continuity Plan which aims at providing holistic formation to minor seminarians in the midst of Community Quarantine. It espouses the idea of tapping the parish priests and parents as active collaborators in the formation of young individuals toward priestly vocation.
Tagged as Formation at Home (FAH), the program is the concrete response of the institution to the crisis posed by the COVID 19 pandemic.
At this point, we hope for your utmost understanding and cooperation in this difficult times.
Fr. Jed Anthony F. Peña