The “Configuration Stage” is the third stage of seminary formation, in which “the seminarian models his life on the self-donation of Jesus Christ.” (PPF 6, #135) Building on his identity as a beloved son and a disciple of the Lord, the seminarian during this stage experiences in a more profound way what it means to embrace the Cross. Through prayer, study, and increasing pastoral opportunities, he is invited more deeply to conform his life Jesus the High Priest, who poured out His life for the world.
After having grown in self-knowledge and self-possession during the previous two stages of formation, “the configuration stage demands from the seminarian a great commitment, as it challenges him to acquire a proper priestly spirituality.” (PPF 6, #136) Here, the man learns to move from receiving affirmation to self-gift, mindful of the great need that the Church has for ministers who love Her. It is essential that amid his theological studies and the pastoral competencies that he develops, the seminarian learns to be, above all, generous in sharing what he has received.
Entering the Configuration Stage presumes that one has been, or will soon be, admitted to Candidacy for Holy Orders. He will eventually go on to receive the ministries of lector and acolyte, as well, which mark “the progressive deepening of this self-configuration to Christ both liturgically and in catechesis, evangelization, and active service to the poor” (PPF 6, #136). At St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, this stage of formation spans the entire program of the Theological Seminary. Please click below to learn more.