No Such Thing as a Typical Day for Glenmary Seminarians

Posted: 9/9/2011

By Pat McEntee, Associate Vocation Director

A typical day in the life of a Glenmary seminarian is anything but typical. Perhaps a better way to look at the life of a seminarian is by looking at a typical week...and even that may be a stretch.

For the men at St. Meinrad Seminary in St. Meinrad, Ind.—including Glenmary's students preparing for priesthood—morning prayer, Mass and evening prayer occur almost every day. Classes are held on a regular basis, but time is also set aside for "house meetings," where students studying for the same dioceses or religious orders gathering together. Seminarians also spend time in pastoral formation and service work. Weekends and most evenings are left open for students, but much of that time is used for studying, reading assigned books for classes, and writing papers.

Pastoral service work is a very important part of seminary training. Students participate in different kinds of service opportunities for people in the community. "As future priests, we will be working with people. We have to begin now," says first-year Glenmary seminarian Godfrey Musabe.

For outsiders, it is easy to look at seminarians and think that the typical day includes nothing but intense prayer and study. Although these activities are a huge part of seminarians' lives, they are not the whole picture.

Glenmary student Clive Otieno is in his first year at St. Meinrad. However, he spent time in a seminary in Kenya prior to joining Glenmary and he says one of the biggest misconceptions people have about seminary life is that it is meant only to develop one's spiritual life.

"Often, people come to seminary too focused on their spiritual development and not enough on the human, intellectual and pastoral formation," Clive says. The reality is, he says, "God called you here, imperfections and all." Seminarians need to embrace their flaws and strive to become better, more well-rounded people.

St. Meinrad offers many opportunities for students to find their way in all areas of development, not just the spiritual. There is time for human interaction in formal ways (such as class and pastoral formation activities) and informal ways (such as recreation time and free weekends). Glenmary Deacon Cris Adongo says he appreciates the opportunities to connect with people from different dioceses and religious orders at the seminary. All of the students studying for Glenmary says they enjoy the community life in general—having time to bond with other men who share the same desire to serve God.

"Being in the seminary doesn't mean you pray all day long," Godfrey says. "We study, we pray, we have fun."

If you would like to find out more about becoming a Glenmary seminarian, please contact us at 513-881-7411.

This article appears in the September 2011 Vocation Office E-News.