The Propaedeutic Year is a year of reflection and preparation preceding the years of formation in the Major Seminary.
1. ADMISSION TO THE PROPAEDEUTIC YEAR
1.1 At the end of the pre-seminary years (and after he has accomplished his second year in VIthForm) the student may submit his application. Following the necessary screening the Seminary Board decides:
1.1.1 whether the student possesses the necessary qualities and is sufficiently mature to start the propaedeutic year;
1.1.2 or to reject the student’s application if he shows clear counter indications,
1.1.3 or to ask the student to follow a course at the University or at any other institution which offers tertiary education. This happens if the Board feels that, though there are no clear-cut counter indications, it would be better for the student to grow in maturity. Instead of following such a course, the student may opt to engage himself in some kind of activity (get a job, do voluntary work, etc) which would help him grow in maturity. Every choice needs the approval of the Rector in consultation with the Director of the pre-seminary.
1.2 In the case of n.1.1.3 the student may still attend the pre-seminary live-ins. During these years the student will benefit from the service of a Counsellor and a Spiritual Director. If a renewed application is accepted, the student is exempted from the propaedeutic year, but he has to follow the preparatory courses mentioned in n.2.2.7.
2. THE PROPAEDEUTIC YEAR
2.1 The aims of this Year are:
2.1.1 to help the student grow in maturity in the basic human and spiritual qualities needed for the preparation to priesthood;
2.1.2 to strengthen his conviction in his vocation by clarifying his motivations;
2.1.3 to help him prepare himself for the way of life he is asked to follow during the years of formation at the Seminary.
2.2. The means by which the student can reach these aims during this year are:
2.2.1 to have more time for personal reflection on his vocation;
2.2.2 to have regular meetings with the Director of the Propaedeutic Year and the Spiritual Director;
2.2.3 to be provided with a solid basis for a life of prayer, both personal and communal;
2.2.4 to familiarise himself with the sources of spiritual life;
2.2.5 to gain experience in communal life;
2.2.6 to follow preparatory courses in Philosophy and Theology and studying various languages (such as Latin);
2.2.7 to make an experience of manual work (part-time job) and voluntary service.
2.3 Together with the other students of the Propaedeutic Year, the student spends some days of the week in a residence other than at the Seminary. He and the other students are under the direction of a priest who is chosen by the Bishop to be the Director of the Propaedeutic Year. The Director shares the same residence.
2.4 If the number of students in the Propaedeutic Year is very small, the Seminary Board may decide to offer a different and more personalised programme.
2.5 At the end of the year the Board makes an evaluation of the progress of the student. It is then determined whether or not the student can be accepted to start his formation for priesthood at the Major Seminary. Amongst other things, the student will be assessed on his motivations and on his capability to grow in maturity and to adapt to the way of life of the seminary.