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Profile, Actualization Of Priestly Formation, Coplng Strategies And Levels Of Moral Judgment Among Former Seminarians.

Author

Angeli B. Del Mundo,
Philip Jordan V. Romboyon,
Ronaldo S. Elicay

Related Institution

Ateneo de Naga University

Abstract

ABSTRACT.


 


Mixed method was used to investigate and explore the demographic profile, actualization of priestly formation, coping mechanism and levels of moral judgment of former seminarians. For the quantitative part of the study that used the descriptive quantitative design, four researcher-made instruments were administered to thirty former seminarians, namely, Demographic Profile Questionnaire, Actualization of Formation Checklist (AFC), Coping Strategies Scale (CSS) and Adults' Stages Of Morality Scale (ASM-S). For the qualitative part of the study, case analysis was done through doing indepth interviews with four of the respondents from the sample. It used the sequential explanatory design. The participants were purposely chosen from the archdiocese and dioceses in the Bicol region. It was found that the most actualized area Of formation is the human formation (63.33° o). Problem-focused coping strategies were used by the majority of the respondents (93.330 0). Stages 5 (33.33%) and 6 (30.00° o) in Kohlberg's theory of morality were the common levels of moral reasoning. The study revealed that the priestly formation had a great impact to them especially on the development of their identity, the way they relate with other people, cope with difficult situations and reason out about situations that demand morality. The respondents identified that the seminary programs, formators and themselves are vital factors in the success and application of the formation. Keywords: priestly formation, actualization, coping, moral judgment, former seminarians


 


INTRODUCTION.


 


Priests, as Alter-Cristos, are mediators between the Father and humanity (Heb. 8-9). As modern apostles, they act as ambassadors of Christ (2 Cor. 5:20). The Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP-II) calls ordained ministers servant leaders. They are servants since they watch over the growth, animation and nourishment of the Church. Because they represent Christ who is the head of the Church, they serve as leaders. They are chosen by the Holy Spirit to care for the people of God at the time when the witnesses and apostles were dying (Acts 20:17-38). They are chosen from among men to act on behalf of men in relation to God (Heb. 5:1). They are given special powers to carry out his mission -the mission of Jesus Himself -and evangelize all people. They live the unique and permanent priesthood of Christ (John Paul, 1992). By sacramental consecration,priests are configured to Jesus Christ as Head and Shepherd of the Church, and they are endowed with "spiritual power" which is a share in the authority with which Jesus Christ guide the Church through His Spirit (John Paul II citing Vatican II, PresbterorumOrdins). It is through the sacrament of Holy Orders that priests become another Christ. Being the continuation and sacramental sign of Christ, they exercise authority which comes from Him and are the ever-new sources of salvation (John Paul, 1992). This is possible through the proclamation of the Word and the celebration of the Sacraments.


 


Seminarians, men who are realizing the vocation to priesthood, undergo formation in the seminary that prepares them for their vocation. Blessed John Paul 11 identified four areas of priestly formation in PastoresDaboVobis: a) human, b) spiritual and liturgical, c) intellectual and d) pastoral. Human formation serves to be the basis of all priestly formations as stressed by Blessed John Paul II (1992). Seminarians are trained to have a personality that will aid the people in meeting Christ. It primarily aims to produce in priests a personality patterned in Christ's humanity having virtue, excellence, goodness of character and respect for one's self, other creatures and especially, God (Priestly Formation, 2006).


 


Aside from the personality, the center of the human formation, the seminarians' spirituality is further developed. Spiritual and liturgical formation serves as the core connecting the priest's being and his actions (Blessed John Paul II, 1992). Given this importance, this area of formation seeks to teach the students the manner of living in which there is a well-established and constant connection with God in His Trinity (OptatamTotius, as cited by Blessed John Paul II, 1992).


 


In an effort to mold the seminarians' whole being, the mind or intellect is also one of the four focuses of the formation. This is referred to as the intellectual formation which seeks to form a minister who has a constant love for learning and has the capacity to morally reflect on social issues in the light of the Christian faith (That Christ May be Formed in Us, 2002).


 


Finally, the pastoral formation prepares seminarians for a life of charity in the service of God the Good Shepherd. For this reason, it must be present in all the other three forms of formation, human, spiritual and liturgical and intellectual.


 


The term, "coping" is the process of managing, mastering and resolving certain stressful circumstances in life (Santrock, 2005). Due to the individual differences dictated by personality, cognitive and behavioral process, people address stressful situations with a wide variety of techniques referred to as coping strategies.


 


Lazarus (1993, 2000), as cited by Santrock (2000), identified two approaches, problem-focused and emotion-focused coping. Kilburn and Whitlock, (ND) named two other approaches in coping, the positive appraisal and the meaning-focused approach. Aside from these approaches, social support, assertive behavior, religion and stress management programs are also used to alleviate stress (Santrock, 2005).


 


Morality has three basic components: affective or emotional, behavioral and cognitive (Sigelman, 1999). It has three implications namely, moral affect, moral behavior and moral cognition. The Psychoanalytic theory explains the first implication, moral affect. The second implication, moral behavior may be understood through the Social learning theory under which Operant conditioning and observational learning, the modes of learning moral behavior, fall under (Bandura. 1986, 1991; Mischel, 1974, as cited by Sigelman, 1999). The third, moral cognition is connected by Jean Piaget in Sigelman (1999) to socio-cognitive development.


 


Moral judgment refers to the cognitive ability of an individual to determine whether a particular act is morally good or morally evil. Lawrence Kohlberg, the formulator of the Cognitive developmental theory explains that moral development occurs in stages governed by complicating moral reasoning. According to this theory, there are three universal and invariant broad levels in moral development: a) Pre-conventional b) Conventional and c) Postconventional (Papalia, Olds and Feldman, 2004). Each level is subdivided into two sublevels across which children, adolescents and adults move from the previous one the next by acquiring more complex moral reasoning on issues involving morality.


 


Pre-conventional moral reasoning is mainly governed by obeying rules to avoid punishment and feeding the self-interest by gaining rewards. lt is common for children aged four to ten years to be in this stage (Papalia, Olds and Feldman, 2004). It is further subdivided into two sublevels: a) punishment/obedience orientation and b) instrumental/hedonistic orientation (Passer and Smith, 2001). In the former sublevel, the fear of authority and punishment was the main reason why individuals behaved morally. The intention behind the act is not considered (Berk, 2007). On the other hand, individuals with the latter sublevel of moral reasoning acted morally out of self-interest and considered reciprocity as "equal exchange of favors" (Berk, 2007).


 


Conventional moral reasoning is mainly about following or adapting others' beliefs rather than one's own for the sake of conformity to social groups. Kohlberg in Papalia, Olds and Feldman (2004) identities of the people who may be in this stage as ten to 13 years of age or beyond. Similarly, it is further subdivided into two: a) good child orientation and b) law and order orientation. In the former subdivision, what is important is gaining or maintaining a good image to other people thus, having good relations with them while the latter is all about fulfilling duties and showing respect to authorities for the sake of maintaining order (Passer and Smith, 2001).


 


Post-conventional moral reasoning is based on one's own moral principles. This stage is reached during early adolescence, or not until young adulthood, or never (Papalia, Olds and Feldman, 2004). At the same time, it is divided into two subdivisions: a) social contract orientation and b) universal ethical principles. In the former, behavior is guided by general principles that take into consideration the common good. In the latter, the primary determinant and guide in behavior is the conscience (Passer and Smith, 2001).


 


METHODS.


 


The present study employed mixed method because it aimed to investigate and explore the demographic profile, actualization of priestly formation, coping strategies, and levels of moral judgment among former seminarians. Having this research method, the study both obtained quantitative and qualitative data to answer the problems regarding the abovementioned variables. The descriptive quantitative design was used. The researchers made use of researcher~ made tests and questionnaires to determine the former seminarians' demographic profile, areas of formation they actualize, coping strategies they utilize and their current level of moral judgment. The thirty respondents of the study comprised of former seminarians who either came from archdiocese or different dioceses in the Bicol region. Purposive sampling was used. Specifically, there was one from the Diocese of Daet, two from Diocese of Legaspi, two from Diocese of Sorsogon and the rest came from the Archdiocese of Caceres Respondents had their formation from each of the seminaries of the abovementioned archdiocese and dioceses The seminaries where they came from can be classified into minor seminary (High School), college seminary (Philosophy Department), and major seminary (Theology Department).From these, frequencies and percentages were generated using SPSS (version 17.0). The statistical data were then used to validate and contradict the theories, related literature and previous studies included in this study.


 


To understand why the statistical data gathered confirmed and contradicted related literature, qualitative data were gathered. Case analysis method done through in-depth interviews was chosen as the method for this part of the study. Four respondents from the quantitative sample were chosen to undergo the interviews. The sequential explanatory design was chosen to be the guide on how the qualitative data was treated. Through this design, the researchers aimed to provide a deep understanding of the phenomenon that gave way to such quantitative results. Furthermore, it aimed to provide accurate and current representations of the situation of the former seminarians in the light of the variables of interest. This was done by providing the context behind the numerical data collected and elaborating on it. Generally, bothsets of data were used to answer the research problems at hand.


 


Certain procedures were followed to gather data about the variables of the present study. The researchers constructed instruments that would be useful in assessing the variables of interest. They were rooted on the theories, literature and related studies previously discussed in the earlier chapters of this paper. The instruments underwent content validity from the three experts in Psychology of the Ateneo de Naga University who agreed to the written request made and sent by the researchers in person.


 


After the tests were validated, reliability testing followed. It was held at the Holy Rosary Major Seminary. An hour was allotted for the seminarians to finish answering all the tests (AFC, CSS, and AMS-S). One of the researchers served as the test administrator while the other as proctor.


 


The tests, questionnaire and interview schedule passed the validation as well as the reliability testing. The respondents looked for the actual respondents of the study. The researchers employed the purposive sampling method to maximize the limited number of available former seminarians in Bicol. Referrals from contemporaries of one of the researchers were helpful in the search for respondents. After identifying possible respondents, letters were given. The letters asked them to agree to be part of the study and informed them of what would happen in the duration of the data gathering.


 


The respondents who agreed to be the respondents of the study were met by the researchers for the data gathering. The Demographic Profile Questionnaire along with the tests were accomplished and administered to them by group at the Psychology Laboratory. Some of the respondents who were not able to attend the group testing were still allowed to accomplish the questionnaire and tests individually.


 


During the test administration, instructions and reminders were given when all the expected respondents have arrived. Ethical considerations such as confidentiality and purpose of the data gathering were also assured and mentioned before and after they have finished. No time limit was given to accomplish the given forms. However, they were asked not to spend too much time on any particular item. The tests were Opened at the same time and were accomplished in this particular order: Demographic Profile Questionnaire, AFC, CSS, and AMS-S. The conditions in the venue were maintained constant during the administration of the instruments except for those who took the instruments individually. Almost half of the respondents of the study answered the instruments individually.


 


For the qualitative part of the study, four respondents were chosen from the thirty who accomplished the instruments, ideally, one from each diocese in Bicol for the in-depth interviews. Similarly, the in-depth interviews were held at the university. The respondents were met for interview at the Association of Psychology Students of Ateneo Office (APSA). The office was well ventilated and sufficiently lighted. The tables and chairs were arranged in a manner that would facilitate the interview. Both venues were exclusively for the researchers and respondents' use for the duration of the data gathering to ensure the constancy of conditions.


 


An average of four hours was allotted for the in-depth interviews with each respondent. Approximately, one and a half to two hours were allotted for each of the meetings with the respondents. The interview was held in the presence of an inter-rater who is a Psychology graduate and is attending classes in Graduate studies during that time. At the start of the interview, both the researchers acted as interviewers during the meetings. The validated interview schedule was used as a guide during the interviews in order to cover all the variables of interest. At the start of the interview, the researchers introduced themselves, as well as the interrater. An overview was given and the purpose of the interview was mentioned. Confidentiality was assured. The respondents were also asked how they were doing that day before proceeding to the questions to establish rapport. Afterwards, the interviewers proceeded with the interview. A laptop was used as a recorder. After covering all the questions, a summary of everything that was talked about was given. The respondents were asked how they were doing. They were also asked if they had any significant learning or insights after the interview. Confidentiality and care for the data gathered was reassured. The researchers thanked them for their time and cooperation. Before parting, the schedule for the next meeting was scheduled since it depended on the availability of the interviewee.


 


RESULTS.


Majority (86.66° o) of the ages of the respondents can be divided into two groups, ages 20-23 and 24-27. According to the theory of Erik Erikson, these ages fall under the early adulthood stage. Based on this theory, individuals under this stage are pre-occupied with finding intimacy in their long-term romantic relationships (Burger, 2011). This could be the reason why there was already one who was already married, while the rest although single, might already be in a romantic relationship. Moreover, the theory also identifies that young adults are pre-occupied with their career. This might explain why almost all of the respondents are currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in preparation for a career. On the other hand, nearly half of them are employed or self-employed. The result shows that majority (66.67%) of their fathers are employed or self-employed while majority of their mothers are housewives. This may show that their fathers' incomes are sufficient for the families' expenses without necessitating their mothers to work. With this kind of family set-up, the parents, especially the mother, might have all the time to take care of their children and provide their needs physiological, psychological, emotional, and the like. This kind of environment might help the respondents develop a healthy personality, self-concept, and self-esteem.


 


Most (40.00%) of the respondents are middle-born. Based on the theory of Alfred Adler, middle-born children have a sense of autonomy. Having older and younger siblings, they were not the ones pampered by their parents. This could explain why almost all of the respondents personally made the choice of entering and leaving the seminary as shown in the results. Considering their age, they may already be at the right age to decide for themselves. It could also be that their parents trust them in all the decisions they make that helped them develop a sense of autonomy.


 


The result shows that generally, the respondents had a satisfying experience in the seminary. This might affirm the study of Deuda (2011) which reveals that seminarians experience low levels of stress regarding priestly formation. Lesser experience of stress may have allowed the former seminarians to enjoy the seminary activities. It could also show that the respondents were able to cope well with the demands of the priestly formation which includes fervent prayer, serious study, performance of tasks and the like.


 


The respondents' quality of relationships seems to have a relationship with their rating on their stay in the seminary. Almost all (93.33 % ) of the respondents considered their stay either satisfactory or very satisfactory but more on the former. The quality of their relationships with their families, spiritual directors, formators, parish priests, brother seminarians and close friends may have greatly influenced how they perceived their stay. Majority of the respondents considered their relationships with these significant people as satisfactory. They might find the support they need from these people. These might also be easy to relate with since they had the same orientation. For this reason, they might understand each other well. Generally, since they were males in the seminary community with the exemption of the female professors and employees, this might also have contributed to a peaceful and pleasant interaction due to commonalities among them set by their gender. Their healthy relationship at home could also be a factor why they have satisfying relationships with the people in the seminary community.


 


In addition, it is noteworthy to notice in the results that it is only in their relationship with priests that they gave a "Not Satisfied" rating although, it was minimal. It might be because of the formator-formandus relationship. There could be certain gaps between them since they look at priests as authority figures. There might be some of them who have issues with the priests which could have influenced their decision of leaving the seminary.


 


Parental support may also have contributed to the positive evaluation of their stay in the seminary. Most of them rated the support given to them as excellent. Other ratings are still positive such as "Very Good" and "Good". Having a member of a family aspire to become a priest is not very common. For this reason, their parents might have treated them as special so they gave all the support their child needed. It could also be that the respondents came from families where love and care exist which was shown in the support they got from their families when they were still seminarians and even after leaving the seminary.


 


Another reason that may have contributed to their positive appraisal of their stay is the quality of their summer apostolate. Half of the respondents said it was very good while almost half of them rated it as excellent. This rating might have been influenced by the parish priests they met during the apostolate, and the tasks they performed during their parish assignments.


 


Majority of the respondents have had multiple tasks (trained liturgical servers, served as catechists, facilitated recollections and participated in missionary works). They might have had a satisfying summer apostolate because their tasks were in-line with their seminary training. Since they were prepared in the seminary for such tasks, they may have found it easy apply during their apostolate. They might have felt a sense of fulfillment because they might able to carry out the tasks well since they were prepared for that.


 


The parish assignments they have been were in the range of one to three followed by four to six. The number of parish assignments may have been already enough for them to practice the formation they had in the seminary. How they acted in the absence of their formators in their parish assignments and how they related with other people in the parishes may fall under the application of their learning about human formation. The tasks they performed were intellectual formation applied, strengthening their relationship with God because of the reality of secularism and poverty they witnessed in their apostolates, and the overall experience of the summer apostolate might be considered as the application of pastoral formation. These summer apostolate experiences might have influenced them in their daily life like how they view reality and relate with other people. Moreover, their experiences during the summer apostolate will more likely be similar to their experience if ever God allows them to become pastors of His flock. They might have helped them discern if that was the kind of life they wanted. The experiences might have helped them in their decision not to pursue the vocation of priesthood.


 


It is interesting to note that despite the positive appraisal of their stay in the seminary and their satisfying relationships with the people there, they still opted to leave the formation with the exemption of those who were recommended by the council of fathers to leave the seminary. One reason is that they may have wanted to explore the bigger world since being confined within the walls of the seminary could be limiting. They meet the same people every day. They do the same activities. They might have wanted a change in their routine.


 


Being a priest could really be demanding since it may entail being away from one's family, friends, and loved ones. Leaving a life of simplicity, celibacy, and poverty in this materialistic world may really be difficult. The respondents might have realized these so they decided to take a different path in life, a different one from the kind of life that Christ demands of His pastors.


 


Since majority (33.33%) of the mothers is full-time mothers, the respondents might have grown in an environment where all their needs were amply met. Due to this, they might have developed a secure relationship with their parents in which unconditional love and acceptance might have transpired. As a possible result, they might not have been bothered by the thought of disappointing them if they did not pursue their seminary formation because they knew that their parents or families love and accept them at all costs.


 


The economic status of the respondents' families, as discussed earlier, seemed to be a factor why the respondents were freely able to choose to leave the seminary. The respondents might have thought that their parents would still support them especially, financially, with their education even after leaving the seminary.


 


As mentioned earlier, most of the seminarians looked at their stay in the seminary positively. A statement of one of the respondent somehow sums this point up, "Yong experience kosa seminary, i-evaluate ko as the best" (I can say that my experience in the seminary is the best). Despite this rating, it cannot be said that they only experienced good things there. They also had unpleasant experiences.


 


Based on the Demographic Profile Questionnaire, all of them experienced being sanctioned except for one. Majority (60.00%) of them were seldom sanctioned followed by the number of those olien(33.33°a) sanctioned. This was the case despite the strict implementation of the rules and regulations in the seminary. The result shows that almost all of the respondents committed violations. Some of the violations committed by the respondents were accessing social networking sites and using their cell phones. These activities are strictly prohibited in the seminary. The respondents may have transgressed from the rules out of their volition or it may be due to unavoidable circumstances. They might have also wanted to challenge the authorities or it might only be for fun. The thought that the formators might not always be on the lookout due to their number might have reinforced them to violate the rules. It could also be that they perceived the violated policies as unreasonable. Since they were only given limited time to talk with their loved ones, even talking to them through the use of social networking sites and cell phones is also regulated. This could be one of the reasons why they would think such rules were unreasonable. Lastly, they might have been seeking for thrill amidst their schedules and routine in the seminary.


 


A small percentage (13.33%) of the respondents was recommended for pastoral regency. This may show that the misdemeanors committed by the majority of the respondents can be considered minor. Intrinsic and extrinsic considerations are taken into account for a seminarian to be recommended for pastoral regency. Intrinsic considerations are needs in areas of formation like need for spiritual discernment and dedication to formation; need for a more intensive pastoral immersion and exercise, diocesan identification and integration; and the need for disciplinary or personal and inter-relational adjustment. Extrinsic considerations are health factors and medical treatments. The disposition of the candidate's proper Ordinary is in accordance with diocesan policy or concern; and other related reasons like personal, familial, or otherwise (That Christ May Be Formed in Us, 2002). The violations committed by the majority of the former seminarians that caused them to be sanctioned might not fall on the abovementioned considerations especially in the intrinsic classification which could explain why only a small number of them were recommended for pastoral regency.


 


Peter shared that he violated a particular rule just for fun, "Paranghinahanap koyong challenge, yang problem. Kayo just for fun " (It seems like I'm looking for a challenge. That's why it's just for hm). What he usually violates are policies which he perceives to be useless or those that can be considered as minor violations. Sometimes, he just wants to challenge them. There are also times when he violates rules out of curiosity, "Curiosity, also. Ana kayo angawedengmangyari ". (Curiosity leads me to violate rules. What could possibly happen?)


 


Actualization of Formation


 


The seminary formation seemed to greatly influence the respondents. Simon shared how he was influenced by the formation he went through, "Na-form aka, yeadahilanglalring development. Anglakz'ng fonnation angnaibigaysa akin pero, alamkonamerong pan pa rinnakulang. Alamkong may part paring hindinabuo " (I was formed, yes, because I noticed a significant development in me, I was greatly formed but, I know that there are still some insufficiencies. I know that there are still parts of me that are still incomplete). Since, they spent a significant number of years inside the seminary, specifically, a minimum of four (4) years, it is likely for the formation to have an impact on them. As Paul shared, "Dakulakmignanudansaseminarionanadarakosaluwasna I don '1 think darkomammudansa university naarogkaini. " (l learned a lot in the seminary which until now, I still practice, things that I would not be able to learn in a university such as this).


 


The seminary influence could be attributed to several factors. First, are the seminary programs and activities. It could be that these programs and activities addressed the needs of the seminarians and/or were appropriately designed for them.


 


Second, is the formators. They might be effective in implementing the programs in the seminary which may have led to the achievement of the formation objectives. They might have been sufficiently equipped in handling such great responsibility of forming future ministers of the Holy Church. As Simon commented, " Unanguna, hi1tdinamansilamaglalagaysa seminary ngisangformatornahindisiyamagiging ejective and at the same time, makikitmno din nammyungpagkataonila. Kaya yungformator, talagangnakakatulong." (First of all, they will not assign a formator in the seminary if they knew that he will not be effective. You can also see from their behavior that they are really fit for the role. That is why the formators are really helpiiil).


 


The last and most important factor are the formandi the seminarians under formation Their openness and submissiveness to the seminary formation could be a great factor to its efficacy. The beauty of the formation might be useless if the seminarians were not open to receive and apply it.


 


The result of the Actualization of Formation Checklist (AFC) shows that Human formation (63.330 0) is the most actualized aspect of priestly formation. Majority of them had the highest score on this aspect. Blessed John Paul II (1992) said that it is the basis of all the other areas of priestly formation. It is the natural foundation upon which the whole natural structure of priesthood is to be erected (That Christ Maybe formed in Us, 2002). Considering this as essential in the formation of priests, it might have been given a great emphasis during the formative years of the respondents in the seminary. Given this case, it might be that human formation would really make a great impact on the personhood of the respondents. For this reason, this area of formation might still be carried out in his life even if he did not continue becoming a priest.


 


This most actualized aspect might be because their personality, identity, and human qualities were formed according to the human formation. So is their self-knowledge, how they relate with other people and their actions now might be rooted on the human formation With this, the items in the AFC which are growth indicators in the human formation of a seminarian could still be true to them.


 


As mentioned in the PastoresDaboVobis (1992), future priests should develop human qualities not only out of proper and due growth and realization of self but, in view of their future ministry. For the college seminary, its specific objective is to foster the growth and development by acquiring skills, of the human qualities that are necessary for effective priestly ministry (That Christ May Be Formed in Us, 2002).John Paul II (1992) defined what a future minister should be like: the seminary aims to form virtuous men, of human excellence and goodness of character, founded on psycho-emotional integration and patterned after the humanity of Christllill (2002), as cited by Selzer (2008) writes that fostering character development should not be overlooked.


 


The identity being formed in the seminary seems to be rooted on priesthood. In the case of the respondents, this identity was inculcated in them within four years the minimum years of stay of the respondents in the seminary. If acquired, then it might not be easily changed or replaced by new identity after they left the seminary. With this, the identity and personality that they have now, from which their actions proceed, could be the one they acquired in the seminary.


 


It might be possible that they acquired such an identity because at the time they entered the seminary, they were in search of one. One consideration in this aspect is the fact that a college seminarian, at his age, is in search of his identity and in a period of transition from adolescence to young adulthood (Priestly Formation 2006). Considering their age when they entered the seminary, it coincides with the time identified by Erik Erikson as the time for the search of identity (Burger, 2011). The seminary might have served as the venue for this search making the formation an integral part of who they currently are. It is essential for the uniqueness and identity of each seminarian to be acknowledged, for them to be formed in the human aspect (Priestly Formation, 2006) and this appeared to be adequately met by the seminary programs.


 


Paul admitted how his identity was formed in the seminary: "52: identity kotalagangnaporma according sa vision and mission kanseminario, kansimbahan" (My identity was really formed according to the vision and mission of the seminary, of the Church). This identity might not be new to Paul but, it only became clear to him because of the formation he underwent. His case might be an indication of how effective the seminary is in forming the identity of Church's hiture ministers. Their programs and activities might be suitable and effective in achieving this objective. Paul's participation, openness and willingness towards the formation might be the reason for this. He must have been open to changes and have been willing to put his human resources to creative use By this approach, he would be expected to discover his human condition that would lead him to gain self-respect, for other human beings, creations, and most importantly, Godan indicator of a truly mature person (Priestly Formation, 2006).


 


Simon seems to be aware that the human formation is the foundation of other aspects of formation. "Magsisimulasiyasatao (referring to the human formation). Mag-aaralka. I-aaplymopero, at the end of the day, babalikkasaDIyos. Magaapasalamatka. " (It starts with the person himself. You will study. You will apply what you learned and at the end of the day, you will return to God. You will give Him thanks). It could be that he realized it through his experience in the seminary. In Simon's case, his humanity seems to be affected by his attitude towards things like, study habit, relationship with other people and with God. It appears that to be formed into an ideal priest, the vital starting point is the person of the seminarian. The human person is considered of paramount importance in this case. It may be noticed that indeed, human formation is the core of all the other areas of formation.


 


A seminarian who is formed in the human aspect realizes that the object of becoming a priest is pastoral charity, renders service without expecting monetary returns, gets along well with others regardless of their age, recognizes and calmly accepts emotional and sexual needs, genuinely respects women and have mature relationships with them and is aware of the social structures and its effects to lives his and others' lives (That Christ May Be Formed in Us, 2002). These growth indicators may be classified in two important things -  self-awareness and relationship with others.


 


James shared his awareness of the changes in his personality after entering the seminary: "Pagpasokkosa seminary, una,mayabangako until nanagma-mature ako. Na-realize koangmgamaliko. " (When I entered the seminary, I was boastful at first, until I become mature. I realized my mistakes). It might be an indication of how the formation helped the respondent gain self-awareness by letting him realize the things he does. Peter shared how it could be possible through the habit of reflection: "A nonangnangyarisaakinsaisangaraw? Naka-share baakosaibangtao? Meronbaakongnagawa?" (What are the things that happened to me today? Did I share something to other people? Did I do something?) He shared that reflection was usually done before he went to sleep. It appeared that the seminary provided particular activities that would help the seminarians grow in this aspect -self-awareness.


 


The priestly formation might not have only addressed the psychological need of the seminarians but also their physiological needs. Paul shared how he takes care of his body: "Dai akonagsisigarilyo although, nag-try ako one time " (I do not smoke although, I did try it one time). The seminary might have helped him develop this kind of attitude by refraining from smoking since it is one of the grounds for separation and is not in-line with the vision of the Church to who a future minister should be (That Christ May Be Formed in Us, 2002). It could also be a result of family upbringing. As discussed in the profile of the respondents, it appeared that majority of them grew in a healthyfamily environment. The inaccessibility of vices such as smoking since they are confined in the seminary could also be a factor why he did not engage in it. Paul also shared that there was a change in his diet upon entering the seminary: "Peropaglaogkongseminario, 'yannakanuodakomagkaonningulay " (When I entered the seminary, I learned to eat vegetables).


 


Moreover, James shared how he valued his material possessions. "Dapatparang if you care for your parents, you care for the things they buy for you " (It is only fitting that when you care for your parents, you also care for the things they buy for you).This attitude might not have only been towards his belongings but of others', as well. The respect he has for others' property might also be indicative of his respect to the owners themselves.


 


The abovementioned statements might illustrate how the human formation made a change in the behavior of the respondents which might be apparent until now. From the intrapersonal aspect of human formation, it may also be proper to look at the interpersonal changes in the respondents.


 


Having self-awareness might have helped the respondents develop good relationships with other people. In the seminary community, they were exposed to different kinds of people who came from different places with different backgrounds and orientations. This might have already served as an opportunity for them to harmoniously relate with others despite the differences. Simon shared the noticeable change in his relationship with others: "Kung dating shy type ako noon, ngayonangdalikonang i-apporach. Angdalikonangmakisamasataomagingano pa man yan, P WDs (Person with Disabilities), mga IPs. Hindi namahimp"(lf I was a shy-type before, now I am a lot more approachable. I am better in getting along with others whoever they are, PWDs, persons with disabilities, IPs. It is not difficult anymore).


 


Moreover, during their apostolates, they were immersed to an even bigger and more diverse community. They might have met people from different walks of life. Their tasks during their apostolate might have helped them build confidence and develop interpersonal skill. As was presented in the seminary profile, their tasks always involved being in front of other people - trained liturgical servers, served as catechists, facilitated recollections and participated in missionary works.


 


In addition, as it was discussed earlier, the respondents seemed to have secure relationships with their parents and other members of the family. This could also be a factor for their good interpersonal skills since they were taught how to keep peace and interact well as home.


 


The second (20.00 %) to the most actualized aspect of formation based on the AFC result of the respondents is the intellectual formation. It aims to develop the students' love for learning and their capacity for critical reflection on social situations from the perspective of faith and reason These enabled them to integrate and contextualize their studies with everyday life experiences (That Christ May Be Formed in Us, 2002). The respondents might have acquired these attitudes that up to now, they still reflected on social issues and evaluated them according to their learning in the seminary.


 


The result could be attributed again to the formation the seminarians underwent in the seminary. As future ministers of the Church seminarians should be intellectually equipped to defend the faith they are professing and to explain it well to the laity (John Paul II, 1992) This could show the demand to diligently take care of the quality of their intellectual formation.


 


As shepherds of souls, they should have an ever deeper understanding of the divine mysteries (John Paul II, 1992). Since in this contemporary time, the people are already thinking and questioning their faith, seminarians should really be knowledgeable in terms of morals and doctrines. This great responsibility might have challenged the former seminarians to really take their studies seriously when they were still under the formation.


 


Philosophy itself; which they were majoring in, could be demanding so they must really exert effort to pass the course. The seminary structure which allot ample time to harness their intellectual capacities, aims to form candidates for diocesan priesthood into a minister who possesses adequate understanding of the faith and is capable of defending the gospel values could also help them develop a good study habit (That Christ Maybe Formed in Us, 2002). The daily study period might become their habit especially the reading habit which is really a


 


requirement in their course.


 


The seminary could be promoting an environment conducive for learning. The seminary might have had the necessary materials and places such as the library, study hall, and classrooms where seminarians could study. Lastly, they might have been inspired by the seminary professors to study well. Maybe, the least factor that induced the seminarians to study was maintaining grade. Seminarians were required to maintain a particular grade. If that grade was not reached, it could be a ground. to be sent out of the seminary. This might be to encourage students to reach and maintain a standard of excellence that would be necessary for their future ministry.


 


Peter shared how the intellectual formation helped him develop a good study habit especially the habit of reading which he admitted that he did not possess before he entered the seminary. "Na ngunyandawa 50 minutes igwaako everyday. Na magabatsakuya kung dailamangakonaka-aral "(Right now I allot at least 50 minutes for study. I feel bad if I fail to study.) Tapossaro pa dumannanaitukdosakokan intellectual formation namagbasakadawaano."(The intellectual formation also taught me that you should read.) This might indicate how effective the intellectual formation was in inculcating the love for knowledge and developing in them a habit of studying. This might show how studying became part of their lives. One could not also ignore the fact that since Peter is a teacher, he may really had to continue nurturing his knowledge.


 


Paul also shared how reading became part of his daily life: "Dai akomabuhaysa sarong aldaw lam thiakomagbasa. at least once." (I cannot last a day without reading at least once.) He shared that he always carried a book with him so that he could read when he was not doing anything. He admitted that he did not usually do this before he entered the seminary. With the many discoveries and developments in this contemporary world, the respondents might have felt the need to be updated and be aware of what is happening outside the confinement of the seminary, and reading might have been the best way to do so. It also appeared that this attitude is still true to some of the other respondents as well, until now.


 


Peter shared how he developed his study habit, "Sarosa rules nanapabilibakosa seminary, itoyung study time talaga. Pipiritonkang mag-adal." (One of the rules in the seminary which I appreciate is the study period. Even though you do not want to study, you will do so.) The seminary seemed to be serious in nurturing the intellectual capacity of the seminarians. It could be due to the need of people nowadays to be more intellectual unlike before so, they expect to do more (Selzer, 2008).


 


Simon also shared the reason behind it, "Sa anokasi... sa college (seminary) ang program is more of nasaanoka, level of college. Yung mga programs doonsi more of academic." (The programs are more of academic since it is a college seminary). These programs appeared to be effective since in the cases of Paul, Peter, James, and Simon, it is very evident how intellectual formation helped them develop a love for learning.


 


They might not have just acquired the habit but they might have seen the value of studying that is why they continued to practice them. "Kasisamga ideas mas naging broader yungsakopng ideas he, acknowledging nameronka pang dapatmalaman so, I am taking up another course." (Your ideas become broader. . .you should acknowledge that there are still things you do not know. So I am taking up another course.)


 


It is also interesting to note that the subjects they read about were still influenced by what they studied in the seminary. When Paul was asked about the usual topics he reads, he enthusiastically shared, "Christian philosophy, in general. Anything that has something to do with faith and PhilosophyMorality, politichyanMgaPaboritoko ' yan." (What I usually read is Christian philosophy in general. I read anything that has something to do with faith and philosophy, morality, and politics. These are my favorite topics.) This might show how the intellectual formation shaped his interests on issues which are related and would be helpful to the future ministry of the seminarians.


 


The AFC result and the case study show how intellectual formation influences the former seminarians. Their study habits, especially the habit of reading, could be traced back from the academic programs and activities of the seminary. The intellectual formation seemed effective in instilling in the seminarians the importance of studying. But one may not also deny the fact that some may have also acquired their love for learning during their earlier years. The parents may have also contributed to this attitude towards education. Since majority of the mothers of the respondents were full-time moms, they may have also supervised their sons' academic life which may have led to their present attitude.


 


The thirty seminarians scored least (1.00%) on spiritual formation. It aims to help the seminarians develop an intimate relationship with the Holy Trinity (OptatamTotius, as cited by John Paul II, 1992; p. 124). But it appears that this aspect is the most difficult to live out. It may not be unusual though since, the relationship they had to establish is with someone who is spiritual that one might only know through faith.


 


One reason for this result could be their schedule. They may be preoccupied now with many things since they are living in a bigger world. Unlike in the seminary where everything is scheduled, now that they are living without the seminary structure, they may have found it difficult to fulfill their spiritual obligation. The time which is supposed to be for prayer might have been replaced by television, computers, cellular phones and the like since they now have free access to these devices. Another reason could be the places where they go every day. The school and workplace might not have been conducive for prayer or had nothing to remind them about their Spiritual obligations. Unlike in the seminary, one can visit a chapel anytime. The saddest factor is that they might not have been able to see the value of the spiritual activities they did in the seminary. The activities may have become a routine to them that they only did them because of schedule or simply because they got used to doing them.


 


Paul shared his difficulty on this aspect. "Anpinakadipisil I think an spiritual life. Holiness.Dipisilontalagaparasakuya. "(I think the most difficult is the spiritual life. Holiness. It is really difficult for me.) This might not only be true to Paul, Peter, Simon, and James, but perhaps to other respondents, as well. It might have been difficult because of the worldly things that might have hindered them from fulfilling their spiritual obligations. The world seems to be becoming materialistic and because of man's inclination to it, he might end up disregarding his Spiritual life. It also appears that everyone is living in a fastpaced world. It could be that because of the busy schedule, they might have failed to do their spiritual commitment.


 


Paul continued to share: Holiness is bakosanaiyanpagiamibikundi i-fulfill mosu demand kanpagigimongtawo. Dai kosanapaiglilimitaransu holiness dumansa spiritual life, sapagpamibi, sa relationship with God, relationship mo man sakapwa mo." (Holiness is not limited to praying but also hilfilling the demand of being truly human. I do not limit holiness to spiritual life, praying, and relationship with God, but also the relationship with other people.) One may infer from his statement that spiritual, human, and pastoral formations should be integrated. In order to grow spiritually, one might first need to be truly human and his relationship with God should be seen in his relationship with others.


 


It appeared that former seminarians have a different perspective of holiness compared to individuals who did not undergo seminary formation. They might have a deeper understanding of spirituality which could be the reason why they rated their spiritual life poorly. Although, ordinary people observed that they should have rated it higher. Simon shared the same understanding: "And for me, sa conception k0, sapag-iisipko, angmagdasalsaisangaraw, the truth is hindi pa rinsapat 'yan Kulang pa rin... " (For me, realistically, saying a prayer for a moment in a day is not enough.) Like Paul, he knew that spiritual life is not limited to prayer or the relationship with the Divine.


 


One of the sharings captured the difficulties of the former seminarians with regard to this aspect, "Unakasiangdaming temptation. Especially so time na 'a'i bapagnasaloobakong seminary kapagmmatakang six o clock, talagang it's a time for us to pray. Talagangmakikitamonayunnatalagaang call of the time. Walanang time" (First of all there are  lots of temptations regarding time. When I was at the seminary, six o'clock is a time for prayer. You can clearly see that it is the call of the time. No more time.) This sharing showed how time or schedule affected their spiritual lives It seemed that they were preoccupied with far more things unlike before when their activities for the day were specified. These preoccupations might have taken up their time for God. They might have also perceived that God is loving and understanding that it is okay for them to prefer doing their other obligations.


 


Despite the waning ability to fulfil their spirituality by attending the Eucharistic celebration. they still consider it vital. Paul shared how prayerful he was. "Dai kokayangmagpamibitalaga. Minsanakonagakarigos, Lord forgive me. Everytime. Pirmingsinserongakomagtaram. Bakolang ta naging habit kosya. Sinserong habit" (I cannot really afford not to pray. Even when taking a bath, I pray, "Lord, forgive." I always sincerely talk to God. I pray not because it is my habit. But if it is, then it is a sincere habit.) He continued that he did not only talk to God personally but he also talked about God with other people. "I camwt not talk about God." He endeavors to nourish his spiritual life. "Kayo


 


digdipinilikoman giraraymagtukdosa sarong Catholic school ta atleast ngako may chapel akaigtndummwt may simbahan, may Blessed Sacrament. KasikaipohankomagpamibiKun dnakanakasimbagari man sanaakonaghehelang." (That is why I decided to teach in a Catholic university so that I can go to church that has a Blessed Sacrament where I can go to, because I have to pray. I feel like I will be sick if I do not attend mass.) This might be an indication of a deep relationship with God. This attitude might be the fruit of spiritual formation. Despite this attitude, he still said that he had difficulty regarding this aspect. The respondents" perception of holiness might have really been different from that of an ordinary person.


 


The respondents did not deny that despite their deficiency in the spiritual aspect, the seminary still have influenced their spiritual lives. Peter shared, "Time nahalimbawa, nqpapaluhodtalagaakopagnakikitakoang image 111' God. Yung time nakahitayawkoperonagagawako, kailangankongmagluhod o mag-bow down. At do 'n, dawapapanonapapaluha pa man girarayako. "(These are instances when I feel like kneeling every time I see an image of God. It is the time when I feel that _I have to kneel or bow down before Him. I feel like crying during those times.) This attitude might be due to their deeper understanding of faith. Due to their frequent encounters with God in the seminary, they might have developed a personal and intimate relationship with Him. This might have led them to a deeper appreciation of the Church's practices. "Yung attitude kosa mass. Until now, nabibigyankoparinsiyangmataasnalebel. Lalona in terms sapag-co-communion. Hindi nayong reason no nag-co-communion akodahilyaon kaya si crush k0." (My attitude towards mass, I can say is that I still give it a deeper appreciation especially 1n terms of receiving communion. I no longer receive communion just because my crush is present.) He continued to share, "Itongmgamga practices saSimbahan, pag-Santo Rosario o hung ano. Bakonangarogdatinahababawonang reason kung tanoginigibo. Ngayon, may deep meaning nasakuya." (Now, I do Church practices like praying the Holy Rosary with a deeper meaning unlike before when I do it for a superficial reason.)


 


 


It seemed that their intellectual formation also helped them with the spiritual aspect. Their knowledge of the doctrines of the Church seemed to influence their faith. "I love the Church. Minsan may nahihilingakongmgakaluyahan, pero ta nasasabutankosu function, nasasabotankosu nature kansimbahan kaya daikohinuhusgaran. 0k may mgadiperensyaperoandeperensyabakosasimbahan. KundisatawonayaonsaSimbahan." (I love the


 
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