Sacred Heart Major Seminary primarily forms1 priests according to the Heart2 of Jesus Christ3 the Good Shepherd,4 and further, prepares priests, deacons and lay ecclesial ministers, equipping5 them for the work of ministry6 in the New Evangelization.7
1Form: This word has unique significance since it appears repeatedly throughout normative ecclesiastical documents, such as Pastores dabo vobis, The Program for Priestly Formation, and documents related to the formation of candidates for the Permanent Diaconate and lay ecclesial ministry. To form is a distinctive activity that recognizes the comprehensive nature of the subject. It is not merely developing a skill-set for effective performance, but rather reflects the integral shaping of the candidate in the imitation of Christ, the Good Shepherd, according to the appropriate ministry to which the candidate is called. (cf. Core Values – “Formation of Heralds for the New Evangelization”).
2Heart is a direct reference to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, from whom this seminary takes its name.
3Jesus Christ – At the center of our mission is the person of Jesus Christ. “Jesus is the center of all that we do. Our mission is to share in the mission of the Church, founded on the love of God the Father given to us in Christ through the Holy Spirit.” (Taken from our Core Values)
4Good Shepherd: The cornerstone at Sacred Heart Major Seminary bears the words of the Prophet Jeremiah (3:15) “I will give you shepherds after my own heart.” These words are also part of the title of the normative document for priestly formation, Pastores dabo vobis.
5To equip has its roots in two New Testament references. First, 2 Timothy 3:17, and second in Hebrews 13: 21.
6For the work of ministry: To be equipped recognizes the active work of grace that forms the mind and heart so that effective ministry is accomplished, not merely by the talents or gifts of the individual, but by cooperation with the work of grace.
7Pope John Paul II invited the universal Church to engage in the New Evangelization. He described this in several documents and talks. Sacred Heart Major Seminary has energetically engaged this invitation by the Holy Father so that courses, programs, and initiatives emerge from this part of our identity.