Pastoral placement: a seminarian talks about his experience.
I’m a seminarian, a man undergoing formation for priesthood at the Beda College seminary in Rome. My realisation of God’s vocation for me occurred after I had lived quite a lot of life and I am now in my forties. The seminary is in a very inspiring location next to St Paul’s Basilica which contains the tomb of the apostle Paul. I think priestly formation means to pay attention to and nurture: our relationship with God in prayer, our relationship with ourselves and others, being a good shepherd, and to study about God, the Church, the world, liturgy and sacraments. All of this is in play for a priest.
While in the seminary, we spend quite a lot of time in the classroom – it can seem quite theoretical, so an important part of the year is my pastoral placement in the diocese. This is a bit like work experience. This is the time when I live alongside one of the parish priests of the diocese and do as much of what they do as possible, shadowing them and seeing how they fulfil their ministry, receiving advice and guidance from them. Last Summer I found that it was an important time in helping me to get an insight into how God is leading me. This Summer my placement will be with Monsignor Paul Grogan in the parish of Our Lady Mother of God in Bradford. I am looking forward to it. During the four weeks of the placement I will try to keep a daily video diary so that I can share something each day of what I am doing.