A Summer School for Seminarian Formation

16 luglio 2012 - 28 luglio 2012


A typical operational model at Sophia University Institute involves the collaboration and the exchange of competencies and experiences with other academic and formative institutions, as well as ecclesial and civil entities, whose objectives are aligned with its cultural proposition. Among the many requests for synergistic cooperation, is an international Summer School for teaching professionals within seminaries.

For the fifth consecutive year, the Abbey of Vallombrosa, located in the heart of a millenarian forest a few kilometers from Florence, hosted the initiative. The event was promoted - in collaboration with Sophia University Institute - by the Movement of Priests of the Focolare, which carries out numerous activities of formation in the little city of Loppiano.

This credit course is intended for rectors, spiritual directors, and formation leaders who work full time in a seminary. It arose from the need to find ‘formative paths and paradigms to serve priestly ministry, as a meaningful response to the challenge of socio-cultural mutations and their impact on today’s youth.’ 

The course is offered annually during a two-week period, with presentations from experts and related work groups. The first part of the course took place on July 16-28, 2012; the second part will follow in July 2013.  

The adopted method is centered on the deepening of the dimension of relationality. The gathering benefited from the perspectives and experiences shared by 32 international seminary educators representing 13 nations including Austria, Brazil, Germany, India, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Thailand, Ukraine, Hungary, and Venezuela.  

Works in the group were intended to elaborate the potentiality of a ‘paradigm of communion’ which would unite experience of evangelical life with the demands of formation to ministry; to bring into focus the cornerstone of a spirituality of communion able to withstand such a set-up; finally, make known and experiment useful tools so that the seminary can configure itself always more as an ‘educative community.’

To this journey, is connected the recognition of some formative credits conferred by the IUS, on verification of specific requisites and presentation of an elaborate written paper by each participant at completion of course.  In addition, Sophia’s collaboration has expressed itself also through the contribution of the provost, Piero Coda and of two professors, Bennie Callebaut and Sergio Rondinara, who welcomed the group on site, on Saturday July 21.


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