International Conference on Priestly Formation to take place in Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth

16 Nov 2017

The Faculty of Theology of Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, is organising and hosting an international conference which opens this evening on the topic ‘Models of Priestly Formation: Assessing the Past, Reflecting on the Present, and Imagining the Future’.

Ahead of the conference the President of Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Rev Professor Michael Mullaney, said, “At a time when there has been much talk about the training of candidates for the priesthood, it is appropriate that the national seminary should host such a significant conference.  I am delighted with the variety of national and international speakers who will contribute to the gathering including Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, Archbishop Jorge Carlos Patrón Wong, Secretary for Seminaries at the Congregation for Clergy, and Rev Dr Hans Zollner SJ of the Centre for Child Protection, Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.”

Professor Mullaney continued, “The purpose of the conference is to reflect on the issue of priestly formation since Vatican II; to assess the current situation; to look at best practice from elsewhere; and, to imagine new models of priestly formation into the future.  It is my hope that the speakers and participants at the conference, who include seminary leaders, bishops, congregational leaders, vocation and spiritual directors, theologians, and psychologists, will benefit from their deliberations and reflections on the current models of priestly formation as well as on the challenges facing seminarians and formators, especially in the English-speaking world.”

The conference ‘Models of Priestly Formation: Assessing the Past, Reflecting on the Present and Imagining the Future’, takes place from 16 to 18 November 2017 in Renehan Hall, Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth.


Notes for Editors

  • In 2016 the Congregation for the Clergy published The Gift of the Priestly Vocation (Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis) which is the guiding document for the formation of future priests throughout the Catholic Church.  This document will be a central focus of the presentations and discussions at the conference.  It describes priestly formation in terms of four characteristic elements – the human dimension, the spiritual dimension, the intellectual dimension and the pastoral dimension – which are to be integrated in the journey of formation and in the life of ordained ministers (The Gift of the Priestly Vocation, 9).  In this it builds on previous ecclesial documents on the theme, including Pastores Dabo Vobis, Pope Saint John Paul II’s Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, the twenty-fifth anniversary of which occurs in 2017.

Specific themes to be addressed during this conference include:

  • The preparation, characteristic elements and fundamental content of the new Ratio Fundamentalis and the implications for national seminaries.
  • The qualities required of those entering seminary formation.
  • How societal and ecclesial changes have informed seminary formation in the last twenty-five years.
  • Models of priesthood and their implications for priestly formation.
  • Formation for collaborative ministry.
  • Formation in safeguarding in seminary and religious training.                                                       

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Katie Crosby 00353 (0) 86 862 3298