Goal: Sculpting First The Complete Man and The Complete Catholic and then the Complete Priest from the God-given Rock
In any complex undertaking whether within an educational institution, an assembly plant, or a military campaign the first question asked is always: “What precisely is the goal? What is the desired end product? How exactly do we define victory? In education, the question must be: What type of man do we want to see at the end of this program?”
The goal of man’s life has been summed up in this divinely revealed truth: “Attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). For the man called to be Another Christ, ambassador of Christ as Head and Bridegroom of the Church this goal must be pursued with even greater intensity. On the journey of preparation towards priestly holiness the goal is to be Alter Christus: a man with a “Christified” character imitating Jesus Christ the Priest; the point of departure is a strong and clear identity firstly about who the priest is and secondly about what his mission is: to offer the Holy Sacrifice and to teach, to sanctify, to govern.
Michelangelo’s seventeen-foot tall David is one of the world’s greatest sculptures. As you walk down the hall towards it you admire it as a true artistic masterpiece.
But once you glance around, you notice lining the hall that leads up to the David four of Michelangelo’s other unfinished and incomplete sculptures, looking like giants who never managed to get out of the stone blocks.
And why did Michelangelo never complete these sculptures? Probably because when he started them he did not have a clear vision of the end product. This lack of vision of who the priest should be at the end of his training need never exist for a formator of seminarians.
Christ through His Mystical Body the Church has laid out clear blueprints of the ideal priest through the New Testament, the writings of popes and councils and the lives and texts of the saints.
No seminarian need ever remain incomplete for with the grace of the vocation comes the necessary graces, provided by the Tradition of Catholicism to enable each vocation to be the priest according to the divine blueprints!