He began to teach them many things." (Mark 6:34)
The Columban Formation Program is lived out over several years and is a journey leading to faith-filled commitment as a missionary priest in service to the Church and the world. We accompany and support all our students so that they may further discern their call, deepen their spirituality, and become ever more alive to the needs of the world and to life as a Columban Missionary of the twenty first century. Our program of formation includes the following:
Initial Studies: Living at the Columban Formation House in Sydney, NSW, you will begin full-time a variety of biblical and mission studies, while also entering into formal spiritual formation. There are also ample opportunities for social and pastoral involvement, providing you with a rich experience of ministry and pastoral care. This period normally extends over a couple of years.
Spiritual Year: This is a one-year program of intensive spiritual formation. It is normally undertaken with other English-speaking Columban students in another country.
Columban International Theologate: Along with Columban students from other countries, you will begin a degree course at Chicago Theological Union in the USA. Besides the regular biblical and theological subjects required for ordination, you will also research the contemporary challenges of mission in today's world. You will also engage in active pastoral work in the migrant and disadvantaged sectors of the city of Chicago.
First Missionary Assignment (FMA): This is an experience of practical overseas missionary life for a period of two years. You will be assigned to another country to live and work alongside other Columbans. You will learn the local language, familiarise yourself with the history and culture of the people, and engage in practical pastoral involvement.
Columban International Theologate: Resuming formal studies, you will continue your formation and complete your academic degree, building on your experience and learning during your first missionary assignment.
Final Studies: Returning to Sydney for final preparation for ordination which will take place in your home diocese among family and friends, you will then take up your overseas missionary appointment as an ordained member of the Columban Missionaries.