"Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons"
Those who discern the call of God to priesthood are welcomed by the Vincentians and sent to various minor seminaries to be accustomed with different cultures and languages. This first year of formation is held in one of the following minor seminaries of Marymatha Province. They are: St. Vincent’s Minor Seminary, Kalichanadukkam, Kerala; St. Vincent’s Minor Seminary, Chinna Avittappalli, Andhrapradesh; St. Vincent’s Minor Seminary, Ahmadnagar; St. Vincent’s Minor Seminary, Vikindu, Tanzania. Throughout the year of formation, the candidates are guided by the formation team consisting of the rector, vice-rector and the spiritual father.
After this year, those who are selected will continue their formation and complete their senior secondary school. There are two minor seminaries which provide this facility, namely Christunivas, Thrikkakara, Kerala and St. Vincent’s Minor Seminary, Pinakkadami, Andhra Pradesh.
Novitiate is the period of training and preparation that a novice undergoes prior to taking vows in order to discern whether he is called to vowed religious life. It includes times of intense study, prayer, living in community, studying the vowed life, deepening one’s relation with God, deepening one’s self awareness under the direction of a Guru. After completing the minor seminary those who are selected by the formation team are sent to Vincentian Novitiate House at Balesugiri, Meenangadi. At the end of one year’s intense prayer and preparation they make their vows of Chastity, Poverty and Obedience and become temporary members of the Marymatha Province of the Vincentian Congregation.
To pursue academic qualification the seminarians are sent to De Paul College, Edathotty and they complete their bachelor’s degree. These three years, the seminarians will progress in their religious and community life.
Philosophy studies are integral part of priestly formation. For this training a seminarian spends three years in De Paul Institute of Religion and Philosophy, Bangalore run by Vincentian Congregation and acquires his degree in philosophy.
The year followed is called Regency or the year of practical training of Vincentian way of life. They will be initiated to the charism of the congregation by participating various ministries in different Vincentian communities. At the end of this period they will be receiving religious habit as a symbol of their religious commitment.
The last four years of priestly formation is dedicated for theology studies. The seminarians are sent to different theological institutions or universities. They are: St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary, Manglappuzha; Christujoyti College, Bangalore; Vijnananilayam, Eluru; St. Thomas Apostolic Semianary, Bangalore; Catholic University of Eastern Africa,Kenya; Papal Seminary, Pune; St. Ephrem Theolagate, Satna; Sacred Heart Thoelogical College, Shillong; Marymatha Major Seminary, Thrissur; Ausburg Seminary, Germany. During these years the seminarians may receive the minor orders of Lector and Acolyte. Prior to priestly ordination seminarians receive diaconate ordination and enter in to a period of intensive preparation for the holy Order of Priesthood.
The Order of Priesthood is conferred to the deacons at the end of their priestly training and they are sent out to various missions: to be with Him, to preach the Good News, and to cast out demons.