The Pontifical Scots College
Pastoral formation, at its heart, is about putting on the mind of Christ so that pastoral charity informs and directs all that the priest does.The identity of the priest depends on, and is modelled on, the identity of Christ. The priest is one who brings people to Christ, who makes Christ present to them in the Word of God, in the Sacraments and in his pastoral care. The priest must imitate Christ's love for his flock in a spirit of humility, service and sacrifice, and it is to this end the seminary programme is directed towards.
Pastoral Charity is first of all learned in the community of the seminary itself. In a spirit of communion with Christ and those around him the seminarian learns to care for, and to be cared for by, his fellows in the College. In this way he learns to put the needs of others before himself.
Classes in the College
Formal classes include homiletics (preaching) for those in years 3 - 5 and pastoral classes for those in years 6 - 7. These latter classes include an examination of the sacraments and other celebrations (such as funerals) from the point of view of practice and the practical implications of Canon Law.
There are opportunities for practical pastoral experience in local parishes and other areas of ministry outside the college. This receives particular emphasis after year 3.
Each student is given a pastoral placement in a Scottish parish for some part of his summer holiday. This allows the student to witness the example of a number of priests in a parish enviroment, and also other areas of pastoral ministry such as schools, hospitals and prisons.