The Pontifical Scots College
Mission Of The College
The purpose of the College is to form priests for ministry in the dioceses of Scotland. Today, the Scots College in Rome is the only college operating as a seminary for Scotland. The programme of formation is that according to the mind of the Church and articulated most fully in documents such as Pope John Paul II's Pastores Dabo Vobis, the 'charter' for priestly formation in the world today and also the Norms of Priestly Formation in Scotland, issued by the Scottish Hierarchy and endorsed by the Congregation for Catholic Education.
Living Image of Christ
Pastores Dabo Vobis tells us that "the seminary ... more than a place, a material space, should be a spiritual place, a way of life, an atmosphere that fostesrs and ensures a process of formation, so that the person who is called to the priesthood by God may become, with the Sacrament of Orders a living image of Jesus Christ."
In a changing Society
The Scottish Norms document recognises that the changing culture of society at large, "the world that we know is likely to continue to become increasingly secular" However, it is precisely in this world that priests are ordained to preach the Gospel, the good news of salvation, "... priestly formation should be designed to prepare the candidate for such a ministry as well as to develop the spirituality which is consonant with a life of service in the priesthood."
The Path to Priesthood
Students come to seminary after a period of initial discernment and then at least a year of accompaniment (link applicants year) as an 'Applicant'. On the recommendation of skilled and experienced advisors, the bishop sends a student to take on a lengthly, formal period of on-going, prayerful discernment, study and preparation. In the Pontifical Scot's College this period lasts for seven years, characterised by divisions into two years of philosophical studies followed by three years of initial theological learning and then a further two years of more advanced theological investigation.
Aspects of Formation
The Seminary is striving to live the idea of life that the Church wills, "a continuation in the Church of the apostolic community gathered about Jesus... an original experience of the Church's life... an educational community ... committed to the formation of future priests"