Minor Seminaries

Official doctrine of Catholic Church

Decree on Priestly Training 

Optatum Totius, #3
Vatican II Ecumenical Council
Rome, October 28, 1965


[Official text, complete and unabridged; bullets have been added to punctuate.]


In minor seminaries erected to develop the seeds of vocations, the students should be prepared by special religious formation, particularly through appropriate spiritual direction, to follow Christ the Redeemer with generosity of spirit and purity of heart.

2 Under the fatherly direction of the superiors, and with the proper cooperation of the parents, their daily routine should be in accord with the age, character and the stage of development of adolescence and fully adapted to the norms of a healthy psychology.

3 Nor should the fitting opportunity be lacking for social and cultural contacts and for contact with one?s own family. (1)

4 Moreover, whatever is decreed in the following paragraphs about major seminaries is also be to adapted to the minor seminary to the extent that it is in accord with its purpose and structure.

5 Also, studies undertaken by the students should be so arranged that they can easily continue them elsewhere should they choose a different state of life.

6 With equal concern the seeds of vocations among adolescents and young men are also to be fostered in those special institutes, which in accord with the local circumstances, serve the purpose of a minor seminary as well as among those who are trained in other schools initiated for those with a belated vocation are to be carefully developed.

1. Cf. Pius XII, Apostolic Exhortation, Menti Nostrae (Sept.23,1950): AAS 42(1950), 685


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