The 1983 Code of Canon Law underscores the “the duty and the proper and exclusive right of the Church to train those who are deputed to sacred ministries (232)”. This was recently seconded by the new Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis (2016) when the Congregation of the Clergy obliged the Church “to propose to them (seminarians) a serious journey of formation (meant to) guard and foster vocations, that they may bear mature fruit”. In this respect, human maturity as a goal of priestly formation means for the clergy to be “a bridge and not an obstacle for others in meeting with Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of humanity (Pastores dabo vobis, 43)”.
This project is a response to the call made by the Ratio as well as by the whole people of God who look to their priests as companions on their journey to a more intimate relationship with Christ. The method employed in the study is theological reflection. In order to achieve this, the writer examines some aspects of seminary formation of priests in particular formation houses in the country, paying particular attention to how the affective and psycho-sexual development and maturity of the formands are being addressed. This project includes a look at human formation from the viewpoint of Christian Tradition, from personal experiences of priests in active ministry whom the writer has interviewed, and other salient cultural agents that bear upon the affective and psycho-sexual development of priests. The psychological evaluations made in this research draw fundamentally from the Psychology of Human Development. In this respect, the writer proposes that religious formation of priests in the Philippine seminaries must be geared towards capacity-building, with “living formation” as its mainframe. The qualitative research conducted among priests in ministry and the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm guide the design of fifteen modules proposed as ancillary tools for formators in developing affectively and psycho-sexually mature priests for effective ministry.