"Beloved, through ordination, you have received the same Spirit of Christ, who makes you like Him, so that you can act in His name, and so that His very mind and heart might live in you. This intimate communion with the Spirit of Christ, while guaranteeing the efficacy of the sacramental actions which you perform in Persona Christi, seeks to be expressed in fervent prayer, in integrity of life, in the pastoral charity of a ministry tirelessly spending itself for the salvation of the brethren. In a word, it calls for your personal sanctification." (Pope John Paul II, Pastores Dabo Vobis, no. 33)
In the Fall of 2003, inspired by the encyclical Letter Pastores Dabo Vobis by John Paul II and in response to the bishops who entrust the ITI with their candidates, Msgr. Dr. Larry Hogan, President, and Fr. Juraj Terek, Byzantine Chaplain, presented to His Eminence Cardinal Christoph Schönborn the great need for an ongoing formation program for Seminarians, Religious, and Priests at the ITI. Our Grand Chancellor, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, gave his blessing to this proposal. The official statement on the ITI Formation Program for Seminarians, Religious, and Priests is found in the Student Handbook.
The ITI is responsible to the individual bishops and religious superiors for those students preparing for the priesthood or solemn religious vows as well as for those who have already been ordained. This means that seminarians, priests, and members of religious communities are not simply admitted as individual students but as seminarians, priests, or members of communities. For example, seminarians and religious men are obliged to participate in the celebration of the Eucharist daily and to serve on a regular basis either at Holy Mass or Divine Liturgy. Actively participating in the liturgies and devotions of both the Roman and Byzantine rites supplements classroom knowledge of the universality of the Church with personal experience of her rich spiritual life. In addition, seminarians, religious, and priests are asked to choose a spiritual director. Retreats as well as individual and group meetings with those in the seminary program are regularly held in both semesters. (Student Handbook 6.2).
Mission and Purpose
At its establishment the formation program was given a two-fold mandate: To prepare well educated clergy and other leaders to serve the Church in their countries; To provide spiritual formation for Seminarians, Religious, and Priests as the foundation of their future service. The ITI is officially described as an “institution of higher learning,” yet it is neither narrowly vocational nor only academic. As its name suggests, it is above all a Theological School. All aspects of its life are molded by an understanding of theology which seeks to engage the whole person. Theology is not simply a task of the mind or an individual matter. It is the life of the mind and heart, body and soul, of persons united in a community of faith. IFP seeks to live in this tradition and to promote it, to keep it alive in daily life. It is “impossible, but realistic.” “Impossible”: the heavy demands of course work, chapel services, choir trips, parish visits and work assignments. "Realistic": because active involvement in church life and service is no less demanding. Daily worship in the chapel, the observance of the Church's fasts and the celebration of her feasts are therefore not mere ornaments added to an otherwise full program. The very reality of the IFP as a community is grounded upon a common vision expressed in the daily sacramental life of the Church and experienced in praying daily together.
The IFP is under the direction of Very Reverend Yuriy Kolasa.
Contact:Very Rev. Yuriy KolasaEmail: administration(a)iti.ac.at
Very Rev. Yuriy KolasaHead of the Formation Program for Seminarians, Religious Men, and Priests (IFP) Email: administration(a)iti.ac.at
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