Rule of the Seminary

Introduction

Spiritan Missionary Seminary is owned by the Spiritans. It is now composed of non-resident and resident Seminarians and Staff members. Some of the Seminarians aspire to be Spiritans, others Diocesans, still others members of other congregations. Despite the enriching varieties of Seminarians from different congregations and dioceses, you are all called to sanctify yourselves and to sanctify the faithful. “The fruitfulness of our efforts to promote vocations depends primarily on God’s free action, yet as pastoral experience confirms, it is also helped by the quality and depth of the personal and communal witness of those who have already answered the Lord’s call to the ministerial priesthood and to the consecrated life, for their witness is then able to awaken in others a desire to respond generously to Christ’s call (Benedict XV1′s message for the 47th World Day of Prayer for Vocations: 25 April 2010, Fourth Sunday of Easter – /L’Osservatore Romano: Wednesday, 17 Ferbruary 2010).

As Seminarians, you are all called to serve Jesus Christ who is poor, chaste, and obedient. You are called to be holy. You are called to be his ambassadors by sharing in his prophetic, kingly, and priestly ministry. Subsequently, in your formation, you need some guidelines that are meant to serve as a guiding post in helping you to discern your vocation. We have the Spiritan Rule of Life in the Seminary which is carefully designed to help you in fostering your vocation.

Mission of the Church and of the Congregation

In the footsteps of Jesus, we are called to bring the glad tiding to the poor, LK 4:18. In response to the gospel values we are, therefore, sent to all those who have not yet heard the Good News of salvation or to those who scarcely heard it and to those whose needs are greatest. We are sent to the oppressed. As Spiritans we willingly undertake tasks for which the church has difficulty in finding workers, (SRL Chap. 1.2).

As ambassadors of Christ, our purpose is, therefore, to go especially to peoples, groups, and persons who have not yet heard the gospel, or who have scarcely heard it, to those whose needs are the greatest and to the oppressed. We willingly undertake tasks for which the church has difficulty in finding workers, (SRL.Ch.12).

For the Spiritan, priestly, and religious vocation

We are called by the father and set apart to follow Jesus Christ and to announce His good news of the Kingdom, [SRL.1.1]. In our vocation, we are called to the apostolic life, prayer life, and to the life of holiness. We are asked to follow Jesus Christ in His footsteps. We are consecrated to proclaim the good news, to practice the evangelical counsels: poverty, chastity, and obedience, to live in fraternal and praying community.” [SRL.1.3]

Formation

The house of philosophy is the house of formation with many aspects: Human formation, spiritual formation, intellectual formation, and community formation, formation to management, and physical formation. Students are formed in view to their future as Good Holy Priests and Good Spiiritan Missionaries. Our Spiritan formation corresponds to the three essential elements of vocation.

a) The call to follow Christ as his disciples so that our life and all our apostolic activity is itself of Christ.
b) The call to continue his mission in the Church
c) The call to fraternal and to religious life, {SRL.6.85}

“Formation consists in the continual deepening of our apostolic life according to the action of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of our founders, our living tradition and the present needs of the world. It is the work of each one of us and in our common responsibility.
Attentive to the individuals and to the call which God extends to them, the Congregation offers them an appropriate formation.”  {S.R.L. 6.85}

As Seminarians, Religious and Diocesans, you are called to:

Community Life

This is an essential element of our formation for the Church and for the Spiritan way of life. We are called to fraternal community which is a special way of practicing the evangelical counsels in the service of the Good News.

The model of our community life is that of Jesus and his apostles. Our community is inspired also by the early Christian Communities who showed themselves faithful to the teaching of the apostles, to the brother hood, to the breaking of the bread and to prayer, (Acts 2:42) who held everything in common and who were of ‘one mind and heart’ {Acts 4:32}. The motto of the Spiritan congregation is Cor unum et Anima Una (One mind and one Heart) adopted from the early Christian community. This motto is applicable to all who are living together in community.

Our common life reaches its culmination in sharing the same faith, listening to the Word of God and in celebrating the Eucharist.

Coming from different cultures, continents, countries and with different outlooks, we are gathered by the Spirit of Pentecost into one largest community, the congregation. Cultural diversity is accepted as enrichment, and our unity witnesses to reconciliation in Christ.

Guidelines for our Life together

Community life

1. Students must be able to live and to work in harmony with the students and staff of different nationalities, with different cultures and outlooks.

2. Students must show positive signs of being able to observe the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

3. Students must posses a religious spirit and participate willingly and actively in the liturgical and prayer life of the community.

4. Each student will have a Spiritual Director to whom he should present himself at least once a month and more often if necessary.

Academic work

5. Students should show an interest in and love for study and for all the subjects offered in the house of philosophy. These studies are Necessary part of their preparation for their priestly ministry, religious life and Missionary work of the congregation.

6.  All students are expected to pass their examination, assignments and tests prescribed.

7. Students are expected to cultivate habits and methods of study that will continue in later life; they are expected to increase their reading ability. They are supposed to have enough concentration to use the study periods and library to advantage and without supervision.

8. Students are expected to relate classroom learning to daily life, to integrate study, prayer, work and living. They must learn to see the relevance of their studies to their pastoral work. They must learn to use their time intelligently and learn how to plan their study time to maximum advantage.

9. Students are expected to develop not just memory ability, but also the ability to discriminate, to distinguish, to criticize, to evaluate and to judge all kinds of cases that will confront them in later life.

10. The Dean of Students has the overall responsibility for studies. He is available for assistance and advice. He will review the student progress and results at least once a semester and make necessary recommendations for improvement.

Work and Responsibility

11. Each student will be given a task to perform for the sake of the community. He will perform the task generously as an act of service to his brothers. He is accountable to the community.

12. Students should develop a sense of individual and communal responsibility. Each student will take care of the property of the community especially of things that have been entrusted to him for the performance of his community task. All breakages and loss of articles should be reported to the rector or the bursar. Special care is to be taken of books in the library. They should never be written on or dropped thrown; the rules about borrowing must be observed strictly; caution money will be required for the use of the library.

13. There will be a meeting about once every two weeks of the whole student community. Such community meetings are to discuss how the students are to contribute to the better running of the community and not to be thinking of the things to complain about. The rector, the bursar, or dean of studies may attend. Periodically, students will give the account of their responsibilities to the community at these meetings.

14. Each student will have a meeting with the rector regularly to give an account of his work and studies and his relationship with other students and members of the community.

15. Student should develop a personal self|- discipline. They will be helped to do this by advice from their spiritual director, the Rector and the Dean of studies.

Particular Specific Rules of the House

1. Students who will fail to live and to work in harmony with others, or else students who are persistently troublesome or quarrelsome, will be a clear sign that they have no vocation neither to the Spiritan way of life, to religious life, nor to priestly life.

2. Students who form cliques based on Nationality, regional or ethnic group will be a sign that they have no vocation to religious missionary life.

3. Students who absent themselves from the times of common prayer, without just cause, will be considered unsuitable.

4. Students who absent themselves regularly from the common task of the community, without just cause, and who fail habitually to perform their functions for the community will be considered unsuitable.

5. Permission of the Rector, Vice- Rector, and Dean of Students must be sought to leave the community.  When one asks permission, one should explain where one wants to go and why.

6. Visits outside will not be frequent. Permission to go home during the term should only be sought for a very serious reason.

7. When visitors come, they must be received with politeness and courtesy, observing the customary politeness of the person’s culture. These visits should not be prolonged. All such visits should be reported to the Rector or to the Dean of Students.

8. There is a general permission to take a walk on Sundays after Lunch. There is a permission to visit relatives and friends; however, care should be taken that such friends are appropriate for a seminarian. Every student should be back to the seminary by 6:00 p.m.

9. Visits to bars or clubs or secret social visits are expressively forbidden. Faults in these matters will merit dismissal.

10. Any student who appears drunk in the compound will be dismissed immediately.

11. Any student whose behaviour is scandalous or gives rise to scandal or scandalous rumour will be dismissed.

12. Any student who shows inability to observe the requirements of the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience, or anyone of them will be considered unsuitable.

13. It is strictly forbidden to take visitors to one’s room, whether male or female.

14. It is strictly forbidden to visit each in the rooms. However, students who are unwell can be visited for care and concern.

15. Community rooms should be used for study groups, discussions, and relaxation.

16. The rule of silence should be observed after night prayer. No discussion groups after night prayer. Radios must be turned on in a low volume.

17. The library is the place of strict silence, study and research at all times.

18. Punctuality should be observed for all common exercise: prayers, meals, classes, and work.

19. The languages used in the house of philosophy are English and Kiswahili. However, the official language in the house of philosophy is English. Swahili should be used for practical purpose: Those who do not know Swahili should make an effort to learn it.

20. When going for walks it is preferable that students go in groups of three.

21. Students are strictly forbidden to drive community cars for any reason, at any time, either on or off the compound.

22. A student who is late for a period of two weeks after the opening day will not be accepted.

23. No phones are allowed in the dining room, in the Chapel, or in the classroom. All phones should be left in the rooms.

 

Our Community

Our Contact

P.O.Box 2682,

Arusha, Tanzania,
Mobiles: +255 684826311

              +255 764675233
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Our Status

The Spiritan Missionary Seminary – SMS – is a Philosophical Institute, which is owned and administered by the Congregation of the Holy Ghost, otherwise known as Spiritans.
The SMS is open to receive students from other Congregations and Society.