St. Mary's Seminary & University

Propaedeutic Stage: Year

Aspirants listening to a presentation during the St. Mary's Propaedeutic Stage.
Aspirants listening to a presentation during the St. Mary’s Propaedeutic Stage.

The propaedeutic year at McGivney House is divided into four periods. In the Introductory Period, the men are introduced to life in the House, become familiar with each other and the formators, are prepared for and experience their first retreat, and engage in a process to become more familiar with the influences that have previously formed them and the virtues they would like to acquire and strengthen. The Introductory Period concludes with the seminarians preparing their personal goals for the year, in dialogue with their formators. In the Fall and Spring Periods, the seminarians live and work according to the ordinary horaria of the House, preparing for and participating in their principal courses, serving in their apostolates, and engaging in the common life and work of the House. The year ends with a Concluding Period, which offers the seminarian the chance to integrate his experiences in the House through a Marian pilgrimage in France and a final retreat, together with final formation sessions geared to illuminating and strengthening the seminarians’ resolution to continue in priestly formation or to pursue a different state of life.

Diagram of Propaedeutic Year at-a-glance.

Significant Dates 2024

August 1 St. Mary’s Propaedeutic Stage at the McGivney Formation House Begins
August 5-9 Opening Retreat
August 13 Memorial of Blessed Michael J. McGivney
August 15 Solemnity of the Assumption
August 26 Fall Period Begins
September 2 Memorial of the Blessed Sulpician Martyrs of Paris
October 22 The Interior Life of Mary
November 1 Solemnity of All Saints
November 2 Commemoration of All Souls
November 21 Patronal Solemnity: The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
November 25-29 Thanksgiving Holiday (In-House)
December 8 Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
December 21 Christmas Break Begins

Significant Dates 2025

January 12 Spring Period Begins
Feast of The Baptism of the Lord
January 13-17 Ignatian Retreat
January 19 The Interior Life of the Savior
January 24 Memorial of St. Francis de Sales
February 2 Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
March 5 Ash Wednesday
March 19 Solemnity of St. Joseph
March 25 Solemnity of the Annunciation
April 13-20 Holy Week, the Triduum, Easter Sunday (In-House)
May 17 Concluding Period Begins
May 17-26 Marian Pilgrimage in France
May 27-31 Concluding Marian Retreat
June 3 Blessed Sulpician Martyrs, Rochefort
June 13 St. Mary’s Propaedeutic Stage at the McGivney Formation House Concludes