Formation in Mt. Carmel Petit Seminary, Fort Kochi
Commemorating the Fourth Centenary of the Erection of the Diocese of Cochin, foundation stone was laid for the new Minor Seminary on 28th December 1957. And on 11th February 1960 the new building for the Mount Carmel Petit Seminary was blessed by His Excellency Rt. Rev. Dr. Alexander Edezhath, first native Bishop of Cochin.
In the past 52 years (1960-2010 JUNE) 566 candidates joined in Mount Carmel Petit Seminary for priestly formation, of which 130 became priests, 349 discontinued during the formation period and 87 are on formation in different levels (42 major seminarians and 45 minor seminarians).
The Minor Seminary Formation in the Diocese of Cochin is done in three levels and in two seminaries:
1. Initiation Course at Holy Cross Seminary, Aluva.
2. Pre-University Course (Plus Two Course) at St. Joseph’s college, staying in the Mount Carmel Petit Seminary.
3. Degree Course at Aquinas College staying in the Mount Carmel Petit Seminary.
Prayers, Daily meditation, Bible reading, Rosary, spiritual directions, regular confession, Monthly Recollection and Annual Retreat are included for spiritual development of the seminarians. Spiritual Directors animate the seminarians in their spiritual life. Seminarians are given personal and common spiritual conferences.
In order to develop the different talents of the seminarians various programme are conducted frequently such as literary meetings, quiz competitions, essay writing, music classes, sports & games, agricultural works, gardening, etc. Once in a month they watch Biblical films. They are given opportunities to exhibit their talents through cultural programme on special occasions like Seminary Day, Parents’ Day, etc.
In these three seminaries every day the seminarians have along with study, prayer, meditation, Holy Mass, examination of conscience at noon and night, rosary, bible reading, spiritual reading, sports, gardening etc.. Every second Saturday monthly recollection is arranged. And every year they have retreat for five days. There are three spiritual directors and seminarians meet their spiritual directors at least twice a month. On every Sunday literary meeting is conducted and there will be speeches and various cultural programme. In order to be aware of the current problems of the society, on week-ends and holidays we conduct seminars and symposiums on current and relevant subjects by the experts, also essay competitions, quiz competitions and so on. Every year we conduct arts, sports and literary competitions to develop their integral personality. It is our feeling that the seminarians are co-operating very much with the discipline and formation in the seminary.