History

Bishop Taylor dedicated the $1.6 million House of Formation on the grounds of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Little Rock on Sept. 20, 2012. It serves as a home for those discerning a vocation to the priesthood for the Diocese of Little Rock. The 6,000-square-foot building is located on the site of the former convent at Our Lady of Good Counsel. It includes a chapel, kitchen, meeting room/library, dining room, common area, 10 student rooms and two priest apartments.

Since 2009 discerners and seminarians studying at local colleges have lived together while discerning their call or getting an English-language education. Initially, the diocese rented a four-bedroom house and then in 2011 the men moved temporarily to Fletcher Hall on the grounds of St. John Catholic Center while their new home could be built.

Bishop Taylor blessed the site of the new construction on March 8, 2012. Play the video above to hear what the bishop said about why the house of formation was needed. If you would like to make a donation toward the house of formation or seminarian education, please contact the Vocations and Seminarians Office.

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Seminarian House of Formation

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The House of Formation gives seminarians and discerners a place to live and become acquainted with the four pillars of priestly formation — human, spiritual, pastoral and intellectual — as they seek the will of God for their lives. 

Discerners are men who have not yet become seminarians but live and study alongside seminarians in the House of Formation. 

Under the guidance of the formation's staff, they experience the daily life of a seminarian through prayer, study and community as they consider whether God is calling them to a priestly vocation.

Living in community allows both seminarians and discerners to grow in maturity and develop crucial human skills. As members of the community, they serve in local parishes and attend events around the Diocese of Little Rock, which acquaints them with the blessings and challenges of pastoral care.

They also take classes at local universities and the House of Formation, which offers both core courses and electives in philosophy. In addition, the students study great texts, which introduce them to classic works that have shaped our Church and the world in which we live.

In the summer, they travel to Shawnee, Okla. for intensive coursework at St. Gregory University. All of this helps seminarians and discerners to acquire the pastoral, human and academic skills necessary for priestly ministry in the Catholic Church.

As residents of the house, they also have ample opportunity to develop their spiritual lives. They attend Mass daily, make a daily holy hour, receive spiritual direction, and go regularly to the sacrament of reconciliation.

In prayer, they seek God's will for their lives and acquire the spiritual maturity they will need as seminarians and, God willing, priests of Jesus Christ.

Residents of the House of Formation live and work under the leadership of Msgr. Scott Friend, VG, vocations director, and Father Taryn Whittington, prefect.

Bishop Anthony B. Taylor also lives on the premises and frequently celebrates Mass with the community. He joins the house members for family-style dinner every night. He also makes himself available for other activities with the seminarians, including one-on-one discussions.


The image at the top of this page is a photo illustration of the 10-foot-by-5-foot oil painting of the Last Supper hanging in the dining room of the House of Formation. Andrea Hathcote, of Hensley, whose father John is Catholic, donated the painting after learning about the construction of the house. Hathcote, a member of East End Baptist Church, based the images of Jesus and the Apostles in the painting on people she observed at the River Market in Little Rock, grocery store, a friend and even a homeless man. — Courtesy Arkansas Catholic


History

Bishop Taylor dedicated the $1.6 million House of Formation on the grounds of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Little Rock on Sept. 20, 2012. It serves as a home for those discerning a vocation to the priesthood for the Diocese of Little Rock. The 6,000-square-foot building is located on the site of the former convent at Our Lady of Good Counsel. It includes a chapel, kitchen, meeting room/library, dining room, common area, 10 student rooms and two priest apartments.

Since 2009 discerners and seminarians studying at local colleges have lived together while discerning their call or getting an English-language education. Initially, the diocese rented a four-bedroom house and then in 2011 the men moved temporarily to Fletcher Hall on the grounds of St. John Catholic Center while their new home could be built.

Bishop Taylor blessed the site of the new construction on March 8, 2012. Play the video above to hear what the bishop said about why the house of formation was needed. If you would like to make a donation toward the house of formation or seminarian education, please contact the Vocations and Seminarians Office.