Enhancing spirituality of priests
In the 1990s, a small group, led by Father Richard Gabuzda, founded the Institute for Priestly Formation to assist bishops in the spiritual formation of diocesan priests and seminarians.
After finding a home in the Archdiocese of Omaha, IPF established offices on the campus of Creighton University, with the goal of offering spiritual formation - inspired by the spirituality of St. Ignatius Loyola - so priests will have a deep interior relationship with Jesus.
"Keeping spiritual formation as the heart of all priestly formation continues to be the guiding principle in all of our programs and activities," said Father Gabuzda, IPF executive director.
Along with assisting seminarians in their spiritual formation, IPF helps priests reclaim their priestly character. The hectic everyday life of a parish priest can be exhausting, so spiritual renewal is important.
IPF's programs help priests develop a deeper love for Christ, reminding them to pay attention to their interior life, with an emphasis on the sacred character of their priestly vocation.
Seminarians benefit from IPF programs because they are given a better understanding of what it means to be a priest in today's culture. They learn about the nature and identity of the priesthood.
IPF participants all learn about the institute's living principles:
The Holy Spirit is the source of life and holiness.
Scripturally-grounded relational prayer is foundational to an integrated Christian life - an inquiring intellect and a healthy psychological and sexual development.
A devotion to Christ's presence in the Eucharist is the source of Christian maturity.
The Blessed Virgin Mary's life is the model of discipleship.
All teaching must be faithful to Christ's teaching authority as prophetically heard through the Catholic Church's Magisterium.
Apostolic spirituality requiring an interior solitude with God shapes a priest's heart to lead as chaste spouse, spiritual father and Good Shepherd.
The Institute for Priestly Formation has proven popular, with more than 1,100 priests and seminarians attending the 10-week summer program at CU since 1994.
It's good to know that IPF is promoting the spirituality of priesthood and creating a fraternity among the next generation of priests.