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Vancouver Seminarian
"Vincent Nguyen"

Hello. My name is Vincent Nguyen. I am a new seminarian of the Archdiocese of Vancouver. I am the only one from the diocese who is studying at St. Augustine’s seminary in Toronto. Let me share with you a little bit about the life of this wonderful place.
Our seminary is located in an eastern suburb of Toronto on a magnificent property overlooking Lake Ontario. This year, our seminary has seventy-eight (78) students in the theology program. St. Augustine’s seminary is a member of the Toronto School of Theology which is a combination of seven theological schools, three are of which are Roman Catholic.

The spiritual life of the seminary is based on the famous work Great Expectations of Seminarians, where greater prayer, study, and community are emphasized as the ends of the seminary:

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A house of prayer: prayer is the most important element in formation the program. It is only in raising our minds and hearts to God that we can grow in the life of which He calls us.

A house of study. The study of theology is a very essential part of the seminarian’s life. "Faith seeking understanding" urges each one to deepen our knowledge of God in order to strengthen our faith and others.

A house of community living. The seminary is not merely a theological students’ residence. We are called to live together in the spirit of fraternity, support and affirmation.

These principles find expression in our daily activities: We begin our day with private prayer or meditation then we have Morning Prayer for the whole community, followed by breakfast then we head downtown for classes. In the evening, we say Evening Prayer in private and then we gather for the most important moment of the day: the Eucharist. Dinner then is time for us to be together to share food and to enjoy conversation. After the meal some might say the community rosary. During the day a spiritual reading period also plays an important part in seminarian’s life.

On Sunday, our Mass is in the late morning. We are encouraged to invite guests to be with us for the Holy Banquet and also for the fraternal meal afterward. Wednesday is our community day. Supper is served in the formal style and we all take turns to serve at the table. We devote the whole evening for community life – there is either a meeting in each group or there is a talk offered by the rector. Friday is the day of Eucharistic Adoration which begins after morning mass until the evening prayer.

On regular basis, the seminarians need to receive spiritual direction. This is a sacred moment when one opens up their soul before a spiritual director in order to get direction to advance in the spiritual life and in discerning the way of life.

This is a nutshell description of the life in the seminary. While life here presents me with challenges by the grace of Christ it gives me peace and joy. It is joyful because, I have found God in it.