The four pillars of formation, as indicated in Dabos Pastores Vobis, are integrated into the life at Juan Diego House. The program of formation aims to develop:
+ Christ-centered men committed to the Church, her liturgical life and social teachings, and to the personal prayer;
+ Men with knowledge of the Catholic faith, open to others’ needs, cultures and personalities;
+ A spirit of generous service and the ability to work collaboratively for the common good.
Upon leaving Juan Diego House, the seminarian will know himself better, have a deeper understanding of what it means to be a priest, and be committed to serving God and neighbor.
Important aspects of the Spiritual Formation Program include the daily celebration of the Eucharist and Liturgy of the Hours. Diocesan priests are invited weekly to celebrate the Mass to foster the fraternity that creates a healthy presbyterate. Each seminarian also selects personal spiritual directors in the Archdiocese. Each semester a weekend retreat is conducted away from the House. Eucharistic Adoration, opportunities for Rosary and devotional prayer and daily silent meditation is also part of the life at Juan Diego House.
Once a month during the school year, formation sessions are conducted by the formation director and assistant director. Each school year a different topic is studied. The topics include the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Documents of Vatican II, Scripture, and Spirituality. Special care is given to helping the men grow into a healthy and balanced life style. Sessions on developing celibacy skills are given, including attendance at a Virtus Training session. The Seminarians also participates in the annual Religious Education Congress.
The basic principle of spiritual formation is to live in intimate and unceasing union with God the Father through his Son, Jesus Christ, in the Holy Spirit. This is the foundational call to discipleship and conversion of heart. (Program for Priestly Formation #106)
As members of an intentional Seminarians, the men of Juan Diego House live and share in a spirit of brotherhood. Each man is called to be respectful of others and to maintain his responsibilities within the Seminarians. The men challenge one another to mature as true human beings living in the image and likeness of God.
Nutrition, exercise, rest, and self control are aspects of the human formation program that allow the men to grow in respect for themselves and for others. Each Seminarians member is encouraged to fully develop as a human being.
Pastoral formation takes place on the weekend at their home parishes. Each year the men enter into a contract with their pastors to determine what areas of ministry in which they be involved. Through their experiences they come to know parish life and better understand the role of the priest in serving God's people.
Most of the members come to Juan Diego House already with extensive pastoral experience as active lay leaders in their respective communities. Juan Diego house is designed to promote their continued collaborative and integrated involvement in parish life as lay leaders, preparing them to become servant leaders, God willing, as priests. In This way they desire the joy of parish life.
The members of Juan Diego House are required to meet the requisites for study at an institution of higher learning in the State of California. They must, therefore, have and academic diploma from an accredited high school, a General Education Diploma (G.E.D.) or the equivalent from a school system outside the United States. This diploma must qualify them for enrollment in an accredited Seminarians college or four-year college as full time students.
The men at Juan Diego House attend El Camino College and California State University, Dominguez Hills. Some men attend classes at other institutions to further develop their English language acquisition skills.
Every student is expected to carry a minimum of 15 academic units per semester, or that of a full time student as is determined by the academic institution at which the student is in attendance. When a student reaches upper division college, he may qualify to begin the pre-theology studies at St. John's Seminary in a special extension program designed by the seminary for college seminarians of the Archdiocese. Upon graduation and the completion of this program the students will meet the criteria established by the USCCB Plan for Priestly Formation for graduate theological studies.