The Institute for Priestly Formation

Father Brian Welter, Executive Director of The Institute for Priestly Formation, shares the mission of The Institute for Priestly Formation in the inspiring welcome message he shares on the IPF website: priestlyformation.org.

Executive Director of IPF
Father Welter

Father Welter explains, “We are dedicated to assisting seminarians, priests, and bishops to grow in holiness so they may draw others to Jesus Christ. As the document The Gift of Priestly Formation states: “The first quality that characterizes Christ as true High Priest is his singular closeness to God and to humanity.” Our desire is that seminarians, priests and bishops, through their own deepening prayer, can be witnesses of that same closeness to God and humanity.” Fr. Welter goes on to state, “Beginning in 1995, the Institute has offered programs to over 3,000 seminarians, over 700 priests and to many additional vocation and seminary personnel. While continuing our programs for seminarians and priests, we are working to expand our offerings with a program to serve bishops and recently ordained priests.”


Four of our Erie seminarians will be attending the summer program that is being offered at The Institute for Priestly Formation in Omaha, Nebraska. Those seminarians are: Luke Daghir, Chris Beran, Thomas Whiteford, and Michael Scanga. They will arrive for the nine-week summer program at IPF on Sunday May 30th and depart for home on Saturday July 31st. The seminarians will greatly appreciate the prayerful support of the Serrans during this time as always.


The summer program focuses on the spiritual formation of diocesan seminarians. Their time on campus will have a rhythm of prayer, course work, liturgy, common life, and healthy leisure time. Above all, it will be a time for the seminarians to give “time and presence” to God which allows for a deeper vocational discernment and spiritual formation.


The eight-day silent directed retreat during the second week of the program is often a highpoint for seminarians. It is a time for them to encounter the Lord in a deeper way through prayer with scripture, silence, and daily spiritual direction.