The Beginnings of St Joseph’s Scholasticate

Keywords: Catholic Church, priestly formation, indigenous clergy, religious life, Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI), St Joseph’s Scholasticate


In 2018, St Joseph’s Scholasticate celebrated 75 years since its foundation in 1943. It is a House of Formation for those who are preparing for permanent commitment to the Congregation of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI), as well as those who are preparing for ordination to the Catholic priesthood. St Joseph’s Scholasticate was founded in 1943 at Prestbury in Pietermaritzburg by the OMI Natal Province. This study examines how the Oblates of Mary Immaculate established a scholasticate in South Africa and how it developed during its first five years until 1947 while it was situated in Prestbury. It examines why a scholasticate is important in Oblate formation and examines the essential elements of initial Oblate formation in a scholasticate. It also studies the requirements to establish a house of formation in the OMI Congregation and addresses the characteristics of those who become formators of a scholasticate, as well as the criteria by which scholastics are assessed.

Author Biography

Stuart Clifton Bate, University of KwaZulu-Natal

School of Religion Philosophy and Classics