- The Sulpicians form a society of diocesan
priests who, after having received permission from their bishop,
engage in the ministry specific to the Society of the Priests of
Society of Saint Sulpice is a society of apostolic life of
pontifical right, confirmed and approved by the Holy See. The Constitutions
by the Holy See, define its pastoral commitments. Its members
elect the officers for the entire Society and for each of the
three provinces. In each pastoral activity they always work as a
Service to the diocesan
- The commitment of the Priests of Saint
Sulpice towards God and the Church is accomplished through the
service to diocesan priests. Their primary mandate is to assist
bishops in the preparation of candidates for the priesthood and in
the ongoing formation of priests.
What qualities do we seek in the
aspiring candidates to Saint Sulpice?
Before an priest joins the Society, the Sulpicians require that
the aspiring candidate would have completed at least two years of
parish ministry, an experience which enabled him to develop a
strong sense of belonging to his diocese and a commitment to priestly ministry
Indeed, they need priests who live and love their priesthood and
who want to assist bishops in the service of diocesan seminarians
Ability to work as a team
- The Sulpicians look for candidates able to work in a community
environment and to work collegially on a mission in harmony with
fellow priests as well as with lay or religious persons.
Ability to share one’s faith
through a life of prayer that nourishes a real enthusiasm for
Christ and his Gospel, for the Church and the priesthood. The apostolic spirit
animated their founder, Father Jean-Jacques Olier, is the source
of this sharing.
open the way to intellectual and professional preparation of
quality in several areas: spiritual direction, teaching of
philosophy or of theology, pastoral leadership. This implies an
openness to learning the Sulpician pedagogy that is being
How can a priest become a
- To be a
diocesan priest incardinated in a diocese, to have completed at
least two years of parish ministry in his diocese of origin and to
be available to serve in the pastoral works of the Canadian
Province of the Priests of Saint Sulpice.
a priest meets these prerequisites, he may contact the person
responsible for the Sulpician vocations for his region (see the
list below). He will provide information on the periodic meetings
held for the aspiring candidates to the Society and will be in
charge of this first experience with Saint Sulpice until the
moment when the Provincial
will accept him as a candidate. His participation in
these meetings will give him sufficient information about the
Society and the requirements of Sulpician life. This priest will
also be accompanied spiritually in the discernment of his possible
- After this
period of discernment, with the support of the person responsible
for Sulpician vocations of the region, the priest asks his bishop
for a written autorisation to have an experience with Saint
Sulpice. The aspiring candidate then presents his candidacy by
writing to the Provincial
or with the Provincial
First experience with Saint
- If he is accepted and formally admitted as a
candidate, the Provincial
becomes directly responsible for his experience with
the Priests of Saint Sulpice. It then takes over the care of the
candidate and gives him a first appointment within a team of the
Canadian Province from the moment his bishop released him from his
diocesan duties. This first experience in the Society usually
lasts at least two years.
this first experience as a candidate, the priest participates in
the Sulpician formation program:
- Periodic meetings
of the candidates.
- Solitude – a
program of extended formation lasting six months, bringing
together candidates from the provinces of France and Canada.
This formation period offers detailed information on the
history, mission, spirituality and pedagogy of the Society. It
is nourished by intense personal and communal prayer,
celebration of the Eucharist and the Divine Office, group
sharing and individual spiritual direction.
- The Sulpician Month
– is organized about every three years, usually in July in
Paris. This program brings together participants of three
provinces: France, Canada and the United States. This session
has three objectives:
- mutual knowledge of the various participants, their
country and their Church of origin
- learning the history and the traditions of Saint Sulpice
- visit of the sites of Sulpician origins in France.
Whom to contact for more
- Subsequently, after a new discernment, the candidate may
seek temporary admission
into the Society. “As a general rule the interval between
temporary and definitive admission should be not less than one
year and no more than five years.” (Constitutions, Art.
53). If necessary, he completes studies of the 2nd
or 3rd cycle.
- Finally, he may then ask for definitive admission.