In 1825, His Excellency Jean-Jacques
Lartigue, Auxiliary Bishop of Quebec residing in Montreal, founds
a school of theology that is housed in the bishop’s residence. His
successor, the second bishop of the newly erected Diocese of
Montreal in 1836, His Excellency Ignace Bourget, decides in 1840
to entrust to Saint Sulpice this institution that becomes then the
Major Seminary of Montreal. To this end, he signs with Fr.
Joseph-Vincent Quiblier, the Superior of the Seminary of
Saint Sulpice, a concordat concerning the formation of priests.
Under the direction of Fr.
Pierre-Louis Billaudèle, the Major Seminary is first housed
in the east wing of the former building of the College of Montreal
at Saint Paul Street West, near McGill Street. In November 1840,
it receives 19 seminarians: 11 of the diocese of Montreal, 5 of
Kinsgston, 2 of Boston and 1 without a known diocese. In November
1842, it will count 40 seminarians and in the subsequent years,
about 50 students. In 1857, the house occupies a new building
constructed on Sherbrooke Street West, on the site of the Fort de
The Major Seminary of Montreal becomes a faculty of theology
affiliated with the Laval University in Quebec in 1878. The Major
Seminary will become a canonical School of Theology in 1925. After
the move to the campus in 1967, the Major Seminary will become the
Theological Formation of Montreal
in 1988. This Institute is
the place where seminarians continue to receive their intellectual
formation by taking courses in philosophy and in theology with
The program consists of:
- a propedeutic year putting emphasis on prayer, service and
community life, accompanied by introductory courses in the
mystery of salvation, spirituality, the Bible and some courses
- a second year of studies in philosophy ending with the
obtainment of a diploma of major in philosophy;
- a year of study in theology;
- a pastoral year in a parish;
- two years of study in theology which completes the
curriculum for a bachelor's degree in theology;
- one year of pastoral internship before ordination to the
diaconate and to the priesthood.
During the long period of its existence, the Major Seminary of
Montreal was led by 29 Sulpician rectors. The current rector, Fr.
Jaroslaw Kaufmann, PSS directs the Seminary since 2011. The
formation team is composed of 3 Sulpicians and 1 diocesan priest.
In October 2011, the community of seminarians is composed of 3
students in philosophy, 14 in theology, 9 in pastoral year and 5
in pastoral internship. They come from 6 dioceses.