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Saint Sulpice Seminary in Montréal (1657)

Saint Sulpice Seminary in Montreal Le Séminaire de Saint-Sulpice

116, rue Notre-Dame Ouest 

Montréal, QC H2Y 1T2

Contact: Fr. Réal Lévêque, PSS, Director
Ph.: (514) 849-6561, ext. 302
Fax: (514) 286-9021
Email: seminaire.stsulpice@sulpc.org

During the first two years after their arrival in 1657, the Sulpicians are housed by the Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph in Montreal's first hospital (Hôtel Dieu), whose location in Old Montreal is presently crossed by the Le Royer Street joining the Saint Sulpice Street with the Saint Dizier Street. In 1659, the Sulpicians build a first residence on St. Paul Street. This residence is located on the north side of the street, opposite the Royal Square, the place where royal edicts and orders were read. In 1676, this square, the central place of activities of Montreal’s life, is sold to the inhabitants by the Sulpicians - landlords of the Island of Montreal - to serve as a public square, where twice a week there is a market with over 30 stalls set up by merchants to sell their products. Presently there is no trace of this residence while the Royal Square remains a public space, part of which is occupied by the Custom House, now converted into a souvenir shop of the Pointe-à-Callière Museum.

Beginning in 1685, the Sulpicians occupy the current Seminary of St. Sulpice constructed according to the plans of Fr. François Dollier de Casson, PSS, superior of the Seminary from 1678 to 1701, who built the central wing of the Seminary (1685), and Fr. François Vachon de Belmont, PSS, superior from 1701 to 1732, to whom we owe the two wings (1705), of which only the west wing still exists. The disappearance of the eastern wing dates from the 1850s. It’s because since 1840, Bishop Bourget entrusts to the Sulpicians the responsibility to form the future priests of the diocese. The Sulpicians consider the construction of a building suitable for receiving both the Sulpicians and the seminarians. The architect and surveyor John Ostell, who works for the Sulpicians, finds himself in charge of overseeing the construction of the new building to replace the ancient Seminary. The work that begun in about 1845 is very complex. Some difficulties and various consultations aiming at solving them, lead to the decision to preserve the place of residence in its current state and to locate the place of formation elsewhere.

Since its construction, the Seminary houses the Superior of Saint Sulpice for New France who from 1663 until the abolition of the feudal system in 1854, manages with a financial administrator the seigniory of Montreal and the seigniory of Saint Sulpice. As of 1717, the administration of the seigniory of the Lac des Deux-Montagnes is added.

The Seminary also houses Sulpicians in residence and, until 2008, the rectory of the Parish of Notre-Dame-de-Montréal.

Thus, even today, the Seminary has a multi-purpose vocation:
•    Provincial House
•    Headquarters of the Provincial Administration of Saint Sulpice
•    Centre of the Archives of the Canadian Province
•    Residence for active or retired Sulpicians
•    Service of infirmary

Initially, the superior of the Priests of Saint Sulpice in Montreal assured himself the management of the House with the Provincial Bursary who now bears the title of the Provincial Financial Administrator. Today, in order to concentrate himself on the animation and the direction of the Canadian Province, the Provincial Superior, with the four consultors of the Provincial Council, appoints a director of the House. It is up to this director to lead the community of residents and to provide various services.


Saint Sulpice Seminary in Montreal.

ed @ Peter Krasuski Source

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