On Monday 6 July 2015, another month-long formation program for new Sulpicians began at the Sulpician Seminary at Issy-les-Moulineaux, just outside Paris. Sponsored by the Generalate of the Society of the Priests of Saint Sulpice, the program is held every three or four years for all new Sulpicians from around the world. This year there are twenty-two participants from the three Provinces of France, Canada, and the U.S.A.
Participants hail from 8 different countries: France, the United States, Benin, Vietnam, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, China, and Zambia. A team of animators designs and coordinates the program, in which the General Council and the Provincials also participate briefly to provide an overview of the Society’s structure and function. The team this year is coordinated by Father Jean-Louis ROUILLIER, of the faculty of Le Grand Séminaire at Issy-les-Moulineaux. He is assisted by Fathers Argiro RESTREPO of the faculty of Le Grand Séminaire de Montreal, and Gerald McBREARITY of the faculty of Theological College in Washington, DC.
A major part of the program includes pilgrimages to a variety of sites, throughout France that are tied to the history of the Society, including Paris (Saint-Sulpice, les Carmes), Lyon, Le Puy-en-Velay, Langeac, Pébrac, Chartres, and Ars. Representatives from other congregations from the French School of Spirituality, notably, the Vincentians (Lazaristes), Eudists, Mission Etrangère de Paris, and the Oratorians, also give short presentations on their communities and their relationship with the Sulpician tradition.
This program began in 1981 and has had an enormously positive effect on the Society of Saint Sulpice, highlighting our international ministry of priestly formation on five continents, and promoting inter-provincial cooperation.
Below are a few pictures from the opening day of the mois.