On June 8, 2012 nearly thirty Sulpicians from around the world gathered in Montreal (Quebec) Canada for a ten-day international symposium on the priesthood. The symposium was planned by the General Council and Provincials of the Society of the Priests of Saint Sulpice in fulfillment of a mandate from the last General Assembly (2008) calling for an interprovincial gathering on some important theme. The meeting is being held at Le Grand Séminaire in the heart of Montreal and will conclude with a final festive Eucharist and banquet on July 18th.
The delegates come from eleven countries in five continents, including France, Canada, the United States, Japan, Vietnam, Colombia, Argentina, Poland, Benin, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Zambia.
The title of the symposium is: Forming Priests for today: Priesthood in the 21st Century in Light of the Traditions of Vatican II and Saint Sulpice.
There are two main theological presenters for the symposium:
• Msgr. Kevin IRWIN, Professor of Theology at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., holder of the Walter J. Schmitz Chair of Liturgical Studies, and author of fourteen books on liturgy and sacraments
• Father Bernard PITAUD, p.s.s., the Provincial of the French Province of Saint Sulpice, an expert on the works of Jean-Jacques Olier, founder of the Sulpicians, and author of several books of Father Olier and other significant spiritual figures in France.
In addition, three bishops with a strong background in priestly formation will address the assembled delegates:
• His Eminence Cardinal Edwin F. O’BRIEN, Grand Master of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre and Archbishop Emeritus of Baltimore
• Archbishop Alberto Giraldo JARAMILLO, p.s.s., Archbishop Emeritus of Medellín
• Bishop Georges SOUBRIER, p.s.s., Bishop Emeritus of Nantes.
The symposium represents a Sulpician response to the upcoming fiftieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) on a topic that is the Sulpicians’ main ministry, namely, initial and ongoing formation of priests.
Although the outcome of the symposium is not yet known, the main results will be circulated in all the Sulpician houses around the world to assist priestly formators in their ministry. Acting as host of the symposium is the Sulpician Superior General, Ronald D. WITHERUP, p.s.s. and the General Council. Father Robert MALONEY, c.m., former Superior General of the Vincentians, will function as the meeting’s animator.
More pertinent information about this symposium will be posted on this website as it becomes available.