The Holy Year Door Opened

On 13 December 2015, the third Sunday of Advent, there was a special ceremony at the Church of Saint-Sulpice in the 6th arrondissement of Paris to open the Holy Door for the Holy Year of Mercy. Saint-Sulpice is one of the special “jubilee churches” designated by the Archdiocese of Paris to promote pilgrimages and the sacrament of reconciliation throughout the year of mercy, which will run from 8 December 2015 to the Solemnity of Christ the King, 20 November 2016.

Pierre de Martin de Viviés, P.S.S.

History is sometimes made in the most unexpected way. As far as one can tell from the Sulpician archives, Father Pierre DE MARTIN DE VIVIÉS, P.S.S., a member of the Sulpician General Council since 2014, is the first Sulpician to author a comic book that has just been published in France. The book recounts the history of the world-renowned festival of lights held annually in Lyon, France around December 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. (Unfortunately, due the tragic events of November 13, 2015 in Paris, the festival has been cancelled for 2015.)

Sulpician Participation

The Year of Mercy begins on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, 8 December 2015, which is also the fiftieth anniversary of the closing of the Vatican Council II, the Church Council that more than any other sought openness to the modern world and a pastoral response to modern challenges.

The Apostolic Biblical College

November 18, 2015 marked the fiftieth anniversary of Vatican Council II’s dogmatic constitution on divine revelation, Dei Verbum (The Word of God), which helped to usher in a new Catholic appreciation of the Bible as the Word of God.

Jean Longère, P.S.S., Awarded the First Gobert Prize in History

On Friday November 27, 2015, Father Jean LONGÈRE, P.S.S., Archivist of the Society of the Priests of Saint Sulpice and renowned medieval scholar, was given the acclaimed First Gobert Prize in History at the prestigious Academy of Inscriptions and Belles-Lettres in Paris.

Mgr L. Gendron Elected Vice President of the CCCB

Meeting in Ottawa in advance of the upcoming synod of bishops on the family, the Bishops of Canada (CCCB) have elected new leadership.

Most Reverend Douglas CROSBY, O.M.I., Bishop of Hamilton (Ontario) was elected President. A Sulpician, Mgr Lionel GENDRON, PSS, was elected Vice President.

Chinese Edition

The Superior General of the Sulpicians, Father Ronald D. WITHERUP, PSS, remains active in promoting biblical scholarship. One of his books, 101 Questions and Answers on Paul, originally published in 2003 by Paulist Press, has now appeared in a Chinese edition. Studium Biblicum O.F.M. published the book in Hong Kong in 2015. French, Indian, and Korean editions of the same book have also appeared, and a Vietnamese edition will soon be in preparation.

English Version Available Online

Commissioned for the 400th anniversary of the death of Sulpician founder, Father Jean-Jacques OLIER (1601-1657), a history of the Society of the Priests of Saint Sulpice appeared in French in 2008. The author is Father Philippe MOLAC, PSS, a Sulpician historian and patristic scholar. The title of this work is Histoire d’un dynamism: La Compagnie des Prêtres de Saint-Sulpice (Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 2008). It is a product of the Commission for the Study of Sulpician Sources and Traditions directed by the General Council of the Society.

A Collection of Articles in the Sulpician Tradition, July 2015

The French Province of the Society of the Priests of Saint Sulpice has just privately published in French a book by Bernard PITAUD, PSS, an expert in spirituality and in the Sulpician tradition. Titled, La Pratique de la direction spirituelle [The Practice of Spiritual Direction], the 118-page book assembles a series of articles Father Pitaud has written on spiritual direction over the years. This new edition, which includes three articles never previously published, allows more ready access to this rich tradition of the Sulpicians which has appeared in diverse French publications over the years.

Our Lady of Miracles

On Saturday July 11, 2015 the participants of the “Sulpician month” went on pilgrimage to the Church of Notre-Dame des Vertus in the Paris suburb of Aubervilliers. It is the first of several planned pilgrimages to important sites in France related to Sulpician history and spirituality.

Program of Formation for New Sulpicians

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.

An Active Retirement

Mgr Joseph DORÉ, P.S.S., Archbishop Emeritus of Strasbourg, is a noted Sulpician and theologian in Europe and abroad. Dean Emeritus of Theologicum of the Catholic Institute of Paris, Mgr Doré continues to maintain a very active schedule, especially devoting his energies to research and publications in a variety of areas, as well as speaking engagements.

A Ministry of Saint-Sulpice

Two weeks ago, June 1-5, 2015, the U.S. Province of Sulpicians sponsored the twelfth Institute for Formators at The Theological College of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. The Institute is held every couple of years to assist with the formation of formators of Catholic priests. This year the Institute welcomed fifty enthusiastic participants from all around the United States, most of whom are already engaged in seminary ministry.

Two notices

Recent weeks have seen two important developments for the Society of the Priests of Saint-Sulpice. First, a member of the French Province, has been named to a post in Rome at the Congregation for Evangelization of Peoples. Father Guy BOGNON, PSS, Rector of the Major Seminary of Philosophy in Djimé, Benin, has been named an official at the Pontifical Missionary Works, which is directed by the Propaganda Fide. He will oversee certain areas pertaining to seminaries in different countries. Father Bognon will also remain a member of the Provincial Council of the French Province.

Visit to the Eternal City

The General Council of the Society of the Priests of Saint Sulpice held a meeting in Rome the week of April 13-18, 2015 in order to visits several dicasteries of the Holy See. During the week the Council held meetings in the Congregations for Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Evangelization of Peoples. All the visits were both informative and cordial, and the Council felt greatly affirmed in our ongoing Sulpician ministry of priestly formation.

New Buildings as a Sign of Growth

For the last twenty years, the Church in Việt Nam has witnessed a great flourishing in the area of priestly formation. The number of seminarians has grown unceasingly each year. The Major Seminary of Hue, in the center of the country, was placed under the direction of the Sulpicians in 1962, and then again in 1994 at its reopening. It finds itself right in the middle of this blessing, which also brings with it a certain number of challenges.

Takes office in July

Gathered in assembly at St Mary’s Seminary & University in Baltimore, Maryland, nineteen delegates from the U.S. Province of Sulpicians elected Father John C. KEMPER, PSS to be the next Provincial Superior on January 6, 2015. On July 1, 2015 he will succeed the present Provincial Superior, Father Thomas R. ULSHAFER, PSS, who has served in the position since 2008. The Superior General, Father Ronald D. WITHERUP, PSS, was present to approve the election.

January 3-9, 2015

Nineteen delegates and ex officio members from the U.S. Province of Sulpicians are meeting this week at St. Mary’s Seminary & University in Baltimore, Maryland for a Provincial Assembly, the highest authoritative body in the Province. The Superior General, Ronald D. WITHERUP, PSS, is also attending many of the sessions and will be present to confirm the election of the Provincial Superior.

Sulpician Website Hacked

We apologize to our readers for any inconvenience during the last six weeks. Our website was “hacked” by an anonymous group of troublemakers, and it was very difficult to solve the problem and reopen the website. We hope everything has been fixed and the site will now be able to function normally.

The Superior General thanks Father Henri de LA HOUGUE, PSS, for his faithful and able assistance in restarting the website.

Reflections from the General Assembly

During the General Assembly held at the Sulpician Seminary in Issy-les-Moulineaux July 7-9, 2014, one of the themes the delegates discussed was the “new evangelization” in the context of contemporary Sulpician ministry. Below is a short document offering a summary of some of these reflections.

Homily of Superior General

On Saturday, July 19, 2014, the General Assembly of the Society of the Priests of Saint Sulpice concluded its General Assembly at the Sulpician seminary in Issy-les-Moulineaux. The Superior General, Ronald D. WITHERUP, presided at a solemn Eucharist and preached the homily. The prayers came from the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the title Notre-Dame des Vertus. A festive banquet for all delegates , participants, and more than twenty-five guests followed.

11 July 2014

During its General Assembly currently taking place at Issy-les-Moulineaux, the Society of the Priests of Saint Sulpice has reelected for a second six-year term Very Rev. Ronald D. Witherup, P.S.S., as Superior General, and elected four general consultors from various countries representing the Provinces of France, Canada and the United States:

Sulpician Seminary at Issy-les-Moulineaux

One week from today at the Sulipician Seminary in Issy-les-Moulineaux, the General Assembly of the Society of the Priests of Saint Sulpice will begin. Thirty delegates from around the world will gather for two weeks to elect a new General Council and to make decisions setting the orientation for the next six years.