A Vibrant Seminary Mission
Dear Alumni and Friends,
Father Jean-Jacques Olier, the founder of the Sulpician Fathers, proposed the following as the guiding principle of his first seminary and the Church of St. Sulpice in Paris: “The first and final goal of the seminary will be to live supremely for God in Christ Jesus our Lord (vivere summe Deo in Christo Jesu), so much so that the inner life of His only Son should penetrate to the inmost depths of our heart and to such an extent that everyone should be able to say on his own account and with complete confidence in the words of St. Paul: ‘It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.’ That should be our only hope, our only thought, and the goal of our activity: to live interiorly the life of Christ and to manifest it through the actions of our mortal bodies.” It is this principle of “vivere summe Deo” that guides the mission of Theological College to form future priests after the heart of Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd and High Priest. To live entirely for God is stressed throughout our Formation Program in all aspects: Human Dimension, Spiritual Dimension, Pastoral Dimension, and Intellectual Dimension. This idea is stressed further by Pope Francis in the Ratio Fundamentalis where he states: “During the process of formation for the ministerial priesthood, the seminarian is a ‘mystery’ to himself… The seminarian is called to go out of himself, to make his way, in Christ, towards the Father and towards others, embracing the call to priesthood.” Pope Francis further states: “The priest is, therefore, called to form himself so that his heart, and his life are conformed to the Lord Jesus, in this way becoming a sign of the Love God has for each person.”
What the Ratio Fundamentalis states the Sulpicians have been doing for over 300 years in their work of seminary formation and Theological College has incorporated this into its program of seminary training for over 100 years. We collaborate with our sending bishops, vocation directors, and alumni to assist the seminarians in our Formation Program to meet the challenges they face in the contemporary world and Church — to live for God alone! Indeed, these are challenging times in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the social unrest we are experiencing as a country and world. We are preparing men to be priests who can bring the compassionate love of Christ to those who hunger for Him and to remind others that God is with us!
We appreciate the financial support and prayers of our alumni and friends who help us to continue our mission of priestly formation and to live entirely for God (vivere summe Deo). As always, feedback, suggestions, and questions are welcomed so that the seminary can adjust its program to make it more effective for an increasingly diverse and multi-cultural ecclesial reality.
On behalf of the American Province of the Society of St. Sulpice and of the Theological College community, I want to thank you for your prayers and support especially as I begin my time as the new rector of Theological College.
May God Be Praised,
Rev. Dominic Ciriaco, P.S.S.