Discernment and Application Process
The discernment and application process consists of three phases:
1. Informal Discernment. You’ll learn more about the Society of St. Sulpice and possibly visit our Provincial House and Sulpician programs in the Baltimore-Washington area.
2. Formal Discernment. You must obtain written permission from your diocesan bishop to begin the application process.
3. Application. You will submit application materials and meet with the Province’s Admission Committee. The committee will then make a recommendation to the Provincial Council regarding your application.
Release and First Assignment
Once you are accepted as a candidate, the Sulpicians reach an agreement with your bishop to transfer you to the Society on a certain date. This transfer is also called a release.
Still a Seminarian? If you are still a seminarian when you become a Sulpician candidate, you will not be released until you have worked for at least two years as a priest in a parish in your diocese. During this time, you will also participate, when possible, in significant Sulpician events. As a parish priest, you’ll remain under the authority of your bishop and receive your salary and benefits from your parish.
First Sulpician Assignment. When you are released to the Sulpicians, your first Sulpician assignment begins. This assignment usually consists of two to three years on the faculty of one of our seminaries teaching, doing administrative work, offering spiritual direction or supervising the progress of seminarians. You will receive your salary and medical, educational and retirement benefits from the Province. During summer vacations, you will complete the Sulpician Formation Program.
The Sulpician Formation Program
The Sulpician Formation Program takes place during the three consecutive summers of your first Sulpician assignment. The program involves a study of history and the mission of the Sulpicians, training in formation and teaching, and support in spiritual development. It includes a one-month program in Paris with other Sulpician candidates from around the world.
After completing the Sulpician Formation Program, you can ask for temporary membership in the Society of St. Sulpice. If you need further education, you’ll begin graduate studies as a temporary member. During the course of your ongoing assignment or graduate studies, you can request full membership.