Provincial Welcome

Very Rev. John C. Kemper, P.S.S., Provincial

Very Rev. John C. Kemper, P.S.S.

Hi, I am Fr. John Kemper, the Provincial Superior of the Society of St. Sulpice, U.S. Province. Welcome to our website. As you explore the site I hope that you come to know us better: Who we are, what we do and even how you can join us—or support us.

We are better known as the Sulpician Fathers. We have an uncommon name and a unique mission: the initial and ongoing formation of diocesan priests. Father Jean Jacques Olier as the pastor of the Church of Saint Sulpice founded a community of diocesan priests in Paris in 1641 specifically to prepare diocesan seminarians for the Roman Catholic priesthood. We, Sulpicians, have been dedicated to the endeavor of forming priests after the heart of Jesus the Good Shepherd ever since.

Sulpicians came to the United States in 1791, arriving first in Baltimore. Since then, we have dedicated ourselves to assisting bishops by providing seminary education and ongoing formation for seminarians and our fellow priests.

I invite you to browse through the pages of our website. And if you sense that you too may have a vocation with a vocation, please especially visit our Become a Sulpician page.

Notes: When describing our ministry to others, we often speak of our apostolate as a vocation within a vocation. What constitutes a vocation within a vocation? The Second Vatican Council teaches that the ministry of forming diocesan priests is “an entrusted work.”[1] While the ultimate responsibility for priestly formation belongs to bishops, they normally confide this ministry to others specially trained to carry it out. Within this context, the Sulpicians understand their vocation as a particular expression of this entrusted ministry, remaining diocesan priests yet released by their bishops to a life-long commitment in service to diocesan priesthood.

The Society accomplishes its vocation by placing itself at the service of those bishops who have confidence in its spirit and ask for its collaboration. The confreres whom the Society places at the disposal of bishops, receive from them the mission required to accomplish their ministry.[2]


[1] Optatam totius ecclesiae, 21.

[2] Constitutions, Art. 2.