The following is a translation of the account in French of the foundation of the House of Formation of the Institute of the Good Shepherd in Rome that is to be found on their website:
"From the foundation of the Institute of the Good Shepherd, Father Philippe Laguérie, Superior General of the Institute of the Good Shepherd, wanted to give a specific training of our seminarians: they follow their studies of philosophy in our 'first cycle' Seminary, to receive, in silence and prayer, a solid education and a knowledge of the Aristotelian and Thomist school. The 'second cycle', that of theology, takes place in Rome at the Pontifical Universities, in conjunction with many courses given by members of the Institute of the Good Shepherd, in order to seal our scholastic specificity and to give them a better understanding of the contemporary issues and the intellectual challenges that lie ahead of them.
There are various reasons for studies in Rome:
- It is important that these future priests, proud of their beliefs and their commitment, in line with the statutes of the Institute complete, their training in Rome, close to the See of Peter. Indeed, studying in Rome is always a source of many graces and forever mark the priests who have had this opportunity, giving them a depth of vision, at once Catholic and universal.
- Since the Institute of the Good Shepherd wishes to train priests who can work at the heart of the parishes but also address the serious intellectual and cultural crisis today, it is fundamental that they can study at the Pontifical faculties and obtain university degrees.
- By receiving this training, both of the University (3 hours per day) and our theology courses (3 hours per day), they will have the privilege to understand all the issues and challenges of the major problems of today.
Based on these motivations, the Abbé Laguérie sent to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, on 26 March 2008, a letter introducing the Roman project. Less than 10 days later, the personal secretary of the Supreme Pontiff, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, advised, by telephone, that the attention of the Pope had been given to the letter of Abbé Laguérie and his keen interest in the project, and his personal support for it. A week later, our community in Rome was received by His Eminence Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos who, in the presence of all the officials of his Commission: "This project is one of the greatest of which I know! It extends beyond the interests of Institute of the Good Shepherd, as it is of immense value to all communities, but also for the whole Church."
Thus, with his close collaboration, and that of the Secretary General of the Vatican and the Vicariate of Rome, a new home was found to receive the 2008-2009 academic year, our new theologians.
But this house, desired and supported by the Holy Father, is very costly: we need you to meet this challenge with great energy. This is a bold project with the promise that your future priests receive training outside the common and that traditional vocations will be still more numerous in Rome and much better known. The price of rent reaches 2,500 euros per month, excluding various expenses, caretaking, fresh water, electricity, heating. This brings the annual budget to 50,000 euros. This is a colossal sum and the subject of great concern. We are very confident because, with faith firmly fixed, we follow the advice of the Divine Master, who commanded us not to worry about those things that concern the pagans ... But the other great reality is that we greatly need your help, both through your prayer and through your material support. Your help is the future of this promising enterprise!