After only four years, the Institute of the Good Shepherd's Seminary of St. Vincent de Paul has seen remarkable growth both in numbers and in strength. Recently, news was posed in French on their website. It translates roughly as follows:
After the ordinations of July 4 at St. Anne d'Auray, where Fathers Beaugrand and Raffray were ordained, the seminary has (almost) emptied of its occupants for a well deserved holiday before a sizeable inflow. Indeed, the seminary is entering its fourth year and this means that we open the cycle of theology in September 2009. For the more senior seminarians who have completed their year of spirituality and their two years of philosophy Courtalain will be able to continue their training on site by commencing the study from September of Catholic theology. This is a milestone because it shows that the seminary of St. Vincent de Paul has reached a certain maturity that allows it to provide comprehensive training for future priests.
The venture commenced three years ago when there opened in France a traditional seminary under the auspices of the Institute of the Good Shepherd that we hoped would be successful and that, by the Will of God, we would be able to answer the call of the Pope who recalled the necessity of the seminary in the life of the Church during his catechesis on 19 August:
"Foundations laid during seminary training, are the irreplaceable "spiritual soil", in which we can "learn Christ" by gradually letting ourselves be configured to Him, the one true High Priest and Good Shepherd. Time at the seminary should be regarded as the realization of the moment when the Lord Jesus, after calling the apostles before sending them to preach, granted their request to stay with him (cf. Mk 3 14).
The faculty of the Seminaire St. Vincent has changed this year as l'Abbé Henri Forestier, IBP, having successfully undertaken for three years the heavy task of the foundation of this house, has left the seminary to direct the Little Sisters of the Good Shepherd full time; l'Abbé Yannick Vella leaves the faculty to join the staff of the parish of Saint-Eloi in Bordeaux. We wish to express our gratitude for the work they have completed while at the seminary.
Providence is good. Since l'Abbé Emmanuel Ducla, IBP has been conferred with his licentiate in Canonical and Dogmatic Theology this month, he will begin to teach these subjects to the Fourth Year Seminarians. l'Abbé Leszek Krolikowski will continue to give courses in philosophy and moral theology, in addition to his PhD in philosophy at the Angelicum in Rome. The younger generation of the Institute is will represented by l'Abbé Stefano Carusi who will undertake the teaching of Latin and Greek and Ecclesiastical History. l'Abbé Matthew M. Raffray begins his first year of priesthood by teaching our courses in philosophy and theology.
Finally, I will assume the office of rector of the seminary and undertake particularly the education of first-year seminarians and ensuring the general introduction to Sacred Scripture. We will be aided by some outsiders who transmit their knowledge and apostolic flame, especially l'Abbé Paul Aulagnier through his course on the recent history of the Church.
Seminarians return to Courtalain Saturday, September 19 and will begin the year with a retreat preached by l'Abbé Chanut which will launch the Holy Year of Priests of the Holy Father. Then we receive the fourteen new candidates that come from around the world to increase the Institute of the Good Shepherd. With twenty-seven seminarians, three brothers and five teachers, the house begans to crack at the seams and this presents us with difficulties of all kinds. It is urgent for us to make the investments necessary to accommodate these young people open to God. Also, we are asking for your generosity to give us the means to carry out the noble work of training future priests.
l'Abbé Roch Perrel, IBP