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Any man over the age of 18, who is considering the priesthood, but has not yet decided to become a seminarian, can participate in Cardinal Muench Seminary’s Vianney Program for one academic year. At the completion of the spring semester, the young man is expected to enter the seminary or follow another path the Lord indicates.

Participants in the program can be a student or be working, as long as he is able to meet the program requirements (required classes are held weekly). It is ideally suited to college freshman who feels he is not ready to commit to seminary formation. While giving him the spiritual tools to rightly discern God's call, the program also imparts skills needed as a seminarian.

A resident in the Vianney program learns how to listen to God and lives in an environment of solitude, which he needs to consider whether God is calling him to be a priest. He lives in community, follows a Rule of Life, is taught traditional Christian spirituality, and particpates in liturgy (daily Mass, Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Eucharistic Adoration), Days of Recollection and the annual retreat. He meets on a regular basis with a spiritual director and formation advisor. The individual is responsible for all expenses related to his participation in the program.

Anyone interested in the program should contact Cardinal Muench Seminary for a brochure.

St. John Vianney: Patron of Parish Priests

St. Vianney

St. John Marie Baptist Vianney was born to a farming family in France in 1786. Because of the French Revolution, his family practiced the Faith clandestinely. He was ordained a priest in 1815. He served as the pastor of the parish in Ars from 1818 until his death on August 4, 1859. He is known for leading a life of holiness and mortification, and for pastoral service, especially the celebration of the Sacrament of Confession. He is the patron saint of parish priests; his feast day is August 4th.

“The priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus”
- St. John Vianney

In honor of the 150th anniversary of St. John Vianney’s death, Pope Benedict XVI has declared a “Year for Priests.” It began on June 19th, 2009, and will conclude in June 2010. During this special year all people are encouraged to ponder the gift and mystery of the priesthood of Jesus Christ, and to pray for santification of His priests, that they may be greater conformed to the heart of Jesus, the Great High Priest.