The foundation of the SJMV
"The Curé d’Ars continues to be, for all countries, a unique model, both for the fulfilment of the ministry and for the holiness of the minister."(John Paul II— translated from the French)
The Society of St John Mary Vianney (SJMV) is an association of diocesan priests, founded in April 1990 by the Right Rev. Guy-Marie Bagnard, Bishop emeritus of Belley-Ars. It seeks to contribute to the renewal of the diocesan priestly vocation by responding to the call of the Second Vatican Council. "Moreover, in order to enable priests to find mutual help in cultivating the intellectual and spiritual life, to promote better cooperation amongst them in the ministry […], it is necessary to foster some kind of community life or social relations with them." (Vatican Council II, Presbyterorum Ordinis, n. 8)
The SJMV sees in the figure of the Holy Curé d’Ars the essential features of priesthood lived out in accordance with the Tradition of the Church. It considers his life to be a call and a path to priestly holiness for the present day.
The members of the Society respond to their calling in a total consecration of their life, imitating ever more closely what they celebrate in the Eucharist. Deeply aware of the intimate brotherhood which binds them together on account both of their priesthood and of the charism that unites them, they reveal this unity through a certain kind of community life in the service of a common mission entrusted to them (see the SJMV Statutes, n. 7).
On Holy Thursday 2002, the Society of St John Mary Vianney was officially made a clerical association of pontifical right, answerable to the Sacred Congregation for the Clergy.
From 29th June 2008, the SJMV has been granted the possibility of incardinating some of its members. The Statutes wich include the possibility of incardination were recognised on the 22nd August 2009.