Priests of the Community

From the beginning of the Community, young men received the call to become a priest. Pierre Goursat very quickly perceived the challenge for the Church to have priests sharing with their lay brothers and sisters the same life of prayer, the same desire for holiness and the same fire to proclaim the Gospel. The priests of Emmanuel, incardinated in the dioceses and available for the universal mission of the Church, are called to live fully their community involvement.


"The different states of life are articulated together without removing individual responsibilities but living a fraternal relationship that is based on community belonging." This communion lived between priests and laity becomes as an illustration of the teachings on the collaboration between priests and laity of Vatican Council II.

The Emmanuel Community now numbers 265 priests, more than 80 seminarians, and about 15 young people in a year of discernment (Saint Joseph year). Life and community formation are integral to the journey and discernment of seminarians.

" Being a priest is not a" job "but a vocation in its own right that involves my whole being. To choose to answer the call of God and of the Church is first of all to devote myself totally to God and to give him my whole life. Yes, before I act, I am first given to Christ, whether I have time or not, whether I am overwhelmed or not: I am consecrated to God to give God to the world, to give his presence. " Fr. Paul: Diocese of Paris

The majority of Emmanuel's priests minister in parishes (85 parish missions are currently entrusted to a priest who is a member of the Community). Others have varied ministries with young people (chaplaincies, student homes, schools of evangelization ...) or in hospital chaplaincies. Others finally participate in the formation of future priests.

Some may be sent on mission to other countries or continents. In all these places of apostolate, together with other priests, they form fraternities of life and mission: common residence, daily sharing of prayer and pastoral activities. They also participate in the fraternal and local missionary life of the Emmanuel Community.

Our Calling

In what characterizes the Emmanuel Community more, the priests are called to be:

  • Men burned by the love of the Heart of Jesus, especially in adoration,
  • Living the mission on a daily basis, in compassion and evangelization,
  • Supported by fraternal and community life with their lay brothers and sisters of the Emmanuel Community.
  • Faithful to the teaching of the Church and docile to the Holy Spirit,
  • Incarnated in dioceses and living in the heart of the world to give Emmanuel, "God with us".


The first year of training (so-called propaedeutic or spiritual foundation) takes place at the Saint-Joseph House (Namur in Belgium or Abidjan in Ivory Coast). Young people who have the desire to become priests live there a spiritual year, community and missionary, founder for their call to the priesthood.
They are then sent to seminars or training institutes in Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon, Namur, Brussels, Rome, or Abidjan, continuing their community journey and in contact with the families and consecrated members of the Emmanuel Community. In addition to a philosophical and theological formation faithful to the magisterium of the Church, the seminarians receive a specific formation, both missionary spiritual, in connection with the charism of Emmanuel.



"After my first two years of seminary training, I went on a mission to Manila, Philippines, to serve in a foundation that helps street children. This experience has taught me that true compassion integrates all dimensions of human life. Helping street children means giving them a roof and eating, putting them back on the road to school, surrounding them as much as possible with love and passing on their faith to Christ. This year of mission revealed to me how poor I was. It is to the extent that I accept the mercy of God and those around me that I can authentically serve my brothers. I started the second cycle of theology with a heart filled with everything I experienced. "

"When I was 27, the age limit for my military service as a doctor, I providentially met Fidesco. I had no Christian education and lived a spiritual quest that seldom crossed the Church. In other words, I had never thought of becoming a priest and was full of plans for my future. Both surprised and touched by Fidesco's missionary cooperation goals, I decided to go with them. During the year of preparation, I discovered the Emmanuel Community, Paray-le-Monial and a joyful and authentic Church face that brought down my negative prejudices. In Guinea, I practiced as a dispensary doctor, in very bare living conditions. Every day, with the other cooperants, we went to Mass celebrated in the local language, and had a common prayer. As I went, I reread my life and took more time to pray. One day, before the Blessed Sacrament, looking at the Lord, without thinking of more, I said to him, "I want to put you in the first place." The idea of ​​the priesthood then crossed my mind, but I rejected it because I was not ready. The meeting with the life of Maximilian Kolbe then pushed me forward. Back in France, I resumed my internship, but the question always tapped me. I decided to dedicate the bridge of August 15 to pray until God answered me! And on the second day, I felt the strength to say yes, to give up medicine and devote my life to the priesthood. It was the 50th anniversary of the death of Father Kolbe. At that moment, I felt a deep joy and a great peace invade me. I have never stopped giving thanks! "

"The priest of the Emmanuel Community is at the service of the Church and the world.
He is a man who has been personally touched by the love of God and has heard the call of Jesus to follow him. In response, he seeks, in his daily life, to love Jesus and to serve him. In the daily adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, in listening to the Word of God. This love seizes him and pushes him to meet the men and women of this world so that they in turn discover how much they are loved by God. The priest of Emmanuel is therefore in a special way a priest for the mission. But he also realizes that he needs others to keep this zeal for the mission. He is no better than others and he knows that evangelization bears fruit when it is lived together with other lay brothers, sisters and consecrated people. That's why fraternal life is very important to him! The Emmanuel Community is a family where he knows he can achieve together with his brothers and sisters in the community his call to be holy. In joy, and in a spirit of praise, he seeks to always better serve others and especially the poorest. "

Discerning the Priesthood

The Emmanuel Community offers different means of discernment for men who want to discern God's calling to the priesthood:

The Forum "What do you want me to do for you? " Taking place on the weekend of Ascension, it's a time to ask, listen, and discover the concrete criteria of a call and the means to discern a particular call.
The Deep Water Advance weekend allows you to get deeper into the call of the Lord
The Curé d'Ars Cycle is a cycle of several weekends in the year for those who want to reflect on their vocation.
In Namur (Belgium), the Maison Saint Joseph offers a full year with Christ to discern a vocation of priest in the Emmanuel Community.

"After two years of mission in Senegal, the question of priesthood was working on me and I was willing to do the Lord's will. However, I lived this call as a constraint and I entered the year Saint Joseph in the idea of ​​solving a problem. At first, I was like a lion in a cage. I was used to a certain rhythm! Active temperament, I absolutely wanted to do. This year helped me to immerse myself in being more than in doing it. And to ask me the real questions: Does God really want me to be a priest? If I am a priest, will I be happy? Can I really trust God to the end? However, during this year, several concrete events showed me that God wanted me fully in his service and, at the same time, that He left me totally free to answer Him.

This year Saint Joseph consolidated my prayer life, structured me and allowed me to integrate the fundamentals of my priesthood today. Thanks to the fraternal life shared with other very different brothers, I have experienced that God has the capacity to make us live together as brothers, beyond our differences, provided we choose him. This year gives young people the means to choose holiness and to really ask the question of a call to the priesthood. I learned to welcome this gift: the gift of the priesthood."