The Institute of the Good Shepherd (IBP) is a priestly institute, a "Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right". Our members are secular priests, not religious, even though they may live in community in the Institute's houses. This also means that they are under the direct authority of the Holy See.
It was founded in Rome on September 8, 2006—the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary—under the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI. On that day the statutes of the IBP were approved by the prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Dario Castrillón Hoyos, acting on behalf of the Holy See.
From left to right: Dom Fernando Guimarães, Secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy (now Archbishop of the Armed Forces in Brazil); Rev. Fr Guillaume de Tanoüarn; Rev. Fr Philippe Laguérie; H. Em. Cardinal Dario Castrillón Hoyos, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy and President of the Ecclesia Dei Commission; Rev. Fr. Paul Aulagnier; Rev. Fr. Christophe Héry; Rev. Monsignor Martin Viviès, official of the Congregation for the Clergy. (Not pictured, but among the founders, is Rev. Fr. Henri Forestier.)
In October 2006, an international seminary was founded in Courtalain, in the diocese of Chartres, under the patronage of St. Vincent de Paul. Here, we train the future priests of the Institute. We have many French and Brazilian vocations, but also men from elsewhere in Europe, Latin America and Africa.
On February 1, 2007, the Institute was recognized by Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, Archbishop of Bordeaux. He erected Saint-Eloi church as a personal parish for the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass. Located in the city center or Bordeaux, Saint-Eloi (St. Eligius) is the first and main house of the Institute.
On March 11, 2007, the Institute ordained its first priests in Courtalain. His Eminence Cardinal Luigi de Magistris (a bishop at the time) presided over the ordinations.
In February 2008, minor orders were conferred on the Institute's seminarians in the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the Pope's cathedral. His Excellency Cardinal de Magistris presided again.
On July 4, 2009, two Breton priests were ordained in Sainte-Anne d'Auray by His Excellency Bishop Apignanesi.