Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 12, 2006
Priest nurtures French culture
Fr. Jean-Baptiste Morin founded Morinville in 1891
St. John the Baptist – June 24
By TED FITZGERALD
John insisted that he was but a forerunner of someone much more important.
In his Morinville church, a traditional statue of the saint shows him with a staff topped by a cross while pointing to a lamb (Agnus Dei) at his feet.
Those fortunate enough to be guided through his church by pastor Msgr. Robert Poulin will be appraised not only of the beauty of the interior of the house of God, but also of all the structural and renovation concerns associated with a 99-year-old building.
Since his arrival in St. Paul in 1954, the energetic shepherd has held several important positions in the diocese.
On perusal of the furnishings in the church, one sees two are reminiscent of the rural Quebec origins of the original congregation.
Beside the front entrance is a large mirror, a feature required years ago when the ladies of the parish might arrive a little weather beaten from a ride in an open sleigh in midwinter.
The other is an old style wood framed railroad station style clock, always mounted near the sanctuary in plain view of those attending Mass and often close to the pulpit from which homilies were delivered.
Still declining to retire, Father Bob will celebrate the 52nd anniversary of his ordination (in his hometown of Beauceville, Que.) at Morinville June 17 and will join with parishioners in the observance of their patron's day on June 24.
But he will still be involved with not only his regular pastoral duties, but also with a number of ongoing parish projects - cemetery upgrading, beautification of the church grounds, window-restoration and improvements in the parish office computer and telephone systems - a substantial workload for the enthusiastic 77-year-old dynamo.
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