Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 26, 2000
Ont. pastor named new seminary rector
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
Archbishop Thomas Collins has named Father Luc Bouchard, a Cornwall, Ont., pastor and Scripture scholar, rector of St. Joseph's Seminary.
The holder of a licentiate in theology from Ecole Biblic in Jerusalem and a licentiate in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Institute in Rome, Bouchard, 50, replaces the late Father Jean Papen, who served as rector from 1997 until his death May 27.
This is the second time in the past decade that Bouchard, a priest of the Alexandria-Cornwall Diocese, has been a member of the seminary formation team.
He first taught at St. Joseph's between 1990 and 1994, before returning to his native Cornwall to serve as a pastor.
He came back to St. Joseph last year, working closely with Papen in the months prior to his death.
Father Gerard Gaudrault, Father Paul Terrio and Sister Frances McDougall will work along with Bouchard as part of the formation team.
"I'm humbled by this challenge," Bouchard said of his appointment. "I pray to God to give us the wisdom to serve well those seeking (priestly) formation."
To Bouchard, St. Joseph's is not a place to manufacture priests but "a place of discernment of one's vocation" and "a place of preparation for ordination."
The role of the formation team is to "accompany the seminarians as they try to discover the plan of the Holy Spirit in their lives," he said.
"Our goal is to help them become good pastors like Jesus. They are called to work with the people of God and must learn to be servants of the people."
The four-year formation program prepares seminarians in four main areas: human formation, spiritual formation, academic formation and pastoral formation.
Seminarians spend a full year in a parish in order to learn the ropes. "(The experience also) gives meaning to their studies," Bouchard said.
Currently, 30 seminarians are in formation, nine of them completing their pastoral internship.
Born in Cornwall in 1949, Bouchard was ordained to the priesthood on Sept. 4, 1976.
Although he liked teaching as a career, Bouchard said he was always attracted to the priesthood. He gives credit for that to his caring parents who loved him in a way only God could have loved him.
"I became a priest to be a messenger of God's love and to spread the Good News," he said.
Since his ordination, Bouchard has served as assistant pastor and pastor of various parishes in the Alexandria-Cornwall Diocese, including rector of the co-cathedral in 1986 and pastor of Cornwall's Sacred Heart Parish in 1994-99, his last assignment before returning to Edmonton.
Following the completion of his studies in Jerusalem and Rome in 1983, Bouchard became a lecturer and a retreat leader in his diocese. He began teaching at the Grande Seminaire in Montreal in 1988.
Taking over as rector of St. Joseph's might be challenging "but nothing is impossible with the grace of God," Bouchard said. "I'm very hopeful and very confident because I know the Lord is with us."