Last Updated: Wednesday - 01/05/2011
October 22, 2001
Gendron named temporary rector for seminary
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
MONTREAL — The former rector of St. Joseph Seminary is returning for a brief second stint that will probably last the current academic year.
Father Lionel Gendron, now the Sulpician provincial superior, will be doing double duty until a permanent rector is named.
In early September, Father Luc Bouchard, present rector, was named bishop of St. Paul Diocese.
Gendron said authorities were not prepared to make a new appointment for rector because the formation team is small.
"It is difficult to take one of them" to be the rector as their offices have already been established for the present school year, he added.
By late April a permanent rector for St. Joseph's Seminary will be appointed, Gendron told the WCR.
Before Gendron's election as a provincial in 1994, he was rector of St. Joseph Seminary from 1990-93.
"I pray that the number of ordinations (in the next 10 years) is going to grow," he said.
The whole Church is "becoming more and more aware of everyone's responsibility and specific role in ministry," said Gendron.
For him it is important that the "community sees its own responsibility" for promoting various ministries in the Church.
"More and more people are becoming conscious of the necessity for various roles in ministry in the Church," he said. "With that will go the possible growth in the number of ordinations in the coming years."
Gendron, who was first elected provincial in 1994, is serving his second term after re-election in July 2000.
He entered the seminary in 1965 just before the last session of Vatican II was over. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Montreal in 1969.
"After Vatican II, there was crisis in different seminaries," Gendron recalled. "Most people were trying to find out where they fit."
Looking for his own specific place in ministry, he decided to become a Sulpician as he became interested in the ministry of priestly formation.
"The different dimensions of priestly formation were evolving at that time," said Gendron, who began his journey with the society in 1970 and was fully accepted in 1972.
Gendron saw changes happen in the manner of seminary formation. The most notable for him is the way the seminarians are prepared for pastoral ministry.
"The pastoral dimension of seminary training was already evolving at the time I was a seminarian," he said.
He remembered visiting schools and ministering to the students.
"Today it has become more and more important," said the 57-year old priest.
"More supervision for a seminarian on training is given nowadays," he observed. "I think this is a better means to help seminarians," he said.
"Pastoral formation is stronger in this sense because we are more accurate," he added.
As a seminary formator, Gendron believes that the greatest need of seminarians is always "the relationship of love with Jesus Christ."
This love has to be reflected in the life of the seminarian within the Church and within the community, he said.
For him, it is another way of saying that "seminarians should have the heart of the Good Shepherd."
The different aspects of seminary formation - spiritual, intellectual, pastoral, human and community life - "help in building the heart of a Good Shepherd."
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