Last Updated: Tuesday - 01/04/2011
November 19, 2001
Bouchard loves years spent working with seminarians
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON — Father Luc Bouchard was eager to begin his second year as rector of St. Joseph's Seminary when he received the tap on the shoulder to become bishop of St. Paul.
While he accepted the new challenge, one senses that he found it hard to give up his job as rector. Although installed as bishop on Nov. 9, he will not move his belongings to St. Paul until after the academic term ends at the seminary in December.
His love for his work at the seminary was evident during his installation Mass when he asked the seminarians present to stand up and be acknowledged by the congregation.
"I've had two loves in my priesthood - being the pastor of a parish and the formation of future priests," Bouchard said.
Forming future priests "is a very rewarding ministry, especially when you get to attend the ordinations," he told the WCR.
Bouchard served on the formation team at St. Joseph's Seminary from 1990 to 1994. Then he was asked to return to his Ontario diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall to serve in a parish. He served there for five years before he was again asked to help with the formation team in Edmonton.
This time, after a year, the rector, Father Jean Papen, died after a battle with cancer. Bouchard was asked to become the new rector.
In seminary formation he said he has had the opportunity to see God working in the hearts of people. "I'm always humbled by the fact that people want to give their lives to the Church, to give their lives to Christ and make a sincere effort to discern that."
Many of these candidates have come to the seminary after several years in a career, he said. "It's not a decision they make lightly."
The dioceses have given the seminary formation team a great responsibility in asking them to help their potential priests discern their vocations.
"Sometimes it's not easy because you have to make important decisions. Sometimes you have to tell a person that they do have a vocation," he said.
Bouchard said his work in seminary formation has been challenging and demanding. "But when you give yourself fully to your ministry, your love comes out.
"That love has been returned to me a hundredfold. You learn to give of yourself through the example of those who give of themselves to their vocations."
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