Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 11, 2007
He searched until he found his priesthood
Mario Jubinville to join his twin Martin, a Vilna priest, in his vocation
By RAMON GONZALEZ
"He always was very humble . . . to the point he would receive awards and would hide them."
- Pierrette Jubinville
When his mother Pierrette mentioned this to principals and teachers, they could not believe it, saying kids at that age wouldn't do that and if they did they would not understand it.
"So I questioned them on what they were reading and they seemed to know what they were doing," Pierrette recalled. "Then they reread it again."
Serving at the altar under Father Fernand Croteau, now retired, was an important experience for the lad because the church at the time was packed for all of the Masses.
"I think during those years there was a real sense of the solemnity and of the immense value of the Mass and of the faith there," he recalled. "So a real seed was planted in me vocationally as an altar server."
Jubinville served as an altar boy in Morinville until 1987, when the family moved to Penticton, where he graduated from high school and did his first two years of college at Okanagan University College. "I was studying sciences, physics and calculus, which were a real love for me."
But he cut his studies short because he felt God was calling him to be a priest. He first felt a pull towards the Scriptures and the rosary in Grade 11 "and probably since Grade 12 the question of vocation to the priesthood had become a real question for me," Jubinville recalled.
"It was in my second year of college that I was able to really make the decision for it."
The Jubinville brothers, who did a lot of spiritual journeying together, entered the seminary at the same time. "But to test our vocations, they split us up." Martin was sent to St. Peter's Seminary in London, Ont., and Mario to St. Pius X Seminary in Saskatoon.
Pierrette was pleasantly surprised at their sons' decision. "Knowing what they were doing at school and their marks at school, I would have thought that they would have gone more into the sciences," she said. "So it was a nice surprise in Grade 11 when they said they were going to pursue the priesthood."
She believes Mario's humbleness and empathy will help him greatly in his new ministry. "He always was very humble . . . to the point he would receive awards and would hide them," Pierrette recalled.
"When I would clean up that's when I would find out that he had them. When I'd ask him he would say, 'Martin deserved it too and he didn't get it so it isn't important.'"
In 1993, St. Pius Seminary closed and so Jubinville was sent to St. Peter's in London, where he was reunited with his brother.
But upon finishing his bachelor of arts in 1994, Jubinville began questioning his vocation and took a year off. "I felt I needed to grow a little bit in the knowledge of myself," he said.
"My only ambition is to be a good Catholic priest for the people of God."
- Deacon Mario Jubinville
He returned to study engineering at the University of Alberta only to quickly find that although his love for the sciences had never died, his love for the priesthood was stronger.
"By about the end of the first semester it was very clear to me that it was a vocation," he said. So he switched most of his engineering courses over to philosophy for that year.
Jubinville then spent a few summers volunteering at Camp St. Louis near Bonnyville first as a counsellor and then as a team member.
"This was a very rewarding experience," he said, "because the camp is not so much oriented around games but around an encounter with Christ and an experience of real Christian friendship." There he led the youth and the teenagers in prayer activities and taught them the faith.
With that experience of teaching the faith, he entered religious life with the Dominicans, studying in Ottawa and Montreal. He left the order after four years because he felt called to the diocesan priesthood.
Given that his novitiate with the Dominicans in Montreal had brought back his French, Jubinville decided to approach Bouchard because St. Paul has a number of French parishes. The bishop showed interest and accepted the young man as a seminarian, assigning him for three years at the Grand Seminaire of Montreal, where he did all of his studies in French.
During his Bonnyville internship, Jubinville, who was ordained a deacon Feb. 16, has assisted in the RCIA as well as in teaching the sacraments of initiation to both parents and children preparing for Communion and Confirmation.
"My goal (upon ordination) would be that people could truly come to know how to walk with God," Jubinville said. "God can be part of their lives in all its facets - their friendships, their family, their workplace."
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