Messengers needed for Trinbago vineyard
September 29, 2020
Archbishop praises parish ministries to migrants and refugees
September 29, 2020

Fr Paul fulfils the Call, 52 years later 

By Lara Pickford-Gordon
Twitter: @gordon_lp

In giving himself to the vocation of priesthood at 77 years, Archbishop Jason Gordon said Deacon Paul Bousignac was completing something he felt in his heart as a young man. The intervening years were a purification and now he is ready to give himself to God as a libation poured out for the sake of the Kingdom and whatever God needs.

Rev Bousignac, who was ordained to the permanent diaconate in 2010, was ordained to the priesthood on September 24, Republic Day, at the St Joseph RC Church, St Joseph. He felt a calling to become a priest after the death of his wife Patricia, March 8, 2019.

Archbishop Gordon referred to his (Rev Bousignac’s) first “Call” to vocation at 25 years, saying that afterwards he went through a period of purification like the prophet Isaiah in the Mass’ first reading Isaiah 6:6–13.

“I am sure the hot coal of marriage and children would have purified you sufficiently to understand now this vocation that God asks of you, and I welcome your children here in a very special way,” he said. Rev Bousignac’s children, Christa, Christian and Pierre were in attendance.

Archbishop Gordon said the text was important in showing vocation needs preparation, which requires being plunged into sacred mystery. He called Rev Bousignac’s decision to give his life to Christ at this stage of his life as an act of generosity. “You give to Him now what you have and in that giving you also experience the richness of God’s incredible love,” he said.

Archbishop Gordon in his homily had words of advice for Rev Bousignac. The priest is not just “somebody doing something for people” dispensing rites and rituals. He told Rev Bousignac to understand the sacraments as mystery to be plunged into to encounter the living God.  This is at the heart of what the priest is called to and without it, he is just a “functionary doing this and that”.

In dispensing the sacraments, Archbishop Gordon said the priest is dispensing holy mystery and inviting people to a sacred encounter and to see what they don’t often see.

“The truth of reality that there is more here than the eye can see, and that God is here present in every moment and in a very special way through His sacraments.”

Citing the Second Reading Romans 14:7–12, he noted that the Christian giving themselves to sacred mystery gains a new depth and courage to give themselves to each other.

“We learn how to be our brothers’ and sisters’ keeper and we learn how to care and how to love and how to be there for those most in need and those on the fringe of our society,” Archbishop Gordon said. The priest is called to be a man of love especially for the persons on the margins.

Following the prayer of ordination, Bousignac was vested with his stole and chasuble by Christa and Christian. Fr Bousignac along with Fr Matthew d’Hereaux, vicar for Vocations and Priestly Formation, parish priest for St Joseph, concelebrated the Mass with the Archbishop.

In his thanks, Fr Bousignac mentioned his encounters with the five Archbishops in Trinidad and Tobago. He was particularly grateful to Archbishop Gordon telling him, “You saw the worth of retirees where religious vocations are concerned and you never failed to put out the challenge, and the challenge is this: if you feel God is tugging at your heart call Fr Matthew d’Hereaux.”

Fr Bousignac said he answered the Call after his wife’s death and was thankful from the depths of his heart for the trust Archbishop Gordon placed in him to join the ministry of sacred priesthood at 77 years.

“With the help of God’s grace, I will strive to the best of my ability to serve Mother Church faithfully”. He thanked many others, including his deceased parents, teachers, religious and the seminary staff.