On Friday, June 10, at Saint Germain Church, Christophe Guillet will be ordained a priest for the diocese of Montreal. In anticipation of his upcoming ordination, the future priest answers some questions about himself and his vocation.
How have you encountered the Lord?
It hasn't just been once, but many times, in different situations, at different stages of my life, in different places. Consistently though, as with the pilgrims on the road to Emmaus, when I finally become aware of the presence of the Lord, He is no longer there, but my heart remains aflame. What remains in my heart is this desire to be always seeking God, always journeying.
At what age, or at what moment of your life, did you begin to ask yourself the question of your vocation?
It was when I was 26, when I arrived in Quebec-which was also the occasion of my return to the Church-that this question began to arise for me. Many times, people in the Saint-Édouard de Montréal parish asked me if I had ever thought of becoming a priest. So I began a journey of vocational discernment-and a long fight against the call. God was the strongest, in the end.
Did you have influential encounters during your years of formation in the seminary or in your pastoral internships?
It was the baptised members of the parish that impressed me the most with their simple yet profound faith. I think especially of Jocelyne who never ceased, for the duration of my formation, to repeat to me that God doesn't call those who are capable, but instead He renders capable those whom He calls. My internship tutors, Alain and Alain. Two biblical scholars: M. Robert Mercier p.s.s. and M. l'Abbé Marc Girard. More than their knowledge of the Bible, it was their love of the Word of God that they transmitted to me. The monks of Saint-Benoît-du-Lac.
What attracts you, in the priestly ministry? What are your discoveries?
Amongst other things, I like to explore the Word of God and share my discoveries, to welcome people and celebrate the different stages of their lives, the sacraments, the gifts of God in their lives, to accompany them.
My most beautiful discovery is the greatness, the beauty of those who have been baptised.
What quotation have you chosen for your ordination?
"Go out and make disciples of all the nations ... " (Matt. 28:19)
The second person plural ("allez" in French) reminds me that Jesus doesn't address himself solely to me but to all the members of His body. He doesn't address only priests, but all the baptised.
My baptismal vocation is to nurture the love of Christ amongst people of all conditions, all nations, all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, who are present in the region of the Montreal diocese.
My priestly vocation is to enable the baptised to whom I am sent to become missionary-disciples of Christ.
What makes a good priest today?
It seems to me that a good priest is a man who knows how to recognize the charisms of the baptised people who surround him and who knows how to put to work everything required in order for them to exercise their charisms to their full capacity, to find their fulfilment, to contribute to the coming of the Kingdom of God.
It seems to me that a good priest is a man who knows how to identify the hungry of our world and, with the help of Christ, to fill their needs.
That said, I still have to learn how to be a priest and to serve like one. Maybe my opinion will change with experience.
Is this a path of happiness?
It is a path of testing. But the Bible tells us that each person, who accepts the call to put themselves at the service of the Lord, is tested.
At the same time, God doesn't call us to misery, but to happiness.
His service fills us with joy, a joy that nothing can change, not even the weight of trials.