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Newly-ordained priest, 77, insists: Age just a number

Newly-ordained priest, 77, insists: Age just a number

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After decades of service to the church, Fr Paul Bousignac was ordained a priest at the age of 77 on Thursday afternoon.

Bousignac was ordained before two of his relatives at the St Joseph RC Church by Port of Spain Archbishop The Very Rev Jason Gordon.

After his Mass of priestly ordination, Bousignac told Newsday he was grateful for his appointment to the priesthood and, despite the challenges posed by the covid19 pandemic, he was committed to serving God and his community.

“There will be difficulties because, taking my age into consideration, I will have to watch the crowds and stuff like that. So it will be a challenge, but I will rise to the challenge by following the normal protocols, but my health is still relatively good.”

Bousignac is the father of three children – Christa, Christian and Pierre.

During his remarks after his ordination, Bousignac joked that Gordon stood out among all the archbishops he knew as the only one who issued a challenge to the elderly to join the priesthood.

“You (Gordon) saw the worth of retirees for religious occasions and you never failed to put out the challenge. And the challenge is this, ‘If you believe God is tugging at your heart, call Fr Matthew D’Hereaux.’

“I answered the call. You have challenged young, middle-aged and the elderly, and from the depths of my heart I say thanks to you for trusting me to join in the ministry of the secret priesthood at 77 years old.”

Bousignac said he was raised in a religious family and always felt a calling from God since his childhood, a sense of duty he said he carried with him throughout his adult life.

Asked what he intended to achieve as a priest, Bousignac said while his work and instructions would come from the archdiocese, he was passionate about bringing more people to the church.

“I was asked to stay right here (St Joseph) and I will just continue with the masses and so on. It’s about bringing people closer to God and preparing them for eternity.”

During his remarks, Gordon said the role of a priest was not simply to perform ceremonies but to bring people to God through his actions.

“The priest is not just a functionary, not just dispensing rites and rituals that people may need. The priest is asked to bring the sacred mystery to the people of God in everything that he does.”

Bousignac first joined the seminary when he was 25-years-old and was appointed as deacon by then Archbishop Edward Gilbert when he was 68-years-old.

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