June 18, 2019
On the evening of Friday, May 31st, 2019, the Most Reverend Terrence Prendergast, Archbishop of Ottawa, conferred the sacred priesthood upon the Reverend Mr. Luc Poirier, FSSP, in a ceremony that took place at the beautiful Cathedral Basilica of Notre-Dame in Ottawa. Assisting the Archbishop at the altar were FSSP Superior General Fr. Andrzej Komorowski, North American Superior Fr. Michael Stinson, FSSP Vancouver pastor and FSSP assistant Fr. Daniel Geddes, FSSP Montréal pastor Fr. Robert Dow and Fr. Benoit Guichard from Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary.
Also in attendance were three of Fr. Poirier’s four classmates who were ordained in Nebraska one week prior: Fr. John Killackey, Fr. R.J. Oballo and Fr. Daniel Powers. One of the central features of an ordination – the matter of this particular Sacrament, in fact – is the laying of the bishop’s hands upon the heads of the ordinandi, signifying the power of the priesthood that he is passing on to them. He says nothing, the prayer that constitutes the form of the Sacrament taking place a little further on. After the bishop, each of the priests present similarly lays his hands upon the heads of those about to join their ranks (see the cover photo from our post on the NE ordinations). That Friday, the laying on of hands occurred as normal, but included an unusual feature: three new priests, only a week ordained, gave this silent “ordination blessing” to their own classmate when Fr. Killackey, Fr. Oballo and Fr. Powers laid their newly-consecrated hands on the head of Fr. Poirier.
Fr. Poirier hails from the eastern province of New Brunswick, which borders our state of Maine to the west, the province of Québec to the north and the Atlantic ocean and Nova Scotia to the east. Attending the ordination were a majority of our Canada-based priests, who converged on the cathedral from the nearby apostolate in Ottawa, St. Clement, and the more distant but still local apostolates in Montréal and Québec City (of course, by “local” we mean local by Canadian standards: 2 hours and 4.5 hours by car, respectively). And they came from further away than that, flying clear across the country from our apostolates in Vancouver, British Columbia and Calgary, Alberta. While it is not at all a rare event for a Canadian priest to be ordained for the FSSP – we have seven apostolates north of the border and many Canadian priests and seminarians, two in this year’s class with Fr. Oballo coming from Calgary – it was nonetheless an impressive sight to see the priests, most of whom are native Canadians, turn out for the support of their countryman and of FSSP Canada more generally.
Just as the priests in attendance represented the various regions where we work in Canada, they represented the linguistic variety to be found in that country as well. Although Ottawa is a decidedly bilingual area where knowledge of French is not a necessity, it seemed that French was the language of choice of many of the priests and faithful in attendance, and the music of it was heard regularly throughout the course of the weekend’s activities. Fr. Poirier’s own French-speaking roots will certainly serve him well when he begins his first assignment in the predominantly francophone city of Montréal in July.
On Saturday morning at St. Clement, Fr. Poirier celebrated his first Mass, a Solemn High at which Fr. Killackey and Fr. Powers assisted as deacon and subdeacon. Afterwards Fr. Poirier and Fr. Powers bestowed their first blessings on the many faithful there, and if you received a blessing from Fr. Poirier, you were the fortunate recipient of not one but two ordination cards – one in English and one en français! +