The Grand Séminaire de l’Archidiocèse de Montréal (GSAM) is pleased to announce the ordination of two priests for the Diocese of Montreal. Seminarians (already ordained deacons) Réjean Thibodeau and Charbel Daw have successfully completed their eight years of studies and preparation, and each will be ordained as a priest at Masses to be celebrated by Archbishop Christian Lépine of Montreal on June 9 and June 16, 2023, respectively.
“Together we are the Church of Jesus Christ sent out into the world. For this reason, the life of the priest is inseparable from the life of Jesus Christ. The call goes out from the Good Shepherd to form pastors according to his Heart,” says Archbishop Christian Lépine of Montréal. “We give thanks to God for priestly vocations in our Diocese, and we pray in particular for Réjean Thibodeau and Charbel Daw who are about to set out on their ministries. May God grant them to be tireless witnesses of the Good News of Jesus Christ who was Crucified and is Risen!”
“Charbel and Réjean were called to our mission in the Diocese of Montreal to walk together with the people, proclaiming the Gospel and engaging in dialogue with the world of today,” stated Rector of the GSAM Guy Guindon, PSS. “They will need to listen and build relationships with the people, bearing witness that God loves all human beings, without exception.”
Hailing from Ste-Mélanie, Réjean Thibodeau was born in 1959. Even during his childhood, he had a particular love of attending church, offering to serve as altar boy during Mass. He maintained this practice for the rest of his life, going to church every day to attend Mass and always deeply conscious that he was destined for the priesthood.
Nevertheless, he chose to do his studies in business administration at the Cégep in Joliette. After that, he worked for 32 years as night dispatcher for a poultry shipping company.
In his twenties, Réjean had the opportunity to enrol in the GSAM, but health problems prevented him from following through with his mission. Finally, at the age of 55, he decided to resume his journey and set everything else aside in order to dedicate himself to studying towards becoming a priest.
“The word of God always works its effect in the end,” explains the seminarian and future priest for the Diocese of Montreal Réjean Thibodeau. “God really came looking for me.”
Charbel Daw was born in Lebanon. Early in his childhood, his family settled in Senegal, where Charbel grew up and completed his studies. He obtained a doctorate in pharmacy from the University of Dakar. He then did further studies in France, where he took a postgraduate diploma in drug toxicology from the Université Paris V. In 2011, he made the move to Montreal, receiving an MA degree in practical theology at the Université de Montréal.
The seminarian and future priest for the Diocese of Montreal says, “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me,” quoting Galatians 2:20. “That is how I approach this new stage in my life.”
The diaconate is the first degree of ordination. Réjean Thibodeau and Charbel Daw will receive the second degree, that is to become a priest in the priesthood.
The formation required to become a priest generally takes eight years of study and preparation. It has been re-designed in a four-phase format tailored to contemporary realities: first, propedeutics (preparatory stage); disciple formation (philosophical studies stage); configuration to Christ (theological studies stage); and pastoral ministry (vocational synthesis stage). There are presently 12 candidates enrolled in studies to become priests at the GSAM.
The rite of ordination to the priesthood for Réjean Thibodeau will take place at Saint-Paul-de-la-Croix Church, 10215 Georges-Baril, Montreal, QC, on June 9, 2023, at 7:30 PM. The ordination of Charbel Daw will take place at Saint-Fabien Church, 6455 de Renty, Montreal, QC, on June 16, 2023, at 7:30 PM. Archbishop of Montreal Christian Lépine will preside at both ordinations, which will be livestreamed on the YouTube channel of the Diocese of Montreal.
About the GSAM (Grand Séminaire de l’Archidiocèse de Montréal)
Since 1840, the core mission of the Grand Séminaire de l’Archidiocèse de Montréal has been the formation of priests who are deeply rooted in Jesus Christ. The Grand Séminaire has also been a centre for basic general education in philosophy, theology and pastoral ministry for future priests and permanent deacons, offering courses to members of religious congregations and lay people through its partnership with Université Laval’s Faculty of theology and religious sciences. In addition, the Grand Séminaire de l’Archidiocèse de Montréal offers a formation program for the permanent diaconate. Since August 2020, the Grand Séminaire has been established in a new home, close to the people of God. The new location is in Saint-Arsène Parish in the residential neighbourhood of Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie. To learn more, visit our website: gsam-montreal.org