PORTLAND—Bishop Robert P. Deeley will celebrate a Mass with the Rite of Candidacy for Alexander Boucher (pictured below), a seminarian of the Diocese of Portland, on Friday, December 22, at 5 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland. All are encouraged to attend.
Alex is currently in second theology, his fourth of six years of studies at Saint John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts. During the Mass, Bishop Deeley will publicly express Alex’s desire to be accepted as a candidate for the priesthood. Alex will promise to prepare himself in mind and spirit to “give faithful service to Christ the Lord and his Body, the Church.”
In the Diocese of Portland, the Rite of Candidacy is celebrated as the seminarian draws closer to ordination to the transitional diaconate. While the seminarians have already been in formation for several years, it signifies they have reached a point in their discernment where they and the Church are ready to make their intentions more public.
Alex was raised in Biddeford and attended St. James School as a youth.
“It was as a student there that I first perceived that God might be calling me to serve him and the Church as a priest,” he said.
While in elementary school, he became involved in parish life as an altar server and helped out with the charitable works of the parish.
“Working alongside these people of faith was truly life changing,” he said. “It instilled in me not simply a love of Christ and the Church, but showed me the importance of collaborating with parishioners from all walks of life to build up our local community of faith.”
While attending Cheverus High School in Portland, Alex helped develop a youth ministry program in the Biddeford/Saco area and served for two years as a member of the former Maine Diocesan Council for Catholic Youth.
Alex studied at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., earning a bachelor’s degree in Theology & Religious Studies from the University’s School of Theology & Religious Studies.
“As a college student, I continued to discern that God might be calling me to the priesthood. I was fortunate to be in an environment that was very conducive to this kind of discernment,” said Alex.
During his college years, Alex enjoyed a variety of volunteer and professional work experiences that provided him with a wider view of the Church. He was involved with the Knights of Columbus, was active in campus ministry and a men’s discernment group, and served regularly at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. He worked as a project administrator for the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management in Washington, D.C.; program and operations manager for the Catholic Apostolate Center in Washington, D.C.; and intern in the Office of the Vicar General for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA. Alex also worked as a pastoral associate for the Portland Peninsula & Island Parishes.
Alex credits several diocesan and religious priests with helping him discern his call.
“If you’re thinking about a possible vocation to the priesthood, find a priest to talk with about the stirrings in your heart,” he said. “Pray for clarity and courage to be faithful to the call that you are discerning, ask for the Blessed Mother’s intercession, and turn to the saints for inspiration. Stay close to the sacraments, and make sure that good spiritual reading becomes a part of your prayer life.”
As he approaches Dec. 22 and the next step in the journey toward the priesthood, Alex is eager to continue in formation.“I realize more and more each day that I am simply responding to a call that I have discerned over time. This journey has included great joys and unique challenges. I continue to rely on the assistance of God and the guidance of those entrusted with my formation to conform my life more and more to Jesus Christ.”
All are welcome to attend the Rite of Candidacy Mass on Dec. 22. For more information, contact Dave Guthro, Communications Director for the Diocese of Portland, at (207) 321-7810 or email@example.com.