By Dave Guthro
Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland
LEWISTON, Maine — The journey began with a 9-year-old contentedly “playing Mass” at home, employing a plug-in Christmas candle, crackers, and Kool-Aid.
On May 30, the contentment remained, but now joined with certainty that what he was doing was God’s plan as Kyle Doustou was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Robert P. Deeley at the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Lewiston.
“After mature deliberation and prayer, Kyle, our brother, is now to be ordained to the priesthood in the Order of the Presbyterate so as to serve Christ the teacher, priest, and shepherd, by whose ministry his body, that is, the church, is built and grows into the people of God, a holy temple,” said Bishop Deeley.
Father Doustou is the first priest ordained by the bishop since his installation as the Bishop of the Diocese of Portland in February. At 26, Doustou is the youngest priest in the diocese.
“It’s really the one thing I’ve always wanted in life,” Doustou said of his ordination.
“Kyle is ordained to the service of the community of the faithful, which is the Church,” said the bishop. “It is a great responsibility he assumes. I ask you, then, to pray for him and for all our priests.”
During the Rite of Ordination, Doustou promised to exercise the ministry of the word worthily and wisely; to celebrate faithfully and reverently, in accord with the Church’s tradition, the mysteries of Christ, especially the sacrifice of the Eucharist and the sacrament of reconciliation; and to continue to pray without ceasing. He then promised his respect and obedience to the bishop and his successors. Doustou then lay prostrate while the Litany of Saints was sung.
During the Litany of Saints, the faithful joined in calling upon the saints to ask for their intercession to help sustain the man who is being ordained. The most solemn moment of the ordination is the laying on of hands, done in silence by the bishop, before he prays the consecratory prayer or prayer of ordination.
“May he be a faithful steward of your mysteries, so that your people may be renewed in the waters of rebirth and nourished from your altar; so that sinners may be reconciled, and the sick raised up. May he be joined with us, Lord, in imploring your mercy for the people entrusted to his care and for all the world,” the bishop prayed.
Following the prayer of ordination, all the priests present, nearly three dozen, laid hands on
Doustou, who was then vested with the stole and chasuble by Monsignor Marc Caron, pastor of Prince of Peace Parish, and Monsignor Andrew Dubois, moderator of the curia, whom Father Doustou says are two principle priestly inspirations in his life. Now vested, Father Doustou approached the bishop again to have his hands anointed with the oil of sacred chrism. A newly ordained priest’s hands are anointed because it is from his hands that the people of God receive the sacraments. The bishop then presented Doustou with a paten holding the bread and a chalice containing wine mixed with water.
Family, friends, and parishioners from across the diocese attended the ordination Mass at the basilica, which has special significance in Father Doustou’s vocation. He said that when he was a boy, he attended his great-grandfather’s funeral there and, sitting in the front pew for the first time, remembers a sense of awe coming over him. He credited his grandparents, in particular his grandmother, who he calls “the foremost example of holiness in my life.”
Doustou graduated from Saint Dominic Regional High School (now Saint Dominic Academy) in 2005, and received a scholarship to enter the Basselin Scholars program at Theological College, the national seminary of Catholic University. He earned bachelor’s and licentiate degrees in philosophy, a bachelor’s degree in theology, a master’s degree in theology and continues to work on a degree in canon law.
Father Doustou says he is happy to be back in Maine and is looking forward to serving the people of the diocese.