SWITZERLAND | Solemnity of the Trinity Brings Three Secular Priests to the Fraternity
Updated: Feb 15, 2019
PROVINCE OF SWITZERLAND
On the second vespers of the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity, 11 June 2017, three diocesan priests were received into the Priestly Fraternities of St. Dominic at the Convent of Saint-Hyacinthe in Fribourg, Switzerland: Fr Lionel Girard (Diocese of Sion in Switzerland); Fr. Jacques Papaux (Diocese of Geneva, Lausanne and Fribourg in Switzerland); and Fr Nicolas Tousch (Archdiocese of Strasbourg in France).
Fr. Lionel was ordained priest on 29 May 2016, and currently serves as Vicar of the Cathedral of Sion and Chaplain of the hospital of Sion. Fr. Jacques was ordained on 6 July 2014, and currently serves as Vicar of St-Pierre, Sts-Pierre-et-Paul, Ste-Thérèse and St-Laurent parishes (St. Joseph's Pastoral Unit), in the canton of Fribourg, Switzerland. Fr. Nicolas was ordained on 9 June 2013, and currently serves as Chaplain of the Episcopal College Saint-Etienne in Strasbourg.
The journey of discernment for the three priests began through the collaborative guidance of fr. John Emery, OP, of the Province of St. Augustine in Argentina, and Ms. Isolde Cambournac, a lay collaborator of the Dominican Family. All three priests earned their theological degrees at the University of Fribourg, where both fr. Emery and Ms. Cambournac were also pursuing academic degrees.
During the past year of discernment, the priests were likewise assisted by fr. Guido Vergauwen, OP, Prior Provincial of the Province of Switzerland, and fr. Adrian Schenker, OP. After a number of meetings, where they experienced greater acquaintance with the spirituality of the Order, the three diocesan priests finally decided to formally join the Dominican Family and, thus, become the first novices of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Catherine of Siena under the Swiss Province.
Fr. Vergauwen presided over the rite of admission, during which the habit of the Order was given to Frs. Lionel, Jacques and Nicolas. The ceremony was also witnessed by fr. Jean-Michel Poffet, OP, prior of the convent of Saint-Hyacinthe, as well as by other friars not only from the convent of Saint-Hyacinthe, but also from the nearby convent of Saint-Albert (The Albertinum).