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Diaconate ordination a ‘promise’ to God

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As a French-born American, Edouard Guilloux grew up knowing the Catholic Church was bigger than his home parish. But studying at the Pontifical North American College in Rome for the past few years has brought him a greater awareness of the universality of the church and a little closer to his French roots.

Guilloux was born March 4, 1992, in Fontainebleau, France, to Jean-Marc and Valerie Guilloux, the third of their six children. Shortly after his birth, the family moved to the United States, settling in Georgia for several years before moving to Stafford. Guilloux and his siblings were home-schooled, which helped them keep up their French, he said. They attended St. William of York Church in Stafford.

Guilloux said the idea of being a priest “grew along with me. The big shift came in high school, being involved with youth ministry and Quo Vadis,” a diocesan-run summer retreat for high school men considering a vocation to religious life. Learning how to pray better and more often, in addition to the example of great priests in Georgia and Virginia, led him to apply to seminary after he finished high school. 

For two years, he attended the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, and spent three years at Theological College in Washington. In 2015, he began his studies in Rome. 

Guilloux loved living in the “heart of the church” and interacting with Catholics from all over the world. He also has been able to visit relatives in France, including his grandparents. “That has been a real surprise blessing, getting to know my extended family,” he said. 

Guilloux and four of his fellow seminarians will be ordained to the transitional diaconate June 2 at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington. “It's very exciting, and a little bit intimidating,” he said. “We’re never completely ready, but the church has said you're ready enough.” 

Though occasionally seminarians studying in Rome are ordained there, he’s grateful he’ll be in the diocese for this important occasion. Guilloux will conclude his studies in Rome next year. 

“It’s a big moment — the most decisive moment in our lives up to this point besides our baptism,” he said of his upcoming ordination. “(The ordination to the transitional diaconate) is when we make promises — giving ourselves to God and the church.”


© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018