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Born in France, and eager to serve Arlington

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Deacon Edouard Guilloux, a seminarian who dreamed of becoming a priest since childhood, will be ordained a priest at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington June 8.

“I have felt called to be a priest for as long as I can remember,” Deacon Guilloux said. “My parents say that I first mentioned it when I was 4 or 5 years old.” 

Born in Fontainebleau, France, his parents moved to the United States when he was 6 months old and to Stafford when he was 6 years old. The third of six children, he and his family are parishioners of St. William of York Church in Stafford.

Homeschooled through high school, which he finished in June 2010, he went straight into seminary. He counts as key inspirations for his decision to enter seminary the example of holy priests as well as his parents’ mirroring of Christ’s self-sacrificial love caring for his brother with Down syndrome.

“My youngest brother, Nathan, has Down syndrome and autism. Growing up with him helped me to see, especially in my parent's example, the importance of embracing the cross through sacrificial love, as well as the inherent dignity and beauty of every human life. Leaving him was one of the hardest things about going to seminary when I first started,” Deacon Guilloux said.

For his first two years of undergraduate studies in philosophy, he attended the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, before he transferred to the Theological College at The Catholic University of America in Washington in 2012. He graduated with a bachelor’s and master’s in philosophy in 2015. That same year he went to the Pontifical North American College in Rome.

He remembered feeling a pang of disheartenment when the McCarrick scandal broke in 2018 but found encouragement through the example of his brother seminarians.

“Even in this time of turbulence in the church and the need for real reform on a very deep level, I am filled with a deep hope because I see great examples of holy priests and I see my brother seminarians who are here with me and who desire to strive for that holiness that the church deserves,” Deacon Guilloux said.

During his summer assignment at St. Veronica Church in Chantilly, he found inspiration as well from witnessing the resilience of its parishioners.

“Many of the different scandals erupted over the summer. I was blessed to be in a parish when that happened because I could see how parishioners weathered the news with deep faith,” Deacon Guilloux said.

“It was also helpful for me to be emboldened to be a part of the solution.”

He added that there is no doubt that he is called to be an Arlington priest.

“The Diocese of Arlington is truly home, and I have reached the conviction that God is calling me to lay down my life for the priestly service to his people here,” Deacon Guilloux said.

His first priestly assignment will be as parochial vicar of All Saints Catholic Church in Manassas.

 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019