Alexander Boucher of Biddeford is a candidate to become a Catholic priest for the Diocese of Portland and and will have a Mass celebrated in his honor by Bishop Robert Deeley in Portland on Friday. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Alexander Boucher of Biddeford is a candidate to become a Catholic priest for the Diocese of Portland and and will have a Mass celebrated in his honor by Bishop Robert Deeley in Portland on Friday. SUBMITTED PHOTO

BIDDEFORD — After years of studies and preparation to enter the priesthood, a Biddeford seminary student is nearing his dream.

Alexander Boucher of Biddeford is currently in what’s called second theology, his fourth of six years of studies at Saint John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts.

Diocese of Portland Catholic Bishop Robert P. Deeley will celebrate a Rite of Candidacy Mass for Boucher at 5 p.m. Friday at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland.

During the Mass, Deeley will publicly express Alex’s desire to be accepted as a candidate for the priesthood and Boucher will promise to prepare himself in mind and spirit to “give faithful service to Christ the Lord and his Body, the Church.”

Boucher, the son of Daniel and Lisa Boucher of Biddeford, grew up here and attended St. James School in the city. 

“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 attending classes at St. James, Boucher became involved in the activities of Good Shepherd Parish 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.”

He went on to attend Cheverus High School in Portland and assisted in the devlopment of a youth ministry program in the Biddeford/Saco area. Boucher also served for two years as a member of the former Maine Diocesan Council for Catholic Youth.

Boucher earned a bachelor’s degree in Theology and Religious Studies from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

“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,” Boucher said.

In college, he participated in an array of volunteer and professional work experiences that provided him with a wider view of the Catholic Church.

He was involved with the Knights of Columbus, along with being active in campus ministry and a men’s discernment group, and served regularly at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Boucher also worked as a project administrator for the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management in Washington, D.C.; served as program and operations manager for the Catholic Apostolate Center in Washington, D.C.; and as an intern in the Office of the Vicar General for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA. In addition, he worked as a pastoral associate for the Portland Peninsula and Island Parishes.

Regarding his calling to the priesthood, Boucher says that several diocesan and religious priests helped him make his decision.

“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.”

For priest candidates in the Diocese of Portland, the Rite of Candidacy Mass is celebrated as the seminarian draws closer to ordination to the transitional diaconate.

Deeley said that while 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.

Boucher said as he approaches the next step of his journey toward the priesthood, he’s 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,” he said. “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.”

— Executive Editor Ed Pierce ca be recahed at 282-1535 ext. 326 or by email at [email protected]

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