A ‘mustard seed’ of faith
FR. MARCEL TAILLON of Legatus’ Providence Chapter is committed to Legatus . . .
Fr. Marcel Taillon
Pastor of St. Thomas More Catholic Parish and St. Veronica Chapel in Narragansett, R.I., Fr. Marcel Taillon, 49, cherishes the “loyalty and spiritual friendship” among Providence Legates. Pivotal to his priesthood were the nuns of his youth. One, now 95, was the parish cook. “Every Sunday between Masses she would teach me a Thomistic virtue,” he remembers. “Hers was a hidden apostolate, but powerful. And, oh, her doughnuts!” She and other sisters told him he had a vocation. It wasn’t until he was a traveling businessman, however, that “everything sort of fermented.”
Tell us about your call to the priesthood.
I felt called around the fifth grade. But in high school I didn’t want to be called. I dated and wanted to be in business. I worked for CVS pharmacies during and after college as an operations analyst and pharmacies systems trainer. During that time I traveled a lot alone. My prayer life and devotion to the Eucharist deepened. I went to Mass often and grew in intimacy with the Lord. I began paying attention to the call again and entered the seminary at 27.
How did you become acquainted with Legatus?
Our former bishop approached me to help form a chapter about eight or nine years ago. I didn’t know much about Legatus at the time.
The members are completely energized, truly evangelical Catholics. Legatus helps form them in their faith and gives them comfort, knowing that they’re not alone in accepting Christ and all the teachings of his Church. They’re leaven in the business community and the diocese. A lot of good things happen quietly as they work hard, but quietly, every day they bring people to the Lord and the Church.
How would you like to see the chapter progress?
We’ve got a relatively steady number of about 25 couples. We’re trying to work on growing, which is hard because Rhode Island is small and not exactly a center of corporate activity. But we have excellent speakers!
In our chapter we pilgrimage to different churches, learn about the saints they’re dedicated to, their different styles of architecture, and meet different priests. Most people tend not to go beyond their home parish. This is another plus that members like.
I’ve become a confessor and spiritual confidant to members over the years, helping them and their families as well. There’s a great sense of loyalty among members of the chapter.
You have a vocation, of course. Any avocations?
I enjoy taking Catholics on pilgrimages: to the Holy Land every year, sometimes offering retreat experiences for the laity and local pilgrimages — basically, taking them outside their comfort zone to experience the wider Church.
I also go to the Dominican Republic every year to work at the Mustard Seed orphanage for severely disabled children and their Christ in the Garbage Ministries. These people scavenge garbage for a living. Many Legates have become involved with Mustard Seed. Last year our Legates donated uniforms to the kids in the Christ the Garbage School. Yes, that’s its name. It’s not offensive to them. The garbage dump is their world, their life.
Can you recommend any particular devotions?
I think that fitting daily Mass into your life is critical and changes your life. It starts as a sacrifice, but becomes an indispensably good habit. You’ll never be sorry if you incorporate daily Mass into your life, starting maybe just one day during the week.
Any advice for business leaders?
Stay humble, grounded, close to the sacraments and the Church. Legatus can be a sacrifice, but it’s a way to commit and stay grounded.
MATTHEW A. RAREY is a Chicago-based freelance writer.