Founding chaplain revels in Legatus experience
Providence chaplain brings a wealth of experience and passion to Legatus . . . . .
Father Marcel Taillon
Fluent in three languages, Fr. Marcel Taillon can’t say enough about the men and women he serves as chaplain. The former businessman says that his priesthood is enriched by his interaction with Legatus members. Earlier this year, he led members to the Legatus Annual Summit in Bermuda, then on a Lenten retreat to reflect on the mystery of suffering. The pastor of St. Thomas More Parish in Providence, Fr. Taillon is also the director of ongoing formation of priests in the diocese.
Tell me about your call to the priesthood.
My call to the priesthood began when I was a young boy. I was always devout, but began to pursue goals in business and goals that distracted me from answering the call. I studied business in college, and then worked for CVS Pharmacies. I was a pharmacy systems trainer, then an operations analyst. I loved that. We computerized pharmacies across the country in the late ’80s. I traveled a lot and met a lot of people.
Once I was in the corporate culture for a while, my prayer life began to take off, and when I traveled I went to Mass wherever I was. That’s when things got more serious. It wasn’t a peaceful discernment. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to leave the job. But if I had known everything I know now, I’d have left the job sooner.
How did you first get involved with Legatus?
Bishop Robert Mulvee, our former bishop, asked me if I would be willing to help form a chapter. I didn’t know much about Legatus at the time, but I worked with Steve and Judy Lynch, our founding couple, and the regional director.
We chartered three years ago and grew quickly. We have a vibrant and growing chapter — and the steady and interested support of Bishop [Thomas] Tobin. We offered a retreat on redemptive suffering this year. We focused on Pope John Paul’s letter Salvifici Doloris on a Saturday during Lent. We had more than 20 people spend the whole day on retreat. It really helped us take our relationships with each other in the Lord to a different place.
What do you try to bring to the members every month?
I get a lot of prayer requests from members, so I try to be a support and an anchor for them in their faith life and their family life. You can sense the Holy Spirit — especially during the Mass. Almost all of our members would say that that liturgies are the best part of being in Legatus. We’ve had great speakers, but the Masses and the spiritual support for each other are the foundation of the chapter.
What impact has your involvement with Legatus had on you?
There’s such an openness and support for the Church with Legatus that I find inspiring. I can’t wait for the next meeting. As a priest, you do all kinds of things and not all give you the same amount of personal joy. I enjoy the great speakers, but more importantly, praying with members and seeing them interact. They’re all trying to serve the Lord sincerely. They have great enthusiasm and great joy, and it’s not an empty piety.
What are some of your other hobbies?
I love to read, spend time with friends and travel to other cultures when time allows. I am looking forward to attending the international retreat for priests with many brother priests in France this fall. My favorite saint is John Vianney. He’s a model for diocesan priests, and it will be great to pray with so many brothers in such a special place during the Year for Priests.