Bishop Richard J. Malone administers the Laying on of Hands ritual on Emile H. Dube during the ordination into the priesthood ceremony on Saturday at Holy Family Church in Lewiston.
LEWISTON — “Emile, I think the assembly approves.”

Bishop Richard J. Malone, of Portland, spoke these words to the Rev. Emile Henri Dube in response to the prolonged and obviously heartfelt applause that filled Holy Family Church on Saturday morning.

Dube, a 60-year-old Lewiston native, had just been called forward by Malone to be ordained into the order of the Catholic priesthood.
 
For Dube, the words — and the ordination — came after what is a lifetime spent in service to the people of God, and they were an answer to the joy filling his heart.
 
“Praise God for this wonderful day, praise God for this wonderful day,” Dube said, looking out over a gathering that included the families of his four brothers, Richard, Paul, Phil and Bernie, as well as his sister, Suzanne (deceased), and scores of friends collected through the years and brought together this one day.
 
Most of the dioceses’ 62 active parish priests, and many retired priests, participated in the ancient tradition of the laying on of hands.
 
The church nave had been nearly filled for the ceremony, and afterward, the church basement reception area, packed.
 
“Ordination day is one of the highlights of a bishop’s ministry,” Malone said. “Emile is a wonderful man. He will be a very fine priest, we are very fortunate to have him.”
 
Dube has served for 35 years as a brother in the Catholic order of Salesians of St. John Bosco in New York.
 
Included on the list of places where Dube has conducted his ministry are New Rochelle, Stony Point, and Harlem, New York; South Orange, New Jersey; Columbus, Ohio; Marrero, Louisiana; and Eight Mile Rock and Nassau, Bahamas.
 
Most of his work has been in religious education and youth ministry.
 
The Rev. Monsignor Simeon Roberts, a member of the contingent who traveled from the Bahamas, noted that several in attendance had been in Dube’s youth groups back in the 1980s.
 
“Emile made a great contribution to our youth ministry throughout the Bahamas. He is remembered to this day,” Roberts said.
 
Sister David Mary, a member of the Sisters of Mercy in Portland and now semi-retired after 40 years spent in the Bahamas, also knew him during his six years in the islands.
 
“He is marvelous with youth,” she said.
 
The Rev. Robert Vaillancourt, one of the principal concelebrants at the ordination, noted that he and Dube “went to high school together, here at St. Dom’s.”
 
“A wonderful man. His biggest role was director of development for the (Salesians) order,” Vaillancourt said.
 
“During the time he was a brother he always felt a calling to the priesthood. He came to a point where he had to say ‘yes’ to that,” Malone said, “It’s been beautiful watching him progress in his years of study. He’s going to be assigned to Caribou.”
 
Dube prepared for the priesthood at Blessed John XXIII Seminary, in Weston, Mass., where he received a Masters of Divinity.
 
He has had three summer placements in Maine: at Good Shepherd Parish, Biddeford (2009); Parish of the Precious Blood, Caribou (2010); and Parish of the Ascension of the Lord, Kittery (2011).
 
Dube will be joining two other priests at the Parish of the Precious Blood, in Caribou.
 
He’s looking forward to his new ministry.
 
“If you really want to be a good priest, it’s not about you, it’s about them. It’s about the parishioners in front of you,” Dube said.


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