Fr Louis Loiseau celebrates his 65th anniversary as a priest this year. He talks about his calling in the latest vocation booklet published this month by the CatholicNews.
Coming from a big family that had raised 15 priests, the 89-year-old missionary said that during his youth, it was normal for young men and women to want to become priests and Religious.
Born in 1926 in France, he was in primary school when he heard his parish priest talk about vocations to the priesthood during his visits to the school. He also heard of the thousands of priests and Religious being killed during the Spanish Civil War and the Mexican war. Such stories fanned his desire to join the priesthood, and at 11, he joined a famous minor seminary in Angers.
Joining the Paris Foreign Missions Society (MEP) Major Seminary in 1944, he was ordained in 1950 and almost immediately posted to Myanmar, where he ran a seminary and ministered to the people in far-flung villages.
As he was able to communicate in Burmese, he and his missionary community were so loved by the people that an insurgent group even fetched him once from his home, to travel through a deep jungle over two days, so he could celebrate Christmas Mass with them.
Fr Loiseau was later posted to the United States to be an assistant procurator of the society. From there, he was posted to Singapore for a short while before going back to his homeland.
He returned to Singapore in 1971, where he would spend a great part of his life ministering to parishioners.
Until recently, Fr Loiseau was involved in archdiocesan movements, such as Marriage Encounter, Engaged Encounter and Choice. He also used to be the chaplain of the Francophone Community in Singapore.
In his typical frank and amusing way, Fr Loiseau answers other questions on vocations and other topics. Catholics are encouraged to get their copies of the vocation booklet together with this issue of the CatholicNews.
related link : Vocation Booklets