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Pope bestows honour on local priest

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Pope Francis has recognized the life of service of a local Catholic priest, Fr. Guy Albert.

Fr. Albert was notified this week that the pope has named him an honorary “Chaplain of His Holiness”, a title granted for service to the people and contributions to the life of the church.

The honour also comes with the title of Monsignor.

Throughout his 45 years of ministry as a priest, Albert served at 16 different parishes in Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, Sturgeon Falls and many places in between. He is currently the pastor at St. Jean de Brebeuf Church in Sudbury.

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The title of Chaplain of His Holiness is approved by the Pope after a recommendation from the local bishop.

Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie Bishop Thomas Dowd plans to officially celebrate the honour with Msgr. Albert at weekend Masses at St. Jean de Brebeuf Church.

“When Bishop Dowd called me and told me about this news, I said ‘Are you serious?’, and he assured me that he was,” recalled Fr. Albert, “I was astonished, I felt unworthy of this title, thinking what I have done to receive this?”

“The news is still sinking in,” said Fr. Albert, “the reaction of the people that I’ve told – they’re just as happy as I am, and to hear their comments have been really uplifting to me, I am grateful to God for them and all the people I have served.”

“I offer my congratulations and prayers to Msgr. Albert, a priest who has dedicated his life to the people of God,” said Bishop Dowd, Bishop of the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie. “This honour recognizes the dedication and pastoral care he has offered to so many through his priestly ministry, and in particular his special devotion to the people during the pandemic.”

In 2013, Pope Francis altered the process requiring those nominated to be at least above the age of 65, to avoid a type of clericalism in the Church.

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