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Bishop Barbarito to new priests: The Eucharist is the purpose of your priesthood

Bishop and new priests

PALM BEACH GARDENS  |  In his homily at the May 4 priestly ordination Mass, Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito recalled the message of Pope Francis to Rome’s deacons becoming priests this year: “Pastoral life is not a manual, but rather a daily offering; it is not a desk job, but rather a ‘Eucharistic adventure.’”

“You are being ordained a priest during the course of the Eucharistic Revival within our nation,” Bishop Barbarito told the two men being ordained, Transitional Deacons Jean Serge Dubé Jr. and Deacon Joshua Martin. “Eucharistic adventure describes well the excitement, the joy, the purpose, the value which the Mass is for each and every one of us, and in a particular way you as the celebrant, the presider at the Eucharist, will possess. Eucharistic adventure is what your priesthood will be all about.”

Joined by hundreds of their family members and friends at the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola and many more watching the livestream online, the bishop thanked the two men for “listening and discerning the Lord’s call to your life and following that call to this day.”

Calling to mind the Gospel proclaimed at the liturgy, John 15:9-17 — in which Jesus says, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy might be complete” — Bishop Barbarito said, “We ask that, as you receive this great blessing from the church this day, you will continue to grow in the joy, the great joy, that the Lord spoke about in the Gospel, which the priesthood brings.”

Reminding the men of their roles, he said, “The church exists, pure and simple, for the celebration of the Eucharist. The church exists for the celebration of the Eucharist, and the priesthood exists so that the Eucharist can be celebrated within it. Pure and simple, you are ordained today to celebrate the Eucharist from which all the other sacraments and all the other actions of your priestly life will flow and to which they will flow back as well.

“My brothers, Serge and Josh, as you begin your Eucharistic adventure today, never be overwhelmed by the challenges that you will face, but always be reassured in the friendship of Christ that you celebrate in the Eucharist in a unique way,” the bishop added.

“My brothers, it is only through encounter with the Lord, in prayer, in encountering others and especially in the Eucharist, that one is able to experience the joy that comes from the Lord,” Bishop Barbarito said. “May the Lord who has brought you to this day on which, through your priestly ordination, you are born into the Trinity and begin your Eucharistic adventure, continue to bring it to fulfillment.”

The ancient ordination rite featured the introduction of the candidates for ordination, with Father Daniel Daza-Jaller, director of vocations and seminarians for the diocese, proclaiming their readiness for priestly ministry; the promise of the elect, with the deacons agreeing to live their priesthood in imitation of Christ; the men prostrating themselves on the floor as a sign of humility, prayer and total abandonment while the congregation prays for the saints’ protection; the laying on of hands and kiss of peace by their brother priests; and anointing of their hands with holy oil.

At the conclusion of the ordination liturgy, Bishop Barbarito thanked all who had prepared for and participated in the celebration, including Father Brian King, Father Andrew Brierley, the seminarians who served, Father Gavin Badway, the cathedral rector, and the cathedral staff and volunteers, and parish and diocesan music ministry. 

Even though the men followed varied paths to the priesthood, with a significant difference in their ages (58 for Father Dubé, 27 for Father Martin), they’re looking ahead to their first priestly assignments as parochial vicars at Holy Cross in Vero Beach for Father Dubé and St. Anastasia in Fort Pierce for Father Martin. 

Father Dubé’s adult stepson and stepdaughter, Jack and Christy McKee, along with his father, Jean Serge Dubé Sr., who lives part time in West Palm Beach and Connecticut, attended the ordination with other relatives, including many from the Northeast. Father Dubé’s wife, JoAnn, died of pancreatic cancer in September 2019. 

“I’m proud of him. He worked hard, and he’s going to be serving the Lord. That’s the main concern,” his father said before the Mass. “He’s going to be a good priest because he’s got the Holy Spirit in him, and he wants to teach the people about Jesus.”

Father Martin’s sister, Melissa Martin, said afterward that it’s strange to hear her brother referred to as Father. However, “It was so beautiful for me to see how he’s serving the Lord. It’s like a wedding. It’s beautiful to be able to witness his ‘wedding’ with the church and with the Lord,” she said. “But I’m still in shock. To also have a priest who’s my brother as well. I’m still wondering, do I call him Father Josh? What do I call him? Do I go to him for confession?”

She said 20 to 30 family members came to the ordination, and many others living in Orlando, Haiti and Ecuador, where Father Martin was born, were able to witness the ordination on the cathedral’s livestream. 

Standing outside the cathedral, Father Martin’s mother, Lupe Martin, seemed to be reflecting on it all, as mothers often do. “I am so very humbled and feel so excited for his future. And now we are going to pray the prayer for life for him.” A resident of Palm City, she is pleased that her son will be only a short distance away, in Fort Pierce.

To watch the recording of the ordination Mass, visit For information on vocations to the priesthood and religious life, contact Father Daza-Jaller at 561-775-9552 or, by visiting or following the Office of Vocations and Seminarians on Facebook and Instagram.