Coverage Areas:  National |  South Carolina |  Aiken |  Beaufort |  Charleston |  Columbia |  Greenville |  Myrtle Beach |  Rock Hill
Menu

Dubrouillet engineers change to a new vocation

By JORDAN MCMORROUGH

James Dubrouillet’s trek to the priesthood has followed a circuitous route, from Missouri to Texas to South Carolina and seminary training in Washington and Maryland, but following his ordination to the priesthood by Bishop David Thompson at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Charleston on July 12, he will be happy to just settle into parish life in South Carolina.

A native of Mexico, Missouri, Deacon Dubrouillet holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University, as well as a master’s degree in that field from Purdue University in Indiana.

He credits three priests assigned to the Catholic Student Center at A&M, Father Leon Streider, Jesuit Father Marvin Kitten, and Father Al Palermo, for furthering his inclination to a religious vocation. The Catholic parish at the school, St. Mary’s in College Station, has long been known as a strong recruiting ground for future priests, as many Texas dioceses receive large numbers of vocations from the college each year.

Following his graduation from Purdue in 1990, Dubrouillet began working at the Savannah River Power Plant near Aiken as an engineer in plutonium and tridium production.

However, shortly thereafter, in 1992, he began formation in the Carmelite order as a pre novitiate and novitiate, studying first year theology at The Catholic University of America. “A lot of risk is involved in leaving your career for years to see if you are being called,” stressed Dubrouillet, who has had engineering articles published in technical journals. He added that while he continued his seminary training, he still received letters from a couple of companies asking “If you’re not happy in your present career….”

He described the Carmelites as “an active, contemplative group,” and said he “still has friends in the Carmelites,” but in approaching ordination with the order, he discovered it was “not for me.” While with the Carmelites, Doubrouillet worked as a carpenter for a summer, rebuilding an air handling system in one of their buildings and repairing a rock stairway. “It was a good way to relax and exercise,” he stated.

“Formation with the Carmelites was a very beneficial experience and taught me a lot about having a personal prayer life,” said Dubrouillet. “Jesus would very often retreat and pray for awhile. Mass is a whole different style of prayer than personal prayer.”

For the last four years, Doubrouillet has been studying at Mount Saint Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He served his summer assignments with Father Thomas Evatt at St. Mary, Help of Christians, in Aiken in 1995 and with Msgr. Charles Rowland at St. Joseph in Columbia in 1996.

Dubrouillet said that, “a good sense of what parish ministry is really like focused my work at the seminary, especially since parish life is so different in South Carolina.”

In citing his family’s role on his vocation, Dubrouillet said a main factor was his 92-year-old maternal grandmother Minnie, who got up every morning at 5 a.m., spent 45 minutes at home praying, and attended daily Mass.

And as strong as the faith of his grandmother was, so is Dubrouillet’s outlook on his pending ordination. “I’m not giving up anything. I see it as a great gain,” he exclaimed. “If you want something daring, really wild to do, try being a priest.”






  • Diocesan Events Calendar
    View All Events
    Oct 13 Diocesan Evangelization Conference
    From the Calendar of Ethnic Ministries
    Oct 278:00 am Day of Continuing Education for Deacons
    From the Calendar of Diaconate
    Nov 1 Black Catholic History Month
    From the Calendar of African American Ministry
    Nov 1010:00 am Junta de Equipo Diocesano de Emmaus
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Nov 1210:00 am Junta Diocesana
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Nov 17 Diocese of Charleston Native American Catholic Heritage Celebration
    From the Calendar of Native American Ministry
    Nov 18 Vietnamese Martyrs Celebration
    From the Calendar of Vietnamese Ministry
    Dec 1 Black Catholics Heritage Celebration
    From the Calendar of African American Ministry
    Dec 15 Simbang Gabi for Filipino Catholics
    From the Calendar of Filipino Ministry
    Dec 25 Diocesan Television Christmas Special Fox 21
    From the Calendar of Ethnic Ministries
    Jan 412:00 am Class 2019 Ordination Retreat
    From the Calendar of Diaconate
    Jan 812:00 am Retiro Espiritual de Emmaus
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Jan 1210:00 am Junta de Equipo Diocesano de Emmaus
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Feb 911:00 am Ordination of Permanent Deacons
    From the Calendar of Diaconate