Working in construction and landscaping after high school, at age 22, he decided to to register at Corpus Christi College to pursue his undergraduate journey. He became part of its first class, and discovered his passions for history and for the Gospel and sharing faith.
During his time at Corpus Christi, Fr. Ducharme felt especially connected with his instructors, crediting Dr. David Sylvester with encouraging him toward a history major, and Dr. Margarita Oberti for introducing him to the Thomist perspective through her philosophy classes. He also credits English instructor Ruth Baldwin and Sylvester in particular for caring about the students’ well being, both during their time at the college and ensuring that they excelled after graduation.
After graduating from Corpus Christi, Fr. Ducharme completed his undergraduate degree at UBC before completing his Masters of Divinity at Edmonton’s Newman Theological College. After UBC, he had considered an Master of Education or law school, but faith led him to theology. It was during graduate studies at Newman that he met the Franciscans and entered formation with them.
“Corpus Christi helped me start on my journey of faith and Newman focused my direction,” Fr. Ducharme said. “[My studies] inspired me to study more, use my brain more and use academic skills more. But it’s not just about academics, it’s about your head and your heart as well.”
“I believe faith is a gift to be lived,” he said.
Fr. Ducharme added that his time at Corpus Christi encouraged him to place an emphasis on service. He was the first president of the student association and represented the group with the college’s board, which he described as a good experience and helped him develop his leadership skills.
After his experience at Corpus Christi, Fr. Ducharme would recommend it to those who are interested and willing to immerse themselves into the experience.
“Be open, and value the gifts in front of you. If you have the chance to go to university, and to do so in a Catholic environment, not just any, but one that values community as well, this is truly a gift,” he said.
Fr. Ducharme was the first of his family to attend Corpus Christi, but his sister Danielle following him, he wasn’t the last. As well, Fr. Pierre’s brother Brent and sister in law Christine both worked at the college, while his Father Roger was among the first members of the board.
Fr. Ducharme is currently the pastor at St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Richmond.
“Our mission is to proclaim the Gospel so it reaches people,” remarked Fr. Ducharme.
Through ministry, Fr. Ducharme looks to build a culture of God’s Kingdom on Earth as he shares the Gospel’s good news, making it accessible to all.