© 2010 Les Prêtres de Saint- Sulpice de Montréal

Born on April 4, 1893 in St-Remi-de-Napierville, son of a farmer father of 15 children, he received his primary education in his native parish (1898-1906), his Latin and Elements of Syntax classes in St-Remi Commercial College (1906-1908), continued his studies at the Seminary of Joliette (1908-1914), joined the Sulpicians in September 1914 and did his theology at the Major Seminary of Montreal (1914-1917). Ordained on July 15, 1917 in St-Jean-Baptiste Church in Montreal by Most Rev. Bruchési, Archbishop of that city, he was sent to study in Rome, where he resided at the Canadian College and obtained a doctorate in philosophy from the Angelicum (Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas) in 1919. He then made his Solitude in Issy-les-Moulineaux, near Paris. Appointed on his return in 1920 professor at the Major Seminary of Montreal, he taught Dogmatic Theology (1920-1927), the Liturgy (1920-1923), and Church History (1924-1927). He was only 34 years old when he was appointed Rector in 1927 (the first Canadian Sulpician to assume this position), while teaching Pastoral Theology and Ascetic and Mystic Theology. In 1931 he was charged with the reorganization of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Montreal, which was located in the seminary and of which he was also the dean, and which, thanks to him, became the first in Canada to be approved according to the Constitution Deus Scientiarum Dominus, published in 1931. He was also, from 1931 to 1933, one of four consultors of the Sulpician Canadian Province, was active during this period in the Social Weeks, and preached many retreats.

Elected on July 21, 1933 (and announced on the 25th) Titular Archbishop of Arcadiopolis in Europe and coadjutor with eventual succession of St. Boniface, he was consecrated on September 21 in the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal by H. Exc. Gauthier, Titular Archbishop of Taron and Coadjutor of Montreal, assisted by H. Exc. Papineau, Bishop of Joliette, and H. Exc. Charlebois, Titular Bishop of Berenice and Apostolic Vicar of Keewatin. Suffering from a kidney disease, he had to spend the winter of 1939 in Rome, seeking a milder climate, and submitted his resignation (which he had already proposed to Rome since 1938) on May 24, 1941. Retired at the Hotel-Dieu of Montreal, where many important people would seek his advice, he died there on December 21, 1947. His funeral was celebrated by Most Rev. Charbonneau, Archbishop of Montreal, and he was buried in the crypt of the chapel of the Major Seminary of Montreal.

Intellectual (he was awarded the Prince of Wales Award at the end of his classical studies), excellent theologian, informed teacher, sought preacher, he undertook, upon his arrival on October 18, 1933 to St. Boniface, whose bishop, Most Rev. Béliveau, was seriously ill, to visit the diocese and restore its finances; he founded the Priests’ Days to stimulate the spiritual life of priests, and established an ecclesiastical society to arrange their material life. He was interested in the adaptation of religious communities to contemporary pastoral needs, organized the Catholic Action and Cooperative movements, encouraged Catholic workers’ unions, and set up a diocesan program of catechetical instruction. His brother, Gérard, was also part of the Society of St. Sulpice, and he had two sisters in the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Anne. He was the cousin of Most Rev. Charbonneau, Archbishop of Montreal, whose mother belonged to the Yelle family.

Motto:             Peter meus agricola
Coat of Arms: ARC 290
Iconography:   ARC 290
Sources :         ADB /5, 530; AP (1947); CE (1934) 30-31, (1941), (1949) 41-44; CHA 71; EEC 142-143; PSS 398-401; Les Cloches de Saint-Boniface (1933) 145-148, 193-211, 217-229.

This English translation by the Workgroup "Communications" of the Province of Canada of the Priests of Saint Sulpice is published with the kind authorization of the Wilson & Lafleur Publishing House, of November 25, 2010. It is taken from: Jean LeBlanc, Dictionnaire biographique des évêques catholiques du Canada : les diocèses catholiques canadiens des Églises latine et orientales et leurs évêques : repères chronologiques et biographiques 1658-2002,  Montréal, Wilson & Lafleur, 2002, 881 p.