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St. Jean-Baptiste Parish, Regina

  • CTK
  • Parish
  • est. 1954

At the time of Bishop Mathieu, the French-Canadian Catholics in Regina had a special Mass in French on Sundays at the Holy Rosary cathedral. Beginning in 1932, at the request of Archbishop McGuigan, the Franciscans provided regular French Sunday services in their chapel at Regina Minorum Friary. For the next 21 years, the Friary chapel was used for these services until it could no longer accommodate the number of attendees.

In 1953, a building at the corner of McIntyre Street and 15 Avenue was purchased and the first mass was celebrated at Christmas. With official Vatican approval, Archbishop O’Neill signed the Decree of Erection of St. Jean-Baptiste Parish on 4 Nov 1954. The first parish priest was Fr. Sylvestre Beaudette OFM, who had arrived in Regina in 1950. He was assisted by Lucien Kemble, Sigismond Lajoie, and Raynier Chabot.

St. Jean-Baptiste Parish organized many activities including a women’s society The Ladies of the Altar, Council of French-speaking Knights of Columbus, a parish choir, and a parish school Mathieu. In 1962, construction began for a new parish complex, which was opened on Christmas Eve 1963. The old church building was also sold in 1963.

The Franciscans were priests for St. Jean-Baptiste Parish from its foundation in 1954 until 1974, when the Oblates took over parish ministry.

Puech, Leonard

  • CTK
  • Personne
  • 8 Nov 1902 - 27 Apr 1984

Fr. Leonard Marie Puech was born Charles Louis Marie on 8 Nov 1902 in Malben, France. He took the habit on 7 Sep 1921 and made his solemn profession on 8 Sep 1925. Fr. Leonard was ordained in Montreal on 25 Jul 1928.

Fr. Leonard taught at various places including Montreal (1930-1931), San Antonio, Rome (1931-1934), and Quebec City (Dec 1934-Apr 1935). In the summer of 1945, Fr. Leonard was appointed Visitator General of the Province of the Holy Gospel in Mexico. From 1945-1949, he was the Definitor Provincial of that Province, and later the Custos from 1949-1951. Starting in 1954, Fr. Leonard spent much of his time preaching in Canada, USA, Mexico, and Colombia. In 1957, he was appointed Visitator General of the Province of the Holy Gospel in Mexico once more.

From 1958-1961, Fr. Leonard was the professor of theology at Regina Cleri Major Seminary. In 1961-1967, he was the Custodial Councillor and served various other roles including Vicar, Master of student priests, clerics, and brothers, Spiritual director, Rector of the Seminary, and Guardian of the friary. In 1972, Fr. Leonard moved to Vancouver and was the parish assistant and author of a weekly column on spiritual life in the BC Catholic paper.

Fr. Leonard died on 27 Apr 1984 and is buried in Oceanview Cemetery in Vancouver.

Brochu, Edmond

  • CTK
  • Personne
  • 4 Aug 1927 - 30 Oct 1975

Fr. Edmond Brochu was born on 4 Aug 1927 in Colonsay, SK, to Albert Brochu and Laura Desrochers. He made his solemn profession on 4 Oct 1959 in Montreal and was ordained to the priesthood on 24 Aug 1960 in Saskatoon.

From 1960-1961, Fr. Edmond taught Pastoral Theology at Regina Cleri Major Seminary. In 1961, he moved to St. Francis Friary in Edmonton where he served in various capacities. Fr. Edmond was the assistant pastor of St. Francis Church; he taught at St. Anthony's College, Archbishop O'Leary high school, and St. Joseph's Composite high; was director of the Secular Franciscans in Edmonton. He led the Cursillo movement in Edmonton and was active in founding and maintaining the Vanier House.

In 1973, Fr. Edmond was appointed guardian of St. Francis Friary in Winnipeg and the Provincial director of the Secular Franciscans there. He was also chaplain for the Marymount Home for Girls and a team member for the Marriage Encounter Program.

Fr. Edmond died on 30 Oct 1975 in Winnipeg after an extended illness with cancer. He is buried in the Mount St. Francis cemetery in Cochrane.

St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Calgary

  • CTK
  • Parish
  • est. 1934

St. Francis of Assisi parish began when Bishop Kidd purchased the former Jewish Community Centre at 6 Ave S.E. in 1931. The building was renovated to serve as a chapel primarily to serve Hungarian immigrants with the first pastor being Rev. Joseph Racz from Montreal. It also served as a chapel of ease for St. Mary's cathedral. Due to a lack of Hungarian-speaking priests, the church was closed. It was reopened in Dec 1934 by Bishop Monahan and St. Francis of Assisi parish was created. The first pastor of the new parish was Rev. Patrick Beaton. In 1957, the original building was replaced by a church designed and built by J. Stevenson & Associates. It was opened on 28 Aug 1957.
In 1959, the parish was entrusted to the Franciscans. The first Franciscan pastor was Fr. Dunstan McLellan and the assistant priest was Fr. Michael Sieferling. The Franciscans were involved in Diocesan Social Action in the downtown area, giving spiritual and other assistance to people in the inner city area. In 1988, Bishop Paul O'Byrne entrusted the parish to the Dominicans.

Notre Dame du Lac Parish, Lac du Bonnet

  • CTK
  • Parish
  • Franciscan presence, 1946 - 1963

In 1946, the Franciscans were invited by Archbishop George Cabana of St. Boniface to take over the Lac du Bonnet parish and the missions attached to it. The missions included Bisset, and Red Lake, which could be reached by plane. Besides these, there was Great Falls, Seven Sisters, Milner Ridge, Maple School district and Pointe du Bois. Fr. Sylvestre Beaudet and Fr. Stan Frytek were appointed to take over the work. Fr. Englebert Paradis after his release as an army chaplain was sent to Lac du Bonnet. He used his army pay to buy a new residence on the lake shore that would serve as the Friary.

Fr. Alberic Frechette was appointed pastor after Fr. Englebert Paradis departed to become the pastor of St. Francis Parish in Edmonton. After Fr. Frechette was offered the Parish at Maillardville, today part of Coquitlam, Fr. Ulric Ell was appointed pastor in 1953-1961. Fr. McRae arrived in 1954 to help with the missions.

In 1955, construction began for the new church building. Fr. Ulric Ell also designed and built the chapel in Whiteshell in 1968. Fr. George Hart was appointed Pastor after Fr. Ulric Ell; the assistant pastor was Fr. Bonaventure (Dureau) until he went to Peru and was replaced by Fr. Fred Doll.

In 1963, the Franciscans left Lac du Bonnet and were replaced by the diocesan priests of the Archdiocese of St. Boniface.

Cayer, John Capistran

  • CTK
  • Personne
  • 17 Apr 1900 - 13 Apr 1978

John Capistran Cayer was born on 17 April 1900 in Capelton, Quebec. He began his studies at the Seraphic College in Trois-Rivieres in 1912. On 14 Aug 1919, Cayer took the habit and made his profession on 14 Aug 1920. He was ordained to the priesthood on 11 Jul 1926.

Not long after, in 1927, Cayer came to St. Anthony’s College in Edmonton, where he taught and served successively as Prefect, Rector, and Superior. He added a new wing to College in 1931.

From 1939-1941, Cayer studied Theology in Innsbruck, Austria. Upon his return to Canada, he taught at Regina Cleri Major Seminary in Regina from 1941-1945.

In 1945, he was appointed Commissary Provincial of the Franciscans in the west. Three years later, on 2 Aug 1948, he was elected by the Chapter to be Provincial of St. Joseph’s Province and was based in Montreal.

John Capistran Cayer was consecrated on 17 Sep 1949 as Bishop of Cissi and Vicar Apostolic of Egypt. He served in this role from 1949 until his death.

He died on 13 Apr 1978 and is buried in Alexandria, Egypt.

Claude-Laboissiere, Alphonse

  • CTK
  • Personne
  • 28 Mar 1901 - 5 Aug 1962

Alphonse Claude-Laboissiere was born on 28 Mar 1901 in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec. He took the habit on 27 Aug 1922 and was solemnly professed on 28 Aug 1926. Fr. Alphonse was ordained on 30 Sep 1928 in Montreal.

In 1929, Fr. Alphonse went to St. Anthony’s College in Edmonton where he served as professor, Prefect of discipline, rector, and Prefect of studies. In 1939, he was sent to Winnipeg where he was one of the founders of the friary and vicar of St. Mary’s Cathedral.

In June 1940, at the start of the Second World War, Fr. Alphonse joined as a military chaplain. From July 1940 to April 1941, he was the chaplain to the Quartiers Generaux de Montreal, Grenadiers de Montreal and the Canadian Forestry Corps, Valcartier, Quebec. In April 1941, he sailed to Glasgow, Scotland, as the chaplain of the Forestry Corps and as the acting chaplain of the Free French and Belgian troops. In Aug 1943, Fr. Alphonse became the chaplain to troops in Algeria at the Canadian base in Philippeville, and he was also the acting senior chaplain in North Africa. In Jan 1944, he served as the chaplain to the Royal Canadian 22nd Regiment (the Van Doos), stationed at Avellino, Italy, and later on the front lines on the Adriatic. Fr. Alphonse was wounded in Mar 1944 at San Nicola at the Battle of Ortona by shrapnel. On 25 Apr 1944, he was promoted to acting senior chaplain and temporary Lieutenant-Colonel of the 1st Canadian Army Corps in Italy. On 15 May 1944, he was promoted to Major and the senior chaplain in charge of reinforcements and Canadian hospitals in Italy and Africa. In Jan 1945, Fr. Alphonse was evacuated to a military hospital in Colchester, England, for war wounds and cardiac problems. He returned in Canada in April 1945.

On his return to Canada, Fr. Alphonse was appointed the Guardian of St. Francis Friary in Edmonton and the rector of St. Anthony’s College. In 1948-1955, he was elected as the Commissary Provincial of western Canada. During this time, beginning in 1948, Fr. Alphonse began discussions to build a retreat house in the Rockies. As a result, Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre was founded in Cochrane, Alberta, and Fr. Alphonse was appointed the first Superior of the retreat. From 1955-1962, Fr. Alphonse was at St. Charles, Manitoba. In Feb 1962, due to poor health, he moved to stay at the infirmary at the friary in Rosemont, Montreal.

Fr. Alphonse died on 5 Aug 1962 in Montreal. He is buried in the Mount St. Francis Cemetery in Cochrane, Alberta.

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