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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.
- Edmonton, Alberta. 1929-1939
- Winnipeg, Manitoba. 1939-1940
- St. Charles (Winnipeg), Manitoba. 1955-1962