His Eminence Marc Cardinal Ouellet was born in Lamotte (near Amos, Québec) on June 8, 1944. He attended the Teacher Training College of Amos where he completed his college and two years of philosophy and obtained a Baccalaureate in Education. He obtained a Licence in Theology from the University de Montréal at the end of his theological studies at the Grand Séminaire de Montréal (1964-1968). He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Amos in his home parish on May 25, 1968, and was appointed curate at Saint-Sauveur Parish in Val d’Or, from 1968 to 1970. He was sent to teach philosophy at the Major Seminary of Bogota, Columbia, then run by the Sulpicians and he decided to join the Society of Saint-Sulpice in 1972. Cardinal Ouellet continued his studies in Rome where, in 1976, he obtained a Licence in Philosophy at St. Thomas Aquinas Pontifical University. He was assigned as a faculty member and professor at the Major Seminary of Manizales in Columbia in 1974 until he was recalled to Canada to assume the same functions at the Grand Séminaire de Montréal.
In 1978, Cardinal Ouellet returned to Rome for further studies and obtained a Doctorate in Dogmatic Theology from the Gregorian University in 1983. He was then assigned as a faculty member and professor at the Major Seminary of Cali, Columbia, and was named rector of that Major Seminary from 1984 to 1989. He became rector of the Grand Séminaire de Montréal in 1990 and of St. Joseph’s Seminary in Edmonton in 1994. From 1996 to 2002, Cardinal Ouellet was titular of the Chair of Dogmatic Theology at John Paul II Institute for studies on marriage and family at the Lateran Pontifical University.
He was named titular bishop of Agropoli and appointed Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity on March 3, 2001. Pope John Paul II ordained him a bishop on March 19 in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Cardinal Ouellet is a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Congregation for the Clergy, of the XIth Ordinary General Assembly of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, of the Pontifical Academy of Theology, of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses, of the pontifical Council of Cardinals for the Study of the Organization and Economic Problems of the Holy See, and a counsellor for the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.
Cardinal Ouellet was appointed Metropolitan Archbishop of Québec on November 15, 2002, and took possession of his See on January 26, 2003. His elevation to the Sacred College of Cardinals was announced on September 28, 2003. He participated in the Conclave that led to the election of Pope Benedict XVI in April 2005.
Cardinal Ouellet is the twenty-fourth bishop, fourteenth archbishop and seventh cardinal of Québec.