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Archbishop Bertrand Blanchet receives honorary doctorate

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Father Yvon Pomerleau, O.P., Chancellor of the Dominican University College confers an honorary doctorate to Archbishop emeritus of Rimouski, Most Rev. Bertrand Blanchet.

(CCCB – Ottawa)… Most Reverend Bertrand Blanchet, Archbishop Emeritus of Rimouski, received an honorary doctorate in theology during the 2008 convocation ceremonies of the Dominican University College, Ottawa, on Sunday, 26 October.

Archbishop Blanchet, who is 76 years old, had previously been Bishop of Gaspé for 19 years when he was named Archbishop of Rimouski. He held this position for 16 years, before retiring earlier this fall.

After completing his studies in theology and being ordained a priest in 1976, Archbishop Blanchet taught for three years at the Collège de Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière, in La Pocatière, QC, before pursuing advanced studies in biology. He earned a master’s degree in science in 1964, and a doctorate in forestry in 1975. He had been serving as a Bishop for two years when he submitted his doctoral thesis to the Faculty of Science of Laval University, Quebec City.

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New honorary doctor of the Faculty of Theology of the Dominican University College is joined by fellow Bishops: from left to right, Most Rev. Pierre Morissette, Bishop of Saint-Jérôme; Most Rev. Charles Valois, Bishop emeritus of Saint-Jérôme;  Most Rev. Bertrand Blanchet, Archbishop emeritus of Rimouski; and Most Rev. Clément Fecteau, Bishop Emeritus and apostolic administrator  of Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière.

Before conferring the honorary doctorate on Archbishop Blanchet, Vice President of the Dominican University College, Father Michel Gourgues, O.P., made the following citation: “The Faculty of Theology wishes to highlight the depth of reflection and intellectual rigour he has shown, particularly in his public interventions and while participating in debates on often difficult questions concerning the evolution of our society. Throughout the years, his word of witness to faith has been courageous, competent and respectful, and in turn respected by all society.”

In his acceptance speech, Archbishop Blanchet expressed his gratitude for the honour he had received and said his life has been marked by two important realities: faith and science. Noting there is an inalienable bond between nature’s beauty and grandeur and the presence of the Creator, he said that “Beauty opens us to something greater. It can only be the imprint of a Superior Being.”

In addition to Archbishop Bertrand Blanchet, the Dominican College also honoured two other distinguished persons.  Mr. Joseph De Koninick, a professor in the School of Psychology at the University of Ottawa, received an honorary doctorate in philosophy.  Mrs Annine Parent, a pioneer who helped build the Church in the province of Quebec, received an honorary doctorate in pastoral theology.

Last Updated on Tuesday, October 20 2009  
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On January 13th 2010, Most Reverend Vincent Nguyen became Canada’s first Catholic Bishop of East Asian descent. He is the great-grandson of a Vietnamese Martyr.