Death of Most Reverend Henri Légaré, Archbishop Emeritus of Grouard-McLennan

Monday, July 19 2004

(CCCB – Ottawa)… Most Reverend Henri Légaré, O.M.I., Archbishop emeritus of Grouard-McLennan, Alberta, died July 19, 2004, at the age of 86. He had served as Archbishop of Grouard-McLennan for 24 years, from 1972 until his retirement in 1996.

Born in 1918 in Willow-Bunch, Saskatchewan, he was ordained to the priesthood in 1943 with the Oblate Fathers of Mary Immaculate (O.M.I.) in the diocese of Regina, Saskatchewan, after having completed his studies at the Oblate Fathers Seminary in Lebret, Saskatchewan and at the University of Ottawa. Most Reverend Légaré also held a master’s degree in Social Sciences, Economics and Political Science from Laval University in Quebec, as well as having pursued doctoral studies at the University of Lille in France.

Active in the world of education, the late Archbishop was a sociology professor at Laval University and the University of Ottawa. He was also a professor at the Saint-Norbert and Saint-Boniface Seminaries in Manitoba, as well as having successively occupied the positions of Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, of Vice-rector and of Rector at the University of Ottawa. From 1960 to 1962, he was president of the National Conference of Canadian Universities and Colleges. Nominated Oblate provincial of Manitoba in 1966, the Holy Father appointed him Bishop of Labrador City-Schefferville the following year, where he faithfully led the diocese until his nomination as Archbishop of Grouard-McLennan in 1972.

Most Reverend Légaré was very active within the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), where he was a member of multiple episcopal commissions and participated in a few Synods of Bishops in Rome. He was also CCCB President from 1981 to 1983.

Visitation will be at Sacré-Coeur Church (corner Cumberland and Laurier), Ottawa, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 22, and in the morning on Friday. The funeral Mass, presided by Most Rev. Marcel Gervais, Archbishop of Ottawa, will be celebrated at 2 p.m. on Friday. There will be a prayer meeting at Sacré-Coeur Church, on Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m.