Death of the Most Reverend André Vallée, Bishop Emeritus of Hearst

Monday, March 02 2015

vallee(CCCB – Ottawa)… The Most Reverend André Vallée, P.M.É., Bishop Emeritus of Hearst, died on February 28, 2015, at the age of 84. He had been named Bishop of the Military Ordinariate of Canada by Saint John Paul II on October 28, 1987, and Bishop of Hearst on August 19, 1996. He offered his resignation to the Holy Father when reaching the age of 75, as required by the Code of Canon Law, which was accepted on November 2, 2005.

Bishop Vallée was born in Ste-Anne-de-la-Pérade, Québec, in 1930 and ordained to the priesthood on June 24, 1956. A member of the Société des Missions-Étrangères (Society of Foreign Missions), he served in the Philippines (1961 to 1973). From 1973 until 1979, Bishop Vallée was Superior General of his apostolic society, and later was appointed French-language General Secretary of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), 1979-1985. During his term as General Secretary, he co-ordinated the two visits of Saint John Paul II to Canada in 1984 and 1987. Ordained Bishop on January 28, 1988, Bishop Vallée was the first Catholic Bishop assigned to the Canadian Armed Forces on a full-time basis, 1988-1996, before being appointed Bishop of Hearst in 1996.

During his episcopal ministry, Bishop Vallée served on the CCCB Permanent Council (1997-2001), as well as on the former Commission for Canon Law/Inter-Rite (1989-1993); the former Commission for Missions (1994-1997); the former French Sector Commission for Social Communications (1997-1999), on which he was also Chairman (1999-2000); and he was Chairman of the former French Sector Commission for Christian Education (2003-2005). Following his appointment by the CCCB as one of the Conference’s three delegates to the Governing Board of the Canadian Council of Churches (CCC), he was elected CCC President for a three-year term in 2000, the first Catholic Bishop and the first Francophone to occupy this position. On January 30, 2015, marking the 20th anniversary of the amalgamation of the chaplaincy services of the Canadian Armed Forces, the Chaplain General of the Canadian Armed Forces paid thanks to Bishop Vallée for his exceptional support to military members, their families and the entire National Defence Team.

The Funeral Mass will be on Friday, March 6, at 2:00 p.m. at the motherhouse of the Society of Foreign Missions, 180, Place Juge-Desnoyers, Laval (Pont-Viau).