Death of the Most Reverend Robert Lebel, Bishop Emeritus of Valleyfield

Wednesday, May 27 2015

lebel robert mgr 0(CCCB – Ottawa)… The Most Reverend Robert Lebel, Bishop Emeritus of Valleyfield, died on May 25, 2015, at the age of 90. He had been named Auxiliary Bishop of Saint-Jean-Longueuil by Blessed Paul VI on March 12, 1974, and Bishop of Valleyfield on March 31, 1976. After 24 years in Valleyfield, 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 June 29, 2000.

Bishop Lebel was born in 1924 at Trois-Pistoles, Quebec, and ordained to the priesthood in 1950 for the Archdiocese of Rimouski. After receiving his doctorate in theology from the Angelicum University in Rome, he served as professor and later Rector at the Major Seminary in Rimouski. In 1964 he accompanied the then Archbishop of Rimouski, the Most Reverend Charles Eugène Parent, to the Second Vatican Council as a peritus. He was ordained Bishop on May 12, 1974.

During his episcopal ministry, Bishop Lebel was President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), from 1989 to 1991. In addition to being a member of the Executive Committee, 1986-1991, he also served on a number of other CCCB Commissions and committees, including the former Pastoral Team (1976-1979), the Board of Administration (1976-1979, today known as the Permanent Council), the former French Sector Committee on Liturgy and Social Communications (1981-1983), the former Commission for Theology (1991-1995), the French Sector Comité de diffusion des célébrations liturgiques (1996-2000), the former French Sector Commission for Social Communications (1995-1997), on which he was also Chairman (1997-1999); and as Commission Chairman in the former Department for Social Communications and Extraordinary Affairs in 1979. Bishop Lebel was also a member of the Synod of Bishops on the Family in 1980.

His body will lie in state at Sainte-Cécile Cathedral-Basilica, Salaberry-de-Valleyfield. Visitation will be open to the public Tuesday, June 2, 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Wednesday, June 3, beginning at 10:30 a.m. The Most Reverend Noël Simard, Bishop of Valleyfield, will preside at the funeral Mass, at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, in the Cathedral. A celebration of the Word will be held Tuesday evening, June 2, at 7:30 pm, led by Saint-Clément Parish from Beauharnois.