New Bishop appointed for Chicoutimi

Saturday, November 18 2017

Guay René-web(CCCB – Ottawa)… His Holiness Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of the Most Reverend André Rivest as Bishop of the Diocese of Chicoutimi, and has appointed today as his successor Father René Guay. At the time of his appointment, the Bishop-elect was chaplain at the Detention Centre of Québec City. Bishop Rivest has been Bishop of Chicoutimi for the past 13 years. He had submitted his resignation to the Holy Father upon reaching the age of 75, as required by the Code of Canon Law.

Bishop-elect René Guay was born on 4 September 1950 at Saint-Thomas-Didyme, Québec. He studied at the Grand Séminaire of Chicoutimi, where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in theology from the University of Québec at Chicoutimi (UQAC), then a Master’s degree in theology from Laval University. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Chicoutimi on 13 July 1975. After his ordination, he became pastor of the parish Christ-Roi in Chicoutimi (1975-1978), and then of the parish Saint-Georges in Jonquière (1978-1979). From 1979 to 1992, he worked as a missionary priest in Chile, as an associate of the Société des Missions-Étrangères.

After an internship at the Centre de Spiritualité Manrèse, Québec City, he was appointed spiritual director of the Grand Séminaire of Chicoutimi (1993-2004), while also serving as a lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies and Ethics at UQAC (1995-2001), before continuing as a professor in the Institut de formation théologique et pastorale of the Diocese of Chicoutimi (2004-2015). In 2016, he received a doctorate in practical theology from Laval University. At the same time, he was a member of the pastoral team of the Chicoutimi Detention Centre (1995-2015). He also has collaborated with the former Social Affairs Committee of the Assembly of Québec Catholic Bishops.

Bishop Rivest was born 28 April 1942 in Repentigny, now a suburb of Montreal, and studied at the Grand Séminaire de Montréal, of which he eventually became a member of the formation team (1980 to 1990). He was ordained a priest in 1966 for the Archdiocese of Montreal and appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Montreal on 27 June 1995. He was named Bishop of Chicoutimi on 19 June 2004. As a member of the CCCB, he served as on the former Episcopal Commission for Christian Education of the French Sector (2000-2003) and also with the Canadian French-language vocations council, the Conseil canadien francophone de la pastorale des vocations (2003-2005). Bishop Rivest was Vice President of the Assembly of Québec Catholic Bishops, 2011-2015.

According to the CCCB 2017 Directory, the Diocese of Chicoutimi has 65 parishes and missions, with a Catholic population of 263,950 served by 124 diocesan priests, 21 priests who are members of institutes of consecrated life, 43 permanent deacons, 332 religious Sisters and 14 Brothers who are members of religious institutes, as well as 49 lay pastoral workers.