New Bishop Appointed for Saint-Jean-LongueuilTuesday, November 05 2019
Ottawa – His Holiness Pope Francis accepted the resignation of the Most Reverend Lionel Gendron, P.S.S., as Bishop of the Diocese of Saint-Jean-Longueuil, and today appointed his successor the Most Reverend Claude Hamelin. At the time of his appointment, Bishop Hamelin was Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Saint-Jean-Longueuil. Bishop Gendron has been the Bishop of the Diocese of Saint-Jean-Longueuil for the past nine years. He submitted his resignation to the Holy Father upon reaching the age of 75, as required by the Code of Canon Law.
Bishop Hamelin was born on 10 July 1951 in Sherrington, Québec. He attended the Université de Montréal from which he obtained a Baccalaureate in Theology, followed by the completion of a Master of Pastoral Theology. On 3 December 1977, he was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Saint-Jean-de-Québec (later renamed the Diocese of Saint-Jean-Longueuil). He then obtained a Licentiate in Moral Theology from the Pontifical Lateran University (Alphonsian Academy) in Rome. Following his ordination, he served in a number of diocesan ministries including that of pastoral animator at the secondary school level, pastor, head of the diocesan committee for the ministry of life of priests and deacons, Episcopal Vicar (for pastoral regions and human resources), Moderator of the diocesan curia, and Vicar General. On 22 December 2015, he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Saint-Jean-Longueuil and, on 18 March 2016, was ordained Bishop in the Cathedral of Saint-Jean-l’Évangéliste at Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu by Bishop Gendron.
As a member of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), Bishop Hamelin was recently elected to the Permanent Council as the Québec regional representative for a two-year term (2019-2021).
Bishop Gendron is originally from Saint-Quentin, New Brunswick. After studying theology at the Grand Séminaire de Montréal, he was ordained to the priesthood on 31 May 1969. Following a year of formation (1971-1972), he joined the Canadian Province of the Priests of Saint-Sulpice (the Sulpicians). With a Doctorate in Theology from the Gregorian Pontifical University in Rome, he taught in Bogotá, Colombia, and at the Grand Séminaire de Montréal, where he was Rector from 1987 to 1990 and again from 2006 to 2007. He also served as Rector of Saint Joseph Seminary in Edmonton from 1990 to 1994, before being elected Provincial Superior of the Canadian Province of the Priests of Saint-Sulpice in 1994. He held this position until his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop of Montréal in 2006. Following his episcopal ordination on 25 March 2006, he served in Montréal for four years in various roles, including as Episcopal Vicar for the formation of diocesan personnel. He was appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Saint-Jean-Longueuil on 28 October 2010 and was installed on 27 December 2010.
As a member of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), Bishop Gendron served as a member of the Episcopal Commission for Doctrine (2008-2011), the Orthodox-Catholic Bishops’ Dialogue (2007-2012), and as the CCCB representative for Francophone seminaries and formation centres for priests. He also served as the CCCB Co-Treasurer (2011-2015), Vice President (2015-2017) and President (2017-2019). In October 2018, he was one of four delegates elected by the CCCB to the Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment. In February 2019, as CCCB President, he participated in the Holy See’s meeting on the protection of minors in the Church and most recently, in October 2019, he was appointed by Pope Francis to the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region on New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology.
The Diocese of Saint-Jean-Longueuil has 45 parishes and missions, with a Catholic population of 615,479 served by 59 diocesan priests, 28 priests who are members of institutes of consecrated life, four permanent deacons, 68 Brothers and 241 Sisters who are members of institutes of consecrated life, as well as 77 lay pastoral assistants.