New Bishop named for Nicolet and two new Auxiliary Bishops for Montreal

Monday, July 11 2011

stgelais(Ottawa – CCCB)… His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI today named the Most Reverend André Gazaille as Bishop of Nicolet, Quebec. At the time of his appointment, he was Auxiliary Bishop of Montreal. He succeeds the Most Reverend Raymond St-Gelais whose resignation was accepted because of age, in accordance with the Code of Canon Law. Bishop St-Gelais has been Bishop of Nicolet for the past 22 years.

gazailleBishop Gazaille was born 16 May 1946 in Montreal. Following studies in theology and pastoral ministry at the Montreal Grand Séminaire and at the University of Montreal, he was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Montreal on 29 May 1971. He has served as pastor in a number of Quebec parishes, including Saint-Rédempteur (1971-1979), Saints-Martyrs-Canadiens (1979-2006), Visitation de la Bienheureuse-Vierge-Marie (1999-2006) and Saint-Antoine-Marie-Claret (2003-2006).  He was ordained Bishop in March 2006, and has since served as Auxiliary Bishop of Montreal.

Bishop St-Gelais was originally a priest of the Diocese of Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec. After obtaining licentiates in theology and biblical studies in Rome, he spent 20 years in seminary work in Saint Hyacinthe until being ordained Bishop on July 31, 1980. He served first as Auxiliary Bishop of Saint-Jérôme until being named Coadjutor Bishop of Nicolet in February 1988, and then became Bishop of Nicolet on 14 March 1989. As a member of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), he has served on its Permanent Council (1981 to 1987 and again 1995 to 1997). He has been a member and Chairman of a number of Episcopal Commissions, including the French Sector Commission for Liturgy (1987 to 1995), eight years of which he was its Chairman. From 1999 to 2003, he was a member of the then French Sector Commission for Social Communications. He has also served as the CCCB Bishop ponens for French-language seminaries and formation centres for priests, and also for SOCABI, the French-language Canadian Catholic Biblical Society. 

The Diocese of Nicolet has 119 diocesan priests, 15 priests who are members of religious orders and societies of apostolic life, 386 religious Brothers and Sisters, 26 permanent deacons and 50 pastoral agents serving a Catholic population of 200,000 in 65 parishes and missions. 

Appointments for Montreal

At the same time as Bishop Gazaille takes on pastoral responsibility for the Diocese of Nicolet, the Archbishop of Montreal, Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, will be assisted by two new Auxiliaries. The Holy Father today also named Father Christian Lépine and Father Thomas Dowd as Auxiliary Bishops of Montreal.

lepineBorn in Montreal on 18 September 1951, the Most Reverend Christian Lépine was ordained priest on 7 September 1983. He has studied theology at the University of Montreal and philosophy in Rome.  After pastoral work at the Montreal parishes of Saint-Joseph de-Mont-Royal and Notre-Dame-des-Neiges, he served in the Vatican from 1998 to 2001. On returning to Canada, he was appointed to the Montreal Grand Séminaire and then in 2006 served as pastor for the parishes of Notre-Dame-des-Champs and Purification-de-la-Bienheureuse-Vierge-Marie.


dowdThe Most Reverend Thomas Dowd was born in Montreal on 11 September 1970 and ordained priest on 7 December 2001.  Following his theological studies at the Montreal Grand Séminaire, he did pastoral work from 2001 to 2005 in the Montreal parishes of Holy Name of Jesus, Saint Thomas Becket, Saint Veronica and Saint Luke. Since 1 September 2006, he has been Assistant Director of the Office of Pastoral Personnel for the Archdiocese of Montreal.

The Archdiocese of Montreal has more than 1.5 million Catholics in 220 parishes and missions.  It is served by 457 diocesan priests, 557 priests who are members of religious orders and societies of apostolic life, 100 permanent deacons, 3,670 religious Brothers and Sisters, and 123 pastoral agents.