Death of The Most Reverend Eugène Philippe LaRocque Bishop Emeritus of Alexandria-Cornwall

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larocqueOttawa – The Most Reverend Eugène Philippe LaRocque, Bishop Emeritus of Alexandria-Cornwall, Ontario, died on 16 December 2018 in Windsor, Ontario at the age of 91. After 28 years as the Bishop of the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall, he had submitted his resignation to the Holy Father upon reaching the age of 75, as required by the Code of Canon Law, and which was accepted on 26 April 2002.

Bishop LaRocque was born on 3 March 1927 in Windsor, Ontario. Following his formation at St. Peter's Seminary in London, Ontario, he was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of London on 7 June 1952. Following his ordination, he served as assistant pastor in the parish of St. Theresa in Windsor from 1952 to 1954. He pursued further studies and obtained a Maîtrise en lettres françaises from Université Laval in 1956. He returned to Ontario where he became the registrar and counsellor for student affairs at King's College in London, Ontario (1956-1964) and spiritual director for St. Peter's Seminary (1964-65). It was also during 1964-65 that he served as chaplain for university students participating in two projects in Mexico with the Conference on Inter-American Student Projects (CIASP). He returned to King's College in 1965 in the capacity of Dean, a position which he held for three years until 1968. From 1968 until 1974, he was pastor for two bilingual parishes in the Windsor region during which time he became President of what was then the National Federation of Senates of Priests (1972-1974) and was also an elected member of the Commission des écoles séparées du Comté d'Essex (1972-1974). On 24 June 1974, he was appointed Bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall and ordained Bishop at Tecumseh, Ontario, by Bishop (later Cardinal) Emmett Carter on 3 September 1974.

During his tenure in Alexandria-Cornwall, Bishop LaRocque spent 10 years as the Chaplain for the Ontario chapter of the Knights of Columbus (1977-1987), and he also served as the Vice President (1987-1993) and President (1993-1997) of what is today the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario (ACBO).

As a member of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), Bishop LaRocque was a delegate on the Jewish-Christian Dialogue in 1974 and later became the first President (1977-1994) of the Canadian Christian Jewish Consultation, a liaison committee involving the (former) Canadian Jewish Congress, the Canadian Council of Churches and the CCCB. In addition, he served as a member of the then Episcopal Commission for Ecumenism (1974-1987), and as Bishop ponens for the Canadian Association of the Knights of Columbus (1979-1989). From 1987 to 1989, Bishop LaRocque was a member of the CCCB's Permanent Council as a representative for the French Sector. He also served as a member of the French Sector Episcopal Commission for Liturgy, 1989-1992, and the former Pro-Life Committee, 1991-1994.

The visitation will be held at Ste. Anne's parish, Tecumseh, Ontario on Tuesday, 18 December from 2:00 to 5:00 pm and from 7:00 to 9:00 pm and on Wednesday, 19 December from 1:00 pm until shortly before the funeral Mass at 2 pm. Vigil prayers will be Tuesday, 18 December at 8 pm. The Most Reverend Bishop Ronald P. Fabbro, C.S.B., Bishop of London, will preside at the funeral Mass on Wednesday, 19 December at 2:00 pm at Ste. Anne's parish in Tecumseh.

The Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall will also hold a funeral Mass for Bishop LaRocque. The body will lie in state at the Co-Cathedral of the Nativity of Mary, Cornwall, Ontario, on Friday 21 December from 7:00 to 9:00 pm with a Liturgy of Welcome at 7:00 pm. The Most Reverend Terrence Prendergast, S.J., Archbishop of Ottawa and Bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall will preside at the funeral Mass, with The Most Reverend Luc Bouchard, Bishop of Trois-Rivières, as the homilist, on Saturday, 22 December at 11:00 am at the Co-Cathedral of the Nativity of Mary in Cornwall.

Last Updated on Tuesday, December 18 2018  
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On January 13th 2010, Most Reverend Vincent Nguyen became Canada’s first Catholic Bishop of East Asian descent. He is the great-grandson of a Vietnamese Martyr.