Death of Bishop André Vallée, p.m.é.
8th Bishop of Hearst
Bishop André Vallée was born in Ste-Anne-de-la-Pérade, Qc, on July 31, 1930, son of Jeffrey Vallée and Irène Barbeau, in a family of four children. He did his primary education in his village and his classical studies at the Petit Séminaire de Trois-Rivières. He joined the Prêtres des missions étrangères in 1952 and did his theological studies at the Foreign Missions Seminary in Pont-Viau. He was ordained a priest on June 24, 1956, and in 1957-1958 he studied education, first at Laval University and then at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, where he received a master’s degree.
He left for the Philippines on September 30, 1958, where he studied language, did parish ministry in Davao, and in 1960 continued his studies in biology and mathematics in Manila. In 1961 he was appointed director of studies and professor at the minor seminary in Davao, becoming its superior in 1966, before returning to Canada in 1968 to assume the direction of the seminary in Pont-Viau. He returned to the Philippines in 1971 as regional superior of Davao.
Recalled to Canada in 1973 to take up the post of Superior General of the Society of Foreign Missions, he became at the end of his mandate in 1979 General Secretary of the CCCB in Ottawa (Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops). In this capacity, he was responsible for the general coordination of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Canada in 1984.
He was ordained a bishop on January 28, 1988 in the Cathedral of Ottawa to serve as Bishop of the Canadian Armed Forces, a position he held for eight years.
On August 19, 1996, he was appointed Bishop of Hearst and inducted into that position on October 15, 1996. Bishop Vallée was a bishop close to the people and the clergy. His main mark is that he was a true pastor. Affable with all, he made himself available to all. He was known for his bursts of laughter. He liked to play tricks, he liked good food.
He continued to implement the recommendations of the Mini-Synod made under Bishop Despatie. Bishop Vallée set up a committee called The Future of the Diocese whose mission was to evaluate each parish according to well-defined criteria. Following the recommendations of this committee, Bishop Vallée had the very painful task of closing several parishes.
At the age of 75, in accordance with Canon 401§1, Bishop Vallée presented to Pope Benedict XVI his renunciation of the Episcopal See of Hearst, which was made official on November 3, 2005.
Bishop Vallée was Bishop of Hearst for 9 years. His motto was Gaudium et Spes (Joy and Hope). Bishop Vallée’s entire episcopate was the putting into practice of his episcopal motto. With his optimistic and joyful temperament, he lived his motto. A man of cheerful company, he was present to the People of God and the clergy in all circumstances.
Bishop Vallée was a man of contact. He loved to travel and went back several times to visit his confreres in mission countries. He made two trips to China, one as a representative of the Canadian episcopate and the other for pleasure, with two priests from the diocese.
At the time Bishop Vallée left the Hearst Diocese, there were 20 priests in office, 15 parishes with resident priests, 9 parishes without a resident priest.
Bishop Vallée retired to his home town of Ste-Anne-de-la-Pérade at the home of one of his sisters. He died on February 28, 2015 at the age of 84 years and 7 months. His funeral was celebrated at the Maison centrale de la Société des Missions-Étrangères in Pont-Viau, Laval, QC.
written by Rev. Gilles Gosselin
Death of Rev. Régent Marchand
Rev. Régent Marchand arrived in the Hearst diocese in 1940. We have little information about him before his arrival in our diocese. He was born on October 12, 1900 and was ordained a priest in September 1925 as a member of the Redemptorist Fathers. In 1926 he was in the Redemptorist Fathers’ formation house (the Studendat) in Ottawa, in 1936 in Escourt, QC (diocese of Rimouski) and in 1937 in Ste-Anne-de-Beaupré.
Upon arriving in the Hearst diocese, he was appointed parish priest of Driftwood for one year, then vicar at the Hearst cathedral for two years. On March 6, 1943, he was appointed curate at Sacred Heart Parish in Chapleau where he remained until September 1962. On September 21, 1950, he celebrated his 25th anniversary of priesthood in Chapleau. In 1958, after the death of Mgr Roméo Gascon, who had been parish priest in Chapleau for 47 years, Father Marchand became parish priest himself on February 2, 1958, until his resignation on September 3, 1962.
It seems that he retired first to Montreal and then to his native Kamouraska. He died on 28 February 1976, in St-Alexandre-de-Kamouraska, QC, at the age of 75 years and 5 months.
written by Rev. Gilles Gosselin