Mis à jour 30 octobre 2005
ALLOCUTION DU SUPÉRIEUR GÉNÉRAL DU SÉMINAIRE DE QUÉBEC, L'ABBÉ HERMANN GIGUÈRE,
Dernière mise à jour 30 octobre 2005
aux congressistes de l'Association des directeurs spirituels de l'Amérique du Nord à la réception offerte par le Séminaire de Québec le 28 octobre 2005
Monsieur le cardinal Ouellet,
Monsieur le Supérieur du Grand Séminaire,
Father Bill Kelly, président de l’Association des directeurs spirituels de l’Amérique du Nord,
Il me fait plaisir de vous accueillir dans ces lieux chargés d’histoire sous le regard de mes prédécesseurs à la direction de cette institution vieille de trois cents ans quarante-trois ans.
While I was spiritual director and professor at the Grand Séminaire de Québec, I had the opportunity of participating in the gatherings of your association, among others in Portland, Oregon in 1997. I have kept an excellent memory of it, and I still remember the speech of Father Donald Cozzens who was the keynote speaker at that meeting. I also remember the warm welcome of the monks of Mount Angel Abbey.
We have now the opportunity to welcome you in Québec City and we are honoured and very glad of it. This old community of diocesan priests, the Séminaire de Québec, founded in 1663 by the Blessed François de Laval (1623-1708), first bishop of Quebec, is an apostolic society of diocesan priests which now has 45 members and has enjoyed a long history marked by numerous ups and downs, naturally….for example there were only five members left after the British conquest in 1760.
Notre communauté de prêtres s'inscrit dans le presbyterium diocésain depuis toujours. Selon le charisme reçu de notre fondateur, nos membres se proposent pour "aller à toute rencontre" où les besoins de l'évangélisation les amène. C'est ainsi qu'ils se sont consacrés pendant tout le Régime français comme missionnaires au service des paroisses et comme formateurs des futurs prêtres auprès des séminaristes. Ce qu’ils font toujours au Grand Séminaire de Québec qui est leur œuvre première et principale.
After the British conquest, [in 1760] a little while before the American Revolution, the priests of the Seminary transformed their Minor Seminary into a high school and junior College and later, in 1852, we received from Queen Victoria (which we like very much) a Royal Charter allowing us to begin the first French and Catholic university in America: Laval University which we directed until 1970.
Today, the members of the priest community of the Séminaire de Québec are still taking care of training future priests by directing the Major Seminary of Quebec. We are involved also in the ongoing training of priests, in the training of permanent deacons, in teaching theology, in the evangelization of young adults (we founded a center dedicated to them which is called QUÉBEC IXTHUS two years ago), (we are involved) in the education of the faith and some of us, in accordance with the origins of our foundation, devote themselves to the service of parishes and in diocesan pastoral work (human resources and liturgy … as does Louis-André part time). The mission of our society or community of priests, even though it is limited to the boundaries of the Quebec Diocese now is inspired from the apostolic zeal of our founder who did not hesitate to be the pastor of a "diocese the size of North America". Indeed, the diocese of Quebec covered in those years the whole St. Lawrence valley, the Great Lakes and the Mississippi valley as far as Louisiana (see the notes at the end of the speech).
As diocesan priests, today we feel called by the challenges that are met by the announcement of the Good News in a modern context and in a constantly evolving society. We walk in the footsteps of our predecessors, we share and parcel out our projects and expectations, we continue to develop brotherly support and apostolic boldness and we look ahead, filled with hope and confidence.
Bienvenue chez nous et bonne soirée.
Now I would ask the Rector of the Major Seminary, le Supérieur du Grand Séminaire, Father Mario Côté, which is one of my former students at Laval University to say a few words. Afterwards, we will continue with our appetizer and at 7:30 we will go down to the refectory to have a meal that the priests of le Séminaire de Québec offer you with great pleasure.
HERMANN GIGUÈRE, ptre
Supérieur général du Séminaire de Québec
Le 28 octobre 2005
Across the Mississippi River from Des Peres, in Illinois, was a settlement of Cahokia and Tamaroa Indians. In 1699, the mission of the Holy Family had been established at this Illinois Indian village by priests of the Seminary of the Foreign Missions. Some of the Tamaroa Indians joined the Des Peres village, and the number of French continued to increase also. (The French Colony in the Mid-Mississippi Valley by Margaret Kimball Brown and Lawrie Cena Dean)
July 14 of the same year, the mission field was more specifically designated-aux Tamarois. Two days later, the first brave little band of Quebec Seminary Missionaries set out from that city on their long journey in canoe and on foot for the distant field of the Tamarois, on the east bank of the Mississippi-M. Francois de Montigny, Superior, M. Antoine Davion, and Jean Francois Buisson de St. Cosme.
Courtoisie Carrefour Kairos
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