Bishop Émile Grouard
|Born||Émile Jean-Baptiste Marie Grouard
February 2, 1840
|Died||March 7, 1931
|Education||Laval University, Quebec|
Émile Jean-Baptiste Marie Grouard was born at Brulon, France February 2, 1840 and died in Grouard, Alberta on March 7, 1931. He studied at Laval University, Quebec in 1860 and began his noviciate in 1862. He served at Fort Chipewyan, Fort Providence, Lac La Biche and Dunvegan. He was appointed the vicar apostolic of Athabasca-Mackenzie and titular bishop of Ibora in 1890 and in 1891 he was ordained bishop of the new diocese of Athabasca.
He published several books in the Cree, Chipewyan and Beaver languages with a Stanhope printing press he acquired on a trip to France in 1874. In 1877 he and Bishop Faraud printed in syllabic type the first book published in Alberta.
First journey North
In June 1862, newly ordained Father Grouard then 22 years old, was in Fort Garry with Father Émile Petitot, both having travelled there from Montreal with Bishop Tache, and fellow Oblates, Constantine Scollen and John Duffy.The two then travelled north with the Portage La Loche Brigade. He described his experience in his book "Souvenirs de mes soixante ans d'apostolat dans l'Athabaska-Mackenzie" (Memories of my sixty years of ministry in the Athabaska-Mackenzie)
"Monsignor Taché had made arrangements for our passage, Father Petitot and I, with the Hudson's Bay Company on the boats leaving that afternoon of Pentecost for Portage La Loche. On the morning of this great feast day, we received our religious habit from the Monsignor and I began my novitiate that I would spend at Lake Athabasca under the direction of Father Clut. During the journey my superior would be Father Petitot. The rule would be loosely followed.
On the afternoon of the Pentecost, a brigade of eight York boats would leave Fort Garry and one would have Father Petitot and I as passengers. We each had our travel case, and Monsignor Taché had supplied for our voyage: thick wool blankets wrapped in oilskin, a tent, a stove, a tea kettle, plates and iron pans, knives and forks, a bag of dried meat, a large sack of pemmican, a barrel of biscuits, some ham, tea, sugar. We were to live on this for two months. Monsignor had also arranged for a Métis to do our cooking and to help us set up our tent every night and take it down every morning. He suggested that we be quick to obey the guide's signal: "Lève ! Lève!" in the morning and not to delay getting into the boat. He led us to the river's edge, gave us his benediction, embraced us tenderly like a father would and we took our place on the boat." (translation)
- Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Grouard–McLennan
- Apostolic Vicariate of Athabasca
- Dunvegan Provincial Park
- Western Canadian steamships of the Oblate Order of Mary Immaculate
- "The Canadian Encyclopedia (Bishop Emile Grouard)". Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- "Archbishop Pierre-Emile-Jean-Baptiste-Marie Grouard, O.M.I." Retrieved 2013-06-23.
- "Oblates in the West (The Printing Press with Syllabic Type)". Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- Grouard, Émile-Jean-Baptiste-Marie (1922), Souvenirs de mes soixante ans d'apostolat dans l'Athabaska-Mackenzie, Winnipeg: La Liberté, p. 21, retrieved 2014-04-10