Pierre-Paul Durieu

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The Right Reverend
Pierre-Paul Durieu
Bishop of New Westminster
Paul Durieu.png
Archdiocese Vancouver
Installed 1890
Term ended 1899
Predecessor Louis-Joseph d'Herbomez
Successor Augustin Dontenwill
Other posts Titular Bishop of Marcopolis (1875–1890)
Ordination 11 March 1854
by Eugène de Mazenod
Consecration 24 October 1875
by Louis-Joseph d'Herbomez
Personal details
Born (1830-12-04)December 4, 1830
Saint-Pal-de-Mons, Haute-Loire, France
Died June 1, 1899(1899-06-01) (aged 68)
New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada
Buried St. Mary's Mission, Yakima Valley, British Columbia, Canada
Nationality French
Denomination Roman Catholic
Motto Pauperes evangelizantur—justus ex fide vivit. (The good news is preached to the poor. The just man lives by faith.)

Pierre-Paul Durieu OMI (December 4, 1830 – June 1, 1899), was a Roman Catholic missionary and the first Bishop of New Westminster, in British Columbia, Canada.


Durieu was born in 1830 in Saint-Pal-de-Mons, the second son of Blaise Durieux and Mariette Bayle, a farming family who had sheltered the clergy during the French Revolution. As a boy, both he and his brother were allowed to study at the local minor seminary at Monistrol-sur-Loire. Pierre-Paul felt called to serve in the foreign missions and entered the novitiate of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate at Notre-Dame-de-l'Osier on 31 October 1848. He professed religious vows on 1 November of the following year. After that, he did his studies in preparation for Holy Orders at the Oblate seminary in Marseilles.

In 1854 Durieu was ordained as a priest by Eugène de Mazenod, the founder of his religious congregation, and, after being sent for further training in English and theology, was sent to join the Oregon Missions, where he was assigned to serve at St. Mary's Mission in the Yakima Valley and the Okanagan area of British Columbia. In 1875, Paul Durieu was consecrated as the coadjutor bishop for the Vicariate Apostolic of British Columbia by Louis-Joseph d'Herbomez, the Vicar Apostolic. Upon his death, Durieu became Vicar Apostolic, and later the first Bishop of New Westminster (which later became the Archdiocese of Vancouver).

During his tenure, Durieu commanded the First Nations people of British Columbia to obey four directives: discontinue performing native dances; cease the practice of potlach; cease consulting shamans; and to abstain from drinking and gambling. He wrote a book of biblical stories in the Chinookan language in order to teach the Catholic faith to the native peoples under his care, and set up mission centers where they could keep their nomadic traditions but be reached by the missionaries. He attempted to secure treaties with the Canadian government to protect the rights of the peoples of the First Nations against the growing encroachments of the white settlers, to no avail.

Durieu died in 1899 and was buried alongside his predecessor at St. Mary's Mission.

The farming community of Durieu, northeast of Mission, B.C., is named after him.


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Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Louis-Joseph d'Herbomez
Bishop of New Westminster
Succeeded by
Augustin Dontenwill