Born at Barcelona, Spain, April 29, 1817.
Taking of the habit at Montolivet, June 28, 1856.
Oblation at Montolivet, February 17, 1858. (no. 448)
Ordination to the priesthood at Marseilles, June 23, 1859.
Expelled, April 10, 1872.
Jean Antoine Alquié was born in Barcelona on April 29, 1817. He studied medicine and had been with the Trappists. Dispensed from his vows for health reasons, he began his novitiate as a lay brother on June 28, 1856. At the insistence of Father Tempier, in the month of May of 1857, he was transferred from the status of lay brother to that of scholastic brother. Then, he started his novitiate anew at Montolivet where he made his oblation on February 17, 1858. Was it Father Tempier or the Founder who wanted to see him ordained to the priesthood without obliging him to study theology? A few council members protested. In the May 29, 1859 council’s report, we read this: “Brother Aliquié has already been promoted to the subdiaconate without having made the theological studies ordinarily required for sacred orders. After some judicious deliberations on the difficulties that could arise from a complete exemption from the ordinary requirements for a sufficient education in this subject’s regard, the council has expressed a unanimous sentiment of aversion for such an exemption, a sentiment which one of the members present took it upon himself to respectfully communicate to our Most Reverend Superior General.”
Bishop de Mazenod hardly took any notice of his protest. On June 23, 1859, he ordained Brother Alquié to the priesthood. In the Personnel Register of 1862-1863, we find written under his name: “He was admitted to the priesthood under the express condition that he never ask to exercise that ministry. Endowed with a rather weak constitution, of average stature, little sign of intelligence in his cast of features, he has a scarred face. He only exercised the functions of infirmarian at Montolivet. He did not function successfully as treasurer.”
According to his letters, Father Alquié was initially the treasurer at Montolivet, then of the Oblate houses in Aix, Talence and l’Osier in 1863 and at Notre-Dame de la Garde from 1865 to 1872. In 1870, unhappy, it seems, with his humble station, he ask to join the Charthusians. On August 8, 1870, the Council General gave their assent to this request which, they said, could not be granted except by the Congregation of Bishops and Religious.
In 1872, Father Alquié asked to be dispensed from his vows for health reasons and because he “felt unable to fulfill any of the ends of the Oblates. At the same time, he stated that he was determined to leave the Congregation.” At the April 10, 1872 session of the General Council, the observation was made that Father Alquié had already apostatized in his heart and consequently there was a unanimous vote to expel him from the Congregation.” In an August 28, 1872 letter to Father Fabre, Abbé Alquié wrote that he had received his dispensation from Rome. He was grateful toward the Oblate Congregation and was assigned as an assistant priest at St. Philip’s church.
Yvon Beaudoin, o.m.i.