Born: Chambéry (Savoie), April 27, 1828.
Took the habit: N.-D. de l’Osier, October 22, 1847.
Perpetual vows: Longueuil, February 17, 1849.
Left in Texas at the end of 1850.
Paul Gelot was born in Chambéry, Savoy, on April 27, 1828. He began his novitiate at Notre-Dame de l’Osier on October 27, 1847. During the summer of 1848, while still a novice, “whose disposition gave no reason to doubt”, he was sent to Canada with Father Léonard Baveux. He was admitted to vows in the general council of October 2, 1848 and made his vows in Longueuil on February 17, 1849 in the presence of Father Allard. In the minutes of the General council, on March 27, 1849, there is a note concerning the vows of this Brother: “Brother Gelot, who was sent to Canada towards the end of his novitiate, had taken vows before receiving the reply accepting him into the Congregation. The distance that separates us was the reason for this delay. Now since this Brother, during his journey from France to Canada, did not always behave as a wise and fervent novice should, according to the information forwarded to the Superior General by Father Léonard, in whose company this novice crossed the Atlantic, the council was of the opinion that the principle should be established whereby those Brother Novices who had taken vows before they had been accepted by the Father General on behalf of the Congregation, shall have made their commitment towards the Congregation without the latter being, by the very fact of the vows, made any commitment the young religious when, as in the present instance, there is reason to delay final acceptance. Consequently, Reverend Father General declared that although Brother Gelot had made his commitment to the Congregation by the fact that had taken final vows, the Congregation would only consider its commitment to him when there would be non-equivocal proof of his religious virtues and it would only be later on that he would be allowed to go forward to sacred orders.”
During the summer, Bishop Odin of Galveston was passing through Montreal and he asked the help of the Oblates. Presuming the Founder’s consent, Father Telmon left for Texas with Fathers Gaudet and Soulerin and Brother Gelot. On hearing what had happened, Bishop de Mazenod wrote in his diary on November 10, 1849: “What is happening in Canada is unheard of. There is Father Telmon who is undertaking the mission in Texas… He takes off and he brings with him the subjects he chooses, among others Brother Gelot, this very Brother who had taken his vows without having been admitted by the council, and on whose behalf I had expressly forbidden the Bishop of Bytown to ordain him without my approval. And the Bishop of Bytown informs me by letter that he has learned from the newspaper that he has been ordained sub-deacon.”
In November 1850 Bishop de Mazenod ordered Fathers Gaudet and Soulerin to return to Canada and he left “Father Telmon free to remain with Brother Gelot while taking upon himself alone the responsibility for the work” (General council, November 2, 1850). Father Telmon, who was now ill, left Texas to return to France. Brother Gelot, who remained in Galveston with Father Gaudet, seems to stayed on for some time in Texas. He was ordained deacon in Galveston on March 23, 1850, and priest in New Orleans on April 5, 1851. There is no evidence of his title as Oblate in the Register of ordinations on that occasion. According to Father Bernard Doyon, Father Gelot asked to be incardinated in the diocese of Monterrey in 1854.
Yvon Beaudoin, o.m.i.