Oblate presence 1937-2010 Location: Canada’s Capital

Letter from Father Gilles Marchand, Provincial, March 18, 1937 to Most Reverend G. Forbes, Archbishop of Ottawa. “The construction of the university seminary will be completed at the end of this month and the Reverend Father General has kindly erected this house as a formed regular house. We will put five or six fathers and two or three brothers there for the beginning. I am pleased to inform Your Excellency of the person who has been appointed to take charge of this new house as superior. Rev. Fr. Jean-Charles Laframboise was appointed by our Provincial Council and ratified by the General Administration. He will be installed at the inauguration of the new seminary. I make it my duty to ask Your Excellency once again to bless this work and those who will be particularly responsible for it, especially the new young superior.”

Indeed, Bishop Forbes blessed St. Paul Seminary on May 25, 1937 and the newspaper Le Droit reported the event as follows: “The solemn blessing and dedication of the new Seminary of St. Paul in Ottawa East, near the old St. Joseph scholasticate, took place on Sunday afternoon in the presence of a large number of clergy. This beautiful ceremony marked an important date in the annals of the University of Ottawa.

On June 21, 2010, the Rector of Saint Paul University, Chantal Beauvais, wrote to Father Jacques Laliberté, Vicar Provincial, to thank him for having accepted to preside over the thanksgiving ceremony as part of the Oblate community’s departure from the seminary at the Pavillon Laframboise at Saint Paul University. She added: “The magnitude and impact of this departure, which symbolizes the end of a period of history here at St. Paul, and within the Oblate community, was a significant event for many brothers, friends, colleagues and fellow travelers. A rite of passage ceremony was essential to allow the community to enter into communion in such a symbolic and nostalgic moment. Thanks to your participation, I believe that we have created a climate conducive to reflection, a serene climate that brings hope.”

Eugène Lapointe OMI