The Second Vatican Council was the 21st ecumenical council of the Catholic Church. It was the second to be held at Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, hence the name Vatican II. The purpose of the Vatican II was to address relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the modern world. The council was called by and officially opened under Pope John XXIII on October 11, 1962. Over the next four years four sessions would take place. Vatican II was closed under Pope Paul VI on December 8, 1965, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
Pope Benedict XVI stated that the most essential theme to come out of Vatican II was “the Paschal Mystery as the centre of what it is to be Christian and therefore of the Christian life, the Christian year, the Christian seasons". Some of the other changes which came out of the council included:
Bishop Rosario Brodeur attended the four sessions of Vatican II. Below are photos of his official Vatican II passport along with the ring that was presented to all the Vatican Council Fathers. In addition, Bishop Jacques Landriault (auxiliary bishop from 1962 - 1964) and Bishop Joseph-Aurèle Plourde (auxiliary bishop from 1964 - 1967) attended.
If you would like to learn more about this historic time click here.
Father Patrick Breton was born on February 9, 1913 in Thetford Mines, Quebec. He was one of five children of France Breton and Marie Bilodeau. He attended school at the Collège Bourget located in Rigaud. In 1941, he entered the Grand Séminaire de Sherbrooke. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Rosario Brodeur on May 26, 1945. Following his ordination he served as associate pastor at various parishes in the diocese including Nativité, St. John Bosco St. James, St. Joseph, Ste-Marie-de-l’Assomption, Canadian Martyrs and St. Margaret of Scotland (his last parish). On December 13, 1967 he was named parochial administrator of Sacré-Coeur in Alexandria. He would later become the parish’s resident pastor.
One of Father Pat’s greatest contributions to our community was his help founding the Caisse populaire du Sacré-Coeur d’Alexandria (now Caisse populaire d’Alexandria), the Caisse populaire de Saint-Jean-Bosco and the Caisse populaire de la Nativité (today collectively known as the Caisse populaire de Cornwall). He was also a founder of the Villa Fatima retreat house in Alexandria (below).
Following his retirement on April 9, 1979, he spent some time in St. Petersburg, Florida. In a handwritten letter dated December 8, 1982 and received by Bishop LaRocque on December 17, 1982, he writes about the approaching Christmas season and about the slow pace in Florida with its warm temperatures of 80F to 85F. He also talks of his diminishing eye sight and the difficulty in accepting these limitations.
He died on at St. Joseph’s Villa on September 15, 2001.
Father Charles Francis Gauthier, born August 21, 1886, was a native of the 4th of Kenyon. He attended the Alexandria Separate School, the University of Ottawa and the Grand Séminaire de Montréal. He was ordained on December 19, 1913, at the Basilica in Ottawa by his uncle, the Most Reverend Charles Hugh Gauthier, Archbishop of Ottawa. On Sunday, December 21, 1913, the newly ordained Father Charles celebrated his first mass at St. Finnan’s Cathedral. He was originally appointed assistant pastor at St. Columban’s and then at St. Finnan’s. In 1924, he was given charge of his first parish, St. Catherine of Sienna, followed by St. Anthony’s and St. Alexander’s among others.
Father Charles loved sports and loved the youth. He was a talented athlete who excelled at hockey and lacrosse, and who played football during his university days. His love of sport never left him and in fact, before Mass he could often be found on the hockey rink or the soccer field showing the rudiments of the game to the youth of the community. On July 11, 1979, he was one of the inaugural inductees of the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame for his dedication to sports as a player, coach and organizer.
A Golden Anniversary is always a time of great celebration, and Father Charles’ anniversary was no exception. On that occasion, Bishop Rosario Brodeur said, “I don’t know anyone who can count so may friends, young and old, regardless of race, creed or colour.”
At one point, Father Gauthier was perhaps the most loved citizen of Glengarry.
Father Charles died on May 20, 1976, just a few months shy of his 90th birthday. He is buried in St. Finnan’s Cathedral cemetery.