Pope Names Sulpician to Lead Canadian Diocese
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On 28 October 2010 Sulpician Bishop Lionel GENDRON, p.s.s., Auxiliary Bishop of Montréal since 2006, was named by Pope Benedict XVI as Bishop of Saint-Jean – Longueuil in New Brunswick, Canada. He succeeds Mgr. Jacques BERTHELET, C.S.V., whose resignation was accepted upon having reached the age limit.
Bishop Gendron has had an illustrious career as a Sulpician. Born in Saint-Quintin, New Brunswick in 1944, he did his priesthood studies at Le Grand Séminaire de Montréal, where he obtained a licentiate in theology. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Montréal in 1969 and served as a parochial vicar at the Parish of Saint-Marc in Montréal until entering the Canadian Province of Sulpicians in 1970, upon which he was assigned to teach theology at the major seminary in Manizales, Colombia.
From 1972-1975 Father Gendron studied theology in Rome, after which the Province assigned him to the seminary in Bogotá, Colombia for one year. In 1976 he was recalled to Canada to join the faculty of Le Grand Séminaire de Montréal, where, in typical Sulpician fashion, he taught theology and served as a spiritual director and formation director for seminarians until 1981. In 1981 Father Gendron added the responsibility of being Director of the Student Center for the Archdiocese while continuing his seminary duties.
From 1987 to 1990 he became Rector of Le Grand Séminaire de Montréal, before being named to assume the same leadership position as rector at St. Joseph Seminary in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada from 1990 to 1994. From 1991 to 1994 he also served as a General Consultor of the Society of Saint-Sulpice.
In 1994 Father Gendron was elected Provincial of the Canadian Province of Sulpicians, and he served two six-year terms, completing his mandate in 2006, when Pope Benedict XVI named him Auxiliary Bishop of Montréal. In the Archdiocese, Cardinal Jean-Claude TURCOTTE gave Mgr Gendron many responsibilities, including the difficult task of directing personnel.
A native of New Brunswick, Mgr Gendron grew up in a very bilingual French-English environment, to which he added a great facility in Spanish and Italian. In recent years Mgr Gendron has several times joined friends in a summer walking pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, from parts of France. He thus retains his youthful vigor and enthusiasm, as well as his great spiritual depth.
All of his Sulpician confreres wish abundant blessings upon Mgr Gendron as he prepares to assume his new duties in Saint-Jean – Longueuil. Congratulations and ad multos annos!