Reverend Gerald LECLAIRE, SJ [R.I.P.]
On Pentecost Sunday, we lost another veteran missionary to India and Bhutan, Father Gerald Leclaire at the age of 81 and in his 63rd year of Jesuit life. His funeral will take place this morning at Ignatius Chapel, Manresa Retreat House, Pickering, with burial this afternoon at the Jesuit Cemetery in Guelph.
Born in Montreal, Quebec, the son of Jean-Alphonse and Adelaide Culleton, he attended D’Arcy McGee High School before entering the Society of Jesus at Guelph on September 7, 1947. After philosophy in Toronto, he studied history at the University of Toronto for 3 years.
In 1957 he was missioned to Darjeeling, India, with ordination taking place on March 22, 1961. His priestly ministry began in Gayaganga as co-pastor, and then a year later (1965) he moved to St. Joseph’s College in Darjeeling to become Rector and Prefect of Studies. His teaching centred on history and theology.
Fr. Leclaire, in 1978, accepted a posting to the Kingdom of Bhutan. He became principal of Sherubtse School in eastern Bhutan. For 11 years he carried the burden of this school and then in 1989 he returned to St. Joseph’s College as principal and lecturer. He was appointed Rector in 1997, a post he held for only two years before suffering a massive stroke while on a visit to Canada.
Fr. Leclaire, despite his debilitating stroke which robbed him of speech, always enjoyed visitors at Pickering and he could be seen outdoors on his motorized cart whizzing around the property; he did this almost daily, weather permitting. He bore his heavy cross with equanimity and courage and was an example to many who were his companions at the infirmary.
Eternal rest grant to him, O Lord.
And let perpetual light shine upon him.
May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace.
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Sesquicentennial of St. Joseph's Parish, Orleans
There were many photos taken at Saturday's 150 anniversary Mass at Paroisse St. Joseph, Orleans.
One CD of photos reduced a 1000+ collection to 150 chosen photos.
This selection is necessarily more limited.