Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Msgr. Msgr. Gérald Joseph LeBlanc (1935-2018)

Saddened to learn of the death of Msgr. Gérald LeBlanc, whom I got to know during my years as Administrator of the Diocese of Yarmouth (2002-2007). 

He was a fine human being, a devoted and zealous priest and a supportive companion to me during the five years I was associated with the clergy, religious and faithful of Southwestern Nova Scotia.  

Msgr. Msgr. Gérald Joseph LeBlanc, Priest of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth, died on March 11, 2018 in Halifax.

Born in Wedgeport on September 11, 1935, the youngest son of Éloi and Laurianne LeBlanc, after his early education in Wedgeport, he attended Collège Ste-Anne in Church Point (1951-1955), studied with the Eudists in Québec (1955-1959), and then the Grand Séminaire, Montreal (1959-1963).

Father LeBlanc was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Yarmouth on May 23, 1963 in Wedgeport by Most Rev. Albert Léménager. He did post-graduate studies in Pastoral Counselling (Ottawa) and Pastoral Theology (Montreal).

Father Gérald served as assistant priest in the parishes of Stella Maris, Meteghan (1963); and St. Ambrose Cathedral, Yarmouth (1965). He served as pastor of the parishes of St. Peter's, West Pubnico, and Immaculate Conception (1971); Stella Maris, Meteghan (1983) as well as St-Alphonse de Ligouri (1990); St-Michel, Wedgeport including the faith communities of Melbourne, Comeau's Hills and Pinkney's Point (1996); and for a second time at St. Peter's and Immaculate Conception, Pubnico, (2005-2017).

From 1992-1993, he was the Administrator of the Diocese of Yarmouth, and from 1993 to the present Vicar-General of Yarmouth and later of Halifax-Yarmouth. In this capacity, he served on numerous diocesan councils.

In 2004, on the occasion of Père Gérald's 40th anniversary of ordination Saint John Paul II appointed him Honorary Prelate of the Church, which carries with it the title of Monsignor.

Msgr. Gérald is survived by his nieces and nephews, Guy Pothier, Philip (Mary) Pothier, Claudine (Paul) Renault, Lorraine (Richard) Phaneuf, Colleen LeBlanc, Phillip (Joanne) LeBlanc, Lorie (Michael) Stewart and Joanne (Andrew) LeFrank. He was predeceased by his siblings, Ona, Iva, Chester, Joseph and niece, Dianne Pothier. A special thank you to Claudine and Paul Renault, for their hospitality while they generously accompanied Msgr. Gérald in their home through their ministry of care and compassion during his final months of life.

Visitation will be in l'Église St-Pierre, 1144 Rte. 335, Middle West Pubnico, Tuesday, March 13th from 3-9 p.m., with Vigil prayers at 8 p.m.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, March 14th at 2 p.m., Most Rev. Anthony Mancini, Archbishop of Halifax-Yarmouth, presiding, in l'Eglise St-Pierre.

Interment will be in the parish cemetery of St-Michel, Wedgeport. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to “the ministry of care and compassion” in trust to the parish of St-Pierre, or a charity of your choice.

Requiescat in pace.

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