Cistercian named Canada's newest bishop

By  Canadian Catholic News
  • October 21, 2008
{mosimage}OTTAWA - Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Abbot Yvon Moreau of the Cistercian Abbey of Oka, Que., to the episcopate in Quebec.

Bishop-elect Moreau will succeed retiring Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière Bishop Clément Fecteau, who turned 75 in April. Canon law requires bishops reaching their 75th birthday to offer their resignation.

Born on Oct. 29, 1941, in Saint-Pascal-de-Kamouraska, Que., Moreau was ordained to the priesthood in 1968 in the diocese where he is now bishop-elect. Following his ordination, he studied philosophy for two years at Saint Paul University in Ottawa.

Moreau then taught at the National Seminary of Managua, Nicaragua, for three years until 1973. He returned to Canada and served as a parish priest and educator before joining the Cistercian Order in 1984. After six years, he was elected abbot of the Oka monastery, the fourth since the abbey’s foundation in 1881.

He will serve a diocese of 87,700 Catholics in 58 parishes and missions with 95 priests, seven permanent deacons and 150 religious sisters.

Moreau’s appointment leaves the Cistercian monastery, famous for its firm, surface-ripened Oka cheese, without a leader. The monastery is in the process of moving to a new location in Saint-Jean de Matha, Lanaudière, where a new facility is under construction.

In 2003, the 31 monks living in a space designed for 200 decided the location was too difficult to run and maintain. They also felt the region’s growing urbanization was threatening the silence and solitude of monastic life, according to the order’s web site. The property was sold and construction started on a new one.

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