TIMMINS, Ont. - Alex Cande and his brother Marcel Mandeville are stirring up trouble and searching for the graves of their dead ancestors.

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Msgr. Serge Poitras, P.H., has been named the new bishop of Timmins in Northern Ontario.

Pope Benedict XVI made the announcement Nov. 10. At the time of his appointment, Bishop-elect Poitras was Adjunct Under Secretary of the Congregation for Bishops at the Holy See. He succeeds Bishop Paul Marchand, who died in office in 2011.  Since then, Fr. Patrick Lafleur has been diocesan administrator.

Poitras was born on May 27, 1949, in Jonquière, Que. After studies in Chicoutimi and Quebec City, he was ordained to the priesthood on May 27, 1973, for the diocese of Chicoutimi. He holds a Master’s degree in theology from Laval University and a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome.

During his ministry as a priest, Poitras served the Cathedral parish of Chicoutimi as assistant pastor, the Chicoutimi minor seminary as a professor, and the diocesan centre where he was responsible for pastoral ministry with students. From 1990 to 2000, he taught at the Grand Séminaire of Montreal, where he was a member of the formation team, as well as director of studies from 1998 to 2000. During this time, he also provided pastoral assistance in a number of Montreal parishes.

In 2000, he was appointed French-language secretary at the apostolic nunciature to Canada. The Holy Father subsequently named him Adjunct Under Secretary of the Congregation for Bishops on Dec. 29, 2010.

The Timmins diocese has 26 parishes and missions, with a Catholic population of 50,605, which is served by 18 diocesan priests, four priests who are members of religious communities, 17 religious Sisters and Brothers, six permanent deacons and five lay pastoral assistants.

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TORONTO - Like any adolescent Brother Emile grew up full of wonder, questions and a desire to answer what had otherwise been unknown to him. While the topics varied, his exploration of one, the Taizé Community in France, left a permanent impression on the then 17-year-old Canadian.

Brother Emile shared his story on March 7 surrounded by members of Toronto’s Catholic school board before facilitating a Taizé prayer service at St. Clare’s Church.

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