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R.P. Joseph Le Treste, OMI, [1861-1955]. (OB115502 - Oblate Collection at the PAA)Le Treste, Joseph

LE TRESTE, Joseph, was born at Bourgerel in Arradon (Morbihan), on July 8th, 1861, the son of Henri Le Treste, agriculturalist, and of Marie-Anne Le Ray. He died at Fort Smith, Northwest Territories, December 25th, 1955.

Fr Le Treste studied at the small seminary of Sainte-Anne d'Auray (1871-1880) and at the large seminary of Vannes (1880-1883). He began his novitiate at Lachine on May 27th, 1883, and made his profession on May 28th, 1884. He was ordained a priest at Lac-La-Biche, Alberta, on December 8th, 1884, by Mgr Henri Faraud, o.m.i., Vicar Apostolic of Mackenzie. It was there as well that he made his perpetual vows on May 31st, 1885.

Fr Le Treste was based, at first, at Saint-Charles in Fort Dunvegan (18851903) and at Spirit River (1903-1904) where he moved the mission in 1903. He also established the mission at Grande-Prairie where he lived from 1904-1908, charged with the missions at Fort Saint John, Hudson's Hope and Moberley Lake. He built chapels at the missions in Fort McMurray, Fort McKay, Willow Lake, Cheecha, Chipewyan Prairie, Conklin and Lac-de-Coeur.

He assisted at the general council (1908) and was subsequently Superior at Fort Vermilion (1909-1913), Fort Chipewyan (1913-1916), and, again, at Fort Vermilion (1916-1918). Fr Le Treste then moved to Immaculate Conception Parish in Peace River (1918-1925); returning to Fort Vermilion (1925-1927); Fort Chipewyan (1927-1929); Fitzgerald [Smith Landing], Northwest Territories (1928-1929); Fort McMurray, Alberta (1929-1936); and Chard [Chipewyan Prairie], Alberta (1936-1942). He then became the chaplain at the hospitals in Fort McMurray (1942-1943) and Fort Smith (1943-1955).

Fr Le Treste left a Memoir and was awarded an academic recognition by the government of France for his linguistic studies and received the Legion of Honour on June 10th, 1955. He was buried in the parish cemetery at Fort Smith.1


Reprinted with the permission of Les Archives Deschâtelets and the publisher from Gaston Carriere, o.m.i., Dictionnaire de Marie Immaculée au Canada, tome II (Ottawa: Éditions de l’Université d’Ottawa, 1979), pp 277-78.


L'éloge d'un homme vivant, dans La Voix ... de Grouard, 2 (décembre 1943), p. 3-7; Le R.P. Joseph Le Treste 1861-1955, Ibidem, 15 (1956), p. 9-10; Décès du R.P. Joseph LeTreste, o.m.i., dans La Survivance, 4 janvier 1956.

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