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R.P. Valentin Végréville, OMI, [1899-1903]. (OB3609 - Oblate Collection at the PAA)Végréville, Valentin

VÉGRÉVILLE, Valentin was born at Châtre-la-Forêt, canton of Évron (Mayenne), France, on September 17th, 1829, the son of Jacques Végréville and of Madeleine Ferrard. He died at St Albert, Alberta, July 9th, 1903.

Valentin studied at the College of Évron and at the large seminary of Mans, then entering the novitiate of Notre-Dame de l’Osier on April 22nd, 1850 where he made his profession on April 23rd, 1851. He continued his studies at the scholasticat of Marseille and was ordained a priest in that city on March 27th, 1852, by Mgr Charles-Joseph-Eugène de Mazenod, Bishop of Marseille and founder of the Oblates.

Sent to the mission at Red River in the Canadian West in 1852, he spent the winter (1852-53) at St Boniface where he visited the Métis along the River. He then traveled to l’Îsle-à-la-Crosse, Saskatchewan (1853-57), spent the winter (1857-58) at St Boniface where he occupied himself with the mission at St Charles, Manitoba, returning to l’Îsle-à-la-Crosse (1858-60), and visiting Portage-La-Loche (1859, 1860) and Caribou Lake (1858, 1860), where he settled (1861-64) and from where he visited Brochet Lake (1860, 1864). He then became the Superior of St Boniface College (1864-65) before departing for Lac la Biche, Alberta (1865-74), from where he visited Fort Pitt (1865) and Carlton (1869), before settling in St Albert (1874-75).

Sent to Lac St Anne, Alberta (1875-77) to serve the Assiniboines [Stoney Aboriginal Peoples], he established the Parish of Lamoureux [Fort Saskatchewan], Alberta (1877-78) before returning to Lac St Anne (1878-80). He then went to St Laurent de Grandin (1880-85) where he established the Mission of St Eugene of Carlton (1880), that at Batoche (1881), of St Anne at Prince Albert, Saskatchewan (1882), St Louis de Langevin (1882) and Duck Lake, Saskatchewan, which he visited (1884-85) as well as the missions that he had established.

Father Végréville next went to Batoche (1885) where he temporarily became a prisoner during the Métis Insurrection (1885). He then returned to St Albert (1885-89) where he established the residence at St Christophe [Moulin or Marcellin] (1885). Afterwards, he served as the curate of St Joachim in Edmonton for a few months (1889-90), before returning to St Albert (1890-97), where he also occupied himself with Lamoureux (1890-91), before going to Lac St Anne (1897-99), Stony Plain, Alberta (1899) and Winterburn, Alberta (1899-1903).

Father Végréville was the author of numerous manuscript works in Aboriginal languages. A town in Alberta bears his name. He was buried in the Oblate cemetery in St Alberta, Alberta.1


Reprinted with the permission of Les Archives Deschâtelets and the publisher from Gaston Carriere, o.m.i., Dictionnaire de Marie Immaculée au Canada, volume III (Ottawa: Éditions de l’Université d’Ottawa, 1979), pp 261-62.


1. Father Vegreville, in Missionary Record…, 13 (1903), pp 341-43, archives générales O.M.I., Rome; Provincial Archives, O.M.I., Edmonton.

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