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

TACHÉ, Alexandre, was born at Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec, on July 23rd, 1823, the son of Charles Taché, a military officer, and of Louise-Henriette Boucher of La Broquerie. He died at St Boniface, Manitoba, on June 22nd, 1894.

Monsignor Taché studied at the small seminary of St Hyacinthe (1833-1839), and at the large seminary at Montréal, becoming the regent of Chambly College (1842-1844) and a professor at St Hyacinthe (1844).

His theology studies completed and already a deacon, Alexandre entered the novitiate of  Longueuil October 5th, 1844, and then was sent on June 24th,1845 to the missions of Red River where he arrived on August 25th.  He was, with Father Pierre Aubert, one of the first two Oblates to arrive there. He was ordained a priest at St Boniface, October 12th,  1845, by Mgr Norbert Provencher, Bishop of Red River, and made his perpetual vows the following day, October 13th,1845.

The young priest studied the Saulteaux language at St Boniface (18451846), then left for Îsle-à-la-Crosse, Saskatchewan (1846-1851), where he visited Caribou Lake (1847-1851) and was the first priest at Fort Chipewyan, Alberta (1847-1848), as well as at Fort Portage-de-Traite [Caribou Lake] and Lac La Ronge, Saskatchewan (1847-1851).

June 24th, 1850, he was named titular Bishop of Arath and Coadjutor to Monsignor Provencher. He was consecrated in the Cathedral of Viviers, France, November 23rd,  1851, by Mgr Charles-Joseph-Eugène de Mazenod, Bishop of Marseille and founder of the Oblates. He chose as his Episcopal motto: Pinguescent speciosa deserti. Mgr Taché remained Coadjutor until 1853 and lived at Îsle-à-la-Crosse, where he continued to visit the missions at Caribou Lake and Fort Chipewyan.

On the death of Mgr Provencher, June 7th, 853, he became Bishop of St Boniface, then, Archbishop on September 22nd, 1871. As soon as he took charge of the Diocese, he quickly developed St Boniface College, founded many missions and made it his duty to visit his vast Diocese. He obtained a coadjutor in 1859 in the person of Mgr Vital Grandin, o.m.i., and established the Vicariate Apostolic of Mackenzie in 1862 and the Diocese of St Albert, Alberta, in 1871 as well as his own Diocese.

The Bishop took part in the Vatical Council of 1869-1870, but had to return in haste at the request of the Government of Canada to pacify the Métis. He fought with all his might in favour of Catholic and French schools in the Territories of the North West and obtained, in1884, residential schools for the Aboriginal Peoples. He also established a society for colonization in 1874 and convened the first provincial council of the Oblates at St Boniface in 1889.

The Bishop also served the function of Vicar of Missions [provincial] (1867-1887). He wrote a number of works on the Canadian West  and a number of monuments have been erected in his memory. Mgr Taché was buried in the Cathedral at St Boniface.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 210-11.


1. Paul BENOÎT, c.r.i.c., Mgr Alexandre Taché... , Montréal, Beauchemin, 1904, 2 vol.; Conrad LATOUR, o.m.i., Mgr Alexandre Taché, 1823-/894, in Missions ... des ... Oblats de Marie-Immaculée, 59 (1925), p. 315-329; George THUOT, Mgr Alexandre-Antonin Taché, in La Semaine religieuse de Montréal, 82 (1923), p. 67-70; Louis LE JEUNE, o.m.i., Taché. Alexandre, dans Dictionnaire général ... du Canada. vol. 2, p. 687-688; Johannes ROMMERSKIRCHEN, o.m.i., Taché, Alessandro, in Enciclopedia cattolica, vol. 9, p. 1687; Taché. Alessandro, in Dizionario cattolico. vol. 3, p. 1030; Taché. Alexandre, in Encyclopedia canadiana, vol. 10, p. 5-6; Taché. Alexandre-Antonin, in John J. DELANEY - James Edward TOBIN, in Dictionary of Catholic Biography. p. 1095-1096; Antoine CHAMPAGNE, c.r.i.c., Taché, Alexandre-Antonin. in New Catholic Encyclopedia. vol. 13, p. 911; Andrien-Gabriel MORICE,  o.m.i., Taché, Alexandre, in Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 14, p. 427-428; Norah STOREY, Taché.

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