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Gilles Cadrin Oblate Articles

These articles span Cadrin’s academic career and were published in Canada and/or France. They address such charismatic Oblate figures as Fr Valentin Végréville, Fr Émile Petitot and Bishop Legal. He also provides insight into the mission work, building of parishes and other activities that make this era come to life. The following are reprinted with the permission of the author and publisher.

Valentin Végréville (1829-1903): le missionnaire et l’appel de la science

Some of the first Oblates saw themselves as expanding the horizons of scholarship through their work in the New World. Frs Végréville and Petitot both did this work and, as Cadrin points out, sometimes were rivals. The work that they were doing was a part of the foundations of anthropological studies established in the 19th century pertaining to Indigenous Peoples. Cadrin explores Végréville’s training, his commitment to the acquisition of Native languages and his methodology and achievements in the emerging scholarship pertaining to the origins of the Indigenous People of North America.

Émile Petitot, missionnaire dans le Grand Nord canadien:
évangélisateur ou apôtre de la science?

The article begins by exploring why there was such fervour in France to provide missionaries for North American service and traces it to the publication of Génie du Christianisme by Chateaubriand in 1802. The article deals with the training and motivation of Fr Petitot, his gift for languages and fascination with the Aboriginal Peoples of Western Canada that resulted in the publication of a Dene dictionary as well as material on the customs and manners of the Aboriginal Peoples of the North.

Nation et Religion L’Établissement des Paroisses “Nationales” d’Edmonton

The article explores the establishment of a number of Francophone parishes in Edmonton and provides the histories of Saint-Joachim, l’Immaculée-Conception, Saint-Antoine, Saint-Renée, Saint-Edmond, Saint-François-d’Assise and Saint- François-Xavier. While the Oblates came to serve Aboriginal Peoples, they, inevitably, turned to serving their co-religionist settlers, whether Francophone or not.

Émile Legal et la place du Français en Alberta

As Bishop, Émile Legal headed a clergy that was 95% Francophone and the majority of which came from France. Cadrin explores Legal’s work in trying to balance the tensions between a country that was Anglophone in character and governance with the promotion of the French language and education.

Fort Macleod, AB - Catholic Church, July 1933, Photographer - A. Pilippot, OMI. (OB749 - Oblate Collection at the PAA)
Calgary, AB - St. Mary's Catholic Church in Calgary, c1887. (OB230 - Oblate Collection at the PAA)
Blackfoot Crossing, AB - View of Blackfoot Crossing, no date. (OB129 - Oblate Collection at the PAA)
St. Paul des Métis - Convent and school, [1901-1905]. (OB2096 - Oblate Collection at the PAA)
St. Albert - Basement of the third church, no date. (OB1781 - Oblate Collection at the PAA)
Saddle Lake, AB - Church and School at Saddle Lake, [1920s]. (OB1676 - Oblate Collection at the PAA)
Fort Macleod, AB - Interior of  [Catholic] Church, July 1933, Photographer - A. Pilippot, OMI. (OB748 - Oblate Collection at the PAA)
Calgary, AB - St. Mary's Catholic Church, old and new, no date. (OB233 - Oblate Collection at the PAA)

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