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Archbishop Arthé Guimond



It is with sadness that we received word of the passing of Archbishop Arthé Guimond, bishop Emeritus of Grouard-McLennan Wednesday February 6th at Youville Home in St. Albert. We are comforted to know that he is now free of the physical suffering that has afflicted him in the past seven and one half year. May joy and peace be his eternal reward!

Arthé Guimond was born on May 22, 1931 at St. François Xavier des Hauteurs, Cté Rimouski Québec, son of Pierre Guimond and Marie-Anne Dubé, the sixth of thirteen children. At a minor seminary college in Rimouski QC, the young Arthé had ambition to become a doctor. His goal was to help and serve people. One day, his spiritual director informed him that the College staff felt that he could have a vocation to the priesthood. He announced to his family his plans to enter the seminary the day of his graduation from College.

He attended ‘Le Grand Séminaire de St. Boniface’, Manitoba for his theological studies. On June 23rd, 1957 Arthé was ordained to the priesthood at the St. John the Baptist Cathedral in McLennan. Father Guimond’s seminary director, the future Cardinal Edouard Gagnon suggested that the young priest do post-graduate studies towards a doctorate. But this suggestion was met with the refusal from Bishop Henri Routhier who preferred to send the young priest to experience pastoral ministry in the parishes of the Vicariate. Four years later, Fr. Guimond would be on his way to study at l’Université de Montréal and then at the Grégorienne in Rome where he obtained a license in theology. Then it was off to the University of Bossey near Geneva and later to Paris, France. In June of 1970, he defended his thesis at the Grégorienne in Rome. The title of his thesis: The doctrinal requirements of Unity of the Church. His passion was learning and study. He enjoyed studying theology and found pleasure reading Thomas Aquinas. He also enjoyed learning languages and was fluent in French, English, German, Italian, some knowledge in Slovak languages and since his retirement, was learning Spanish.

In 1965, Fr. Arthé returned to Canada to teach at Le Grand Séminaire de St. Boniface, Manitoba. Then it was off to San Francisco to teach at a seminary there from 1969-71; Newman Theological College, Edmonton 1971-73; University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon until 1975. His following appointment was as theological advisor at the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops in Ottawa which he greatly enjoyed for the next twelve years. Further studies include the Biblical Institute of Jerusalem, and l’Université Catholique de Lille, France.

In the summer of 1987, Archbishop Légaré called Fr. Arthé back to the diocese and assigned him as pastor of St. Thomas More Parish in Fairview. It was a great opportunity to brush up on his German. Fr. Arthé was transferred to be the pastor at Our Lady of Peace, Peace River in September of 1991. With the arrival of Archbishop Henri Goudreault in 1996, Fr. Arthé was appointed his Vicar General. Together, they enjoyed discussions in theology and philosophy, spirituality and pastoral planning. Following the sudden death of Archbishop Goudreault, the College of Consultors elected Fr. Arthé as Administrator (July 1998-August 2000) . It was during his time as administrator that he travelled to Rome for the Ad limina with the Western Conference of Bishops and was privileged with a private audience with Pope Jean Paul II.

On June 6th of 2000, Fr. Arthé received a telephone call from the Apostolic Nuncio. The Nuncio asked Fr. Guimond “if he would accept the Pope’s appointment” to which Arthé replied, “If I’m called!” The response from the Nuncio was firm, “You are called!” Fr. Guimond accepted the appointment. The Episcopal ordination was presided by Apostolic Nuncio Paolo Romeo at St. John the Baptist Cathedral, McLennan on August 15th, Feast of the Assumption.

As bishop, Arthé was involved in much of the information gathering, orientation and negotiation on matters and procedure surrounding the Indian Residential School investigation and settlement agreement. He attended the Eucharistic Congress in Mexico, World Youth Day, Toronto and was days away from attending the World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany when he suffered an abdominal aortic aneurism. Luckily, he was at the hospital when this emergency took place. He spent weeks in intensive care and recovery at QE II hospital in Grande Prairie and in hospitals in Edmonton. He would be confined to the use of wheelchair and ongoing therapy. When it was determined that he was well enough, Bishop Arthé took up residence at Foyer Lacombe in St. Albert where he resided until a few days before his death.

Archbishop Arthé is predeceased by his parents, Pierre and Marie-Anne, Brothers: Antonio, Jean-Paul and Yvon (Rachel) and sister, Jeannette (Elzéar).

He leaves to mourn his sisters Joan (Bernard Boyko) and Pierrette (Philip Aubin) and brothers Eugêne (Gilberte), Bertrand (Gemma), Tony (Yvette), Marc (Janet), Raymond (priest) and Jean-Charles (Carol), nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.

Prayers will be held at St. Joseph’s Basilica, 10044 – 113 St. Thursday February 14th at 7:00 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Joseph’s Basilica Friday February 15, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. with Archbishop Gerard Pettipas, C.Ss.R. of Grouard-McLennan presiding. Burial will take place at Holy Cross Cemetery, Edmonton.

In Loving Memory of
Archbishop Arthé Guimond
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 Print Funeral Details
Prayer Service:
Thursday, February 14, 2013
7:00 PM
St. Joseph Basilica
10044 - 113 Street
Edmonton, AB
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Funeral Service:
Mass of Christian Burial
Friday, February 15, 2013
10:30 AM
St. Joseph Basilica
10044 - 113 Street
Edmonton, AB
 View Map
Holy Cross Cemetery & Mausoleum
14611 Mark Messier Trail
Edmonton, AB
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