Alexandria-Cornwall Ontario has newly ordained Bishop Marcel Damphousse by Don Smith

The Most Reverend Marcel Damphousse, D.D.
Please click on the photo for an explanation of the Coat of Arms

Habemus opiscopus – we have a bishop!
– This afternoon at Alexandria’s magnificent St. Finnan’s Cathedral, in the presence of the Apostolic Nuncio to Canada, the Most Reverend Pedro López Quintana (Titular Archbishop of Acropolis), the Reverend Marcel Damphousse was ordained as Bishop of the diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall. Principal Ordaining Archbishop Brendan O’Brien (Kingston) was flanked by Main co-ordaining Archbishops Paul-Andre Durocher (Gatineau) and Albert LeGatt (St. Boniface). Among the 24 Co-ordaining bishops and archbishops, were Thomas Cardinal Collins (Archbishop of Toronto and Cardinal-Priest of San Patrizio) and Bishop Terry LaValley of the neighbouring U.S. diocese of Ogdensburg. About two dozen close friends and family members made the journey from the dioceses of St. Boniface, Winnipeg, Pembroke, Grouard-Mclennan and Sault Ste-Marie to witness the joyous occasion. The celebration was scheduled for the long weekend to enable family and friends to participate. A cross representation from the community included Anglican priests, Archdeacon Frank Kirby and Fr. Steven Silverthorne as well as M.P. Guy Lauzon, M.P.P. Jim McDonell and North Glengarry Mayor Chris McDonell. Due to the size of the gathering, participation of the public was only possible by obtaining a ticket from a limited quantity provided to each parish.

Damphousse’s June 28 appointment as Bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall coincided with his 21st anniversary of ordination to the priesthood. He is the eighth bishop of our diocese, and the first bishop to be ordained in our midst in just over 50 years. Although not originally from our diocese, some fifty years ago Reverend Jacques Landriault was ordained here as the first of a series of two Auxiliary Bishops and is now Bishop Emeritus of Timmins. Bishops Proulx and Durocher were already auxiliary bishops in another diocese when assigned here; Bishop LaRocque was ordained in his home diocese of London just before being installed here and orchestrating a name change for the diocese along with the establishment of a Co-cathedral in Cornwall.

Another diocesan “claim to fame”, so to speak, with regards to producing bishops, is Bishop Joseph Luc Andre Bouchard of Trois Rivieres diocese, who was ordained to the priesthood here in the diocese and served in that role for twenty five years before being called to the episcopate in St. Paul Alberta. Bouchard was in attendance today. The late Bishop William Joseph Smith, formerly a priest from our diocese, was ordained bishop for Pembroke diocese in St. Finnan’s in Alexandria on July 25, 1945. Smith hailed from Greenfield.

As part of the Ordination Rite, Damphousse was invested with a ring which is a symbol of the Bishop’s sacred office. It is a gift from His Grace Emilius Goulet, Archbishop Emeritus of St. Boniface.

The mandate from the Holy See was presented to the College of Consultors and read by the Chancellor. The document authenticates Rev. Marcel’s call to the sacred order of Bishop.

Damphousse’s mitre, a liturgical vestment worn by bishops, was a gift from the Damphousse and Dionne families.

Damphousse prostrated himself before the altar during the Litany of the Saints

The pastoral staff (crosier), symbol of the governing office of Bishop, was a gift from the Archdiocese of St. Boniface.

The laying on of hands by each co-ordaining bishop is a formal method of invoking the Holy Spirit.

Liturgical music for the majority French bilingual three and a quarter hour long celebration was provided courtesy of an ad hoc diocesan choir which was formed and directed by Miss Helen McAlear, comprising some 75 singers and musicians from every parish in the diocese.

The seating of the the new Bishop inaugurates his pastoral ministry as Shepherd of the diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall

During the new bishop’s closing address he commented:

From the very first day of my appointment, I have been blessed with an abundance of greetings, prayers, and words of encouragement from bishops throughout Canada. I feel assured that I am not alone in this new calling. … One when arrives in a new school or a new workplace he or she is quick to assess and evaluate what kind of people live there. First impressions are key to opening doors and establishing a relationship of trust. I must say that I am well pleased with what I have seen so far.”


It’s proving to be a busy week for Canadian bishops. This past Wednesday saw Reverend Valéry Vienneau installed as the sixth Archbishop of Moncton, New Brunswick. Tomorrow Reverend Gregory Bittman will be ordained as the first Auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of Edmonton. That event will be video streamed live on the diocesan website, which also contains a downloadable liturgy program.

Archbishops Durocher and O’Brien, Bishop Damphousse, Archbishop LeGatt after the ordination
Name Diocese Role Role at Ordination
Gerard Bergie St. Catherines Bishop Co-ordaining Bishop
Luc Bouchard Trois-Rivières Bishop Co-ordaining Bishop
Tom Collins Toronto Archbishop (Cardinal) Co-ordaining Bishop
Douglas Crosby Hamilton Bishop Co-ordaining Bishop
Thomas Dowd Montreal Bishop Co-ordaining Bishop
Paul-André Durocher Gatineau Archbishop Main co-ordaining Bishop
Ron Fabbro London Bishop Co-ordaining Bishop
Lionel Gendron St-Jean Longueuil Bishop Co-ordaining Bishop
Émilius Goulet St-Boniface Archbishop Emeritus Co-ordaining Bishop
Robert Harris St. John N.B. Bishop Co-ordaining Bishop
Wayne Kirkpatrick Toronto Aux. Bishop Co-ordaining Bishop
Gérald Lacroix Québec Archbishop Co-ordaining Bishop
François Lapierre St-Hyacinthe Bishop Co-ordaining Bishop
Eugène LaRocque Alex-Cornwall Bishop – Retired Co-ordaining Bishop
Terry LaValley Ogdensburg Bishop Co-ordaining Bishop
Albert LeGatt St-Boniface Archbishop Main co-ordaining Bishop
Pierre Morrisette St-Jérome Bishop Co-ordaining Bishop
Vincent Nguyen Toronto Bishop Co-ordaining Bishop
Brendan O’Brien Kingston Archbishop Principal Ordaining Bishop
Raymond Poisson St-Jérome Bishop Co-ordaining Bishop
Terrence Prendergast Ottawa Archbishop Co-ordaining Bishop
Pedro López Quintana Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Co-ordaining Bishop
Noёl Simard Valleyfield Bishop Co-ordaining Bishop
Raymond St-Gelais Nicolet Bishop Emeritus Co-ordaining Bishop
Donald J. Thériault Cdn Forces Bishop Co-ordaining Bishop
Anthony Tonnos Hamilton Bishop – Retired Co-ordaining Bishop
Eugène Tremblay Amos Bishop – Retired Co-ordaining Bishop

Historical Summary of the Diocese
During the 1870’s, Catholic Scotsmen with their priests settled in the area that became the parishes of St. Andrew and St. Raphael.

The Reverend Alexander Macdonell was born in Scotland and educated for the priesthood. MacDonell obtained land in Glengarry County and, in 1804, brought many soldiers from his disbanded Highland Regiment to join the Loyalists already in Upper Canada. In 1805 he was appointed the third pastor of St. Raphael. In 1807 he became Vicar General and was put in charge of all pastoral activities in Upper Canada. Macdonell helped raise a second regiment which he accompanied into action during the War of 1812. With residence in St. Raphael and with the same responsibilities, he became Auxiliary Bishop in 1819. He became the first Bishop in Upper Canada, having been assigned to Kingston diocese in 1826, but he left St. Raphael for Kingston only in 1829.

The Diocese of Alexandria was established on January 23, 1890. Split off from the Kingston diocese, it comprised the counties of Stormont and Glengarry and is part of the Ecclesiastical province of Kingston. On September 16, 1976, permission was granted from the Sacred Congregation for Bishops to change the name of the diocese to Alexandria-Cornwall and to establish a Co-cathedral in Cornwall.

Bishops and Auxiliaries in the Diocese of Alexandria, renamed Alexandria-Cornwall
Role Name Priesthood Episcopacy Our Bishop Current Episcopal Ordination
1st Bishop Rt. Rev. Alexander Macdonell 20 Dec, 1862 28 Oct, 1890 1890-1905 Deceased 29 May, 1905 For Alexandria
2nd Bishop Rt. Rev. William A. Macdonell 11 Sep, 1881 21 Mar, 1906 1906-1920 Deceased 10 Nov, 1920 For Alexandria
3rd Bishop Most Rev. Felix Couturier, O.P. 20 Sep, 1901 27 Apr, 1919 1921-1941 Deceased 27 Jul, 1941 For Egitto, Egypt
4th Bishop Most Rev. Rosario Brodeur 17 Jun, 1916 30 Jun, 1941 1941-1966 Deceased 07 Feb, 1986 Co-adjutor for Alexandria
Auxiliary Most Rev. Jacques Landriault 09 Feb, 1957 25 Jul, 1962 1962-1964 Emeritus of Timmins Aux. for/in Alexandria
Auxiliary Most Rev. Joseph-Aurele Plourde 07 May, 1944 26 Aug, 1964 1964-1967 Emeritus of Ottawa Aux. for Alexandria
5th Bishop Most Rev. Adolphe Proulx 27 May, 1954 24 Feb, 1965 1967-1974 Deceased 22 Jul, 1987 Aux. for Sault Sainte-Marie
6th Bishop Most Rev. Eugene P. LaRocque 07 Jun, 1952 03 Sep, 1974 1974-2002 Emeritus London for Alexandria
7th Bishop Most Rev. Paul-Andre Durocher 02 Jul, 1982 14  Mar, 1997 2002-2011 Archbishop of Gatineau Aux. for Sault Sainte-Marie
8th Bishop Most Rev. Marcel Damphousse 28 Jun, 1991 02 Sep, 2012 2012 — Bishop For/in Alexandria-Cornwall

Flowers Cornwall


  1. “The basic and fatal error of Romanism is the denial of the sufficiency of Christ as Saviour. It denies the efficacy of His sacrifice on the cross. Romanism has a Christ, but He is not sufficient as a Saviour. What He did at Calvary must be repeated (in the mass) and supplemented (through works of penance), and this makes priestcraft and sacramentarianism necessary. Romanism is a complicated system of salvation by works. It has salvation to sell, but not in Isaiah’s terms – without money and without price (Isaiah 55:1). It offers salvation on the installment plan, and then sees to it that the poor sinner is always behind in his payments, so that when he dies there is a large balance unpaid, and he must continue payments by suffering purgatory, or until the debt is paid by prayers, alms and suffering of his living relatives and friends. The whole system and plan calls for merit and money, from the cradle to the grave, and even beyond. Surely the wisdom that drew such a plan of salvation is not from above, but is earthly and sensual.”

  2. So Pastor Tom, are you once again declaring that Roman Catholicism is a false religion, unlike your own? It must be nice to be one of the “chosen few” that will be accepted into heaven.

  3. Wow Ed, you agree with the Holy Word of God. Salvation is for the elect of God only – all for whom Christ died. Salvation is by His grace alone, received by faith alone, and not by any form of religious merit or achievement.

    2 Timothy 1:9 “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,…”.

    1 Thessalonians 1:4 ” Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.”

    ” But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ ” (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14).

    Romans 9:11 “(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)” .

  4. And yes, the word of God declares that the Roman Catholic religion is a false, lying religion that saves no one. A works type salvation is under the curse of God –

    Galatians 3:10-11″For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. 11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith”.

    Galatians 2:21 “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain”.

  5. No Mr. Newton. I just recognize the fact that you think that your particular religion is the only “true” religion. As far as I’m concerned, your religion is no more or less crazy than any other. The only distinction that I can see is that people of your faith seem compelled to trash the beliefs of others. But seriously Mr. Newton, you have to admit that those Catholic pooh-bahs get to wear the coolest hats.

  6. “And yes, the word of God declares that the Roman Catholic religion is a false, lying religion that saves no one. A works type salvation is under the curse of God -”

    Good Lord! How hateful and nasty can a “man of the cloth” get?
    Carry on, Mr. Newton.

  7. Many thanks Don for this beautiful description of that day. The pictures are very beautiful.

    Que le Seigneur te bénisse et merci pour ton beau travail.
    Thanks be to God for this new Bishop.

    Suzanne sscj.

  8. Well done Don…very accurate and well written. It has been sent to me from several people ~ so many have been reading it…Pictures are awesome as well – nice to see what was going on downstairs! We were a little busy in the choir loft so the choir members, instrumentalist, as well as Sr. Mary (organist) and I are enjoying reading and seeing this very much.

  9. This article by Don Smith is extremely useful, informative and appropriate for both Catholics and non-Catholics, given that the vast majority of people living in the Cornwall-Alexandria area are affiliated with the Catholic Church.

  10. Is that true Neil? Are you saying that the vast majority in the area identify with the Catholic Church? You might be correct, but I find that hard to believe.

  11. Yes, Ed, that might be an overstatement. I could not find the exact figures from Statistics Canada, but I did recently read the figure of 56,000 members for the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall, which means I should have said “by far the largest religious denomination.” Thank you for raising the point.

  12. Author

    Kevin Lamoureux of KAV produced a 1 hour and 35 minute highlight video of the ordination which also includes footage from preparations just before the Mass, the procession down the street and the public reception which followed. Widescreen DVDs are available from for just $20. Blu-Ray discs and HD Digital MP4 files are also available. Here’s a link to a trailer which includes a commentary by Bishop Damphousse himself: .

  13. Thanks for this information, Don. The video content available through Cornwall Free News really adds substance to the print coverage and plays a very helpful role in allowing readers/viewers to form their own impressions and draw their own conclusions. This is the same kind of valuable service provided by major news players like the BBC World News website.

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