Last Updated: Tuesday - 01/04/2011
November 19, 2001
Bouchards have close family life
Close ties bind siblings together
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
CORNWALL, ONT. — When Suzanne Bouchard-Bergeron was undergoing cancer treatment more than three years ago, her younger brother Bishop Luc Bouchard became her big brother.
Bouchard, then pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Alexandria, would take his day off to drive Suzanne to the hospital for radiation treatment. The bishop offered to do this so that his brother-in-law could have a break.
"We would laugh and find humour in good or bad situations," Suzanne told the WCR.
"He was not the only one who took care of me, but as far as I am concerned he was there for me," added Suzanne, who is six years older than the bishop.
Although there is a significant age gap between Suzanne and Luc, there is a strong relationship between the two.
The future bishop was 13 going on 14 when Suzanne married Marcel Bergeron. "He was the altar boy when we got married," said Suzanne, who has been married for 37 years.
He has always been a gentle child from day one, said the bishop's sister, a point with which his second eldest brother, Claude, agreed.
"Luc was a very gentle, mild child," said Claude, who lives in L'Orignal, Ont., with his wife, Sergine.
"I think he always wanted to be a priest," Claude told the WCR.
Between the age of 12 and 13 Luc made an altar in the basement of their house on Dunbar Street in Cornwall, Ont.
"He would have his friends over and I think he was playing priest to them and celebrating Mass," Claude said.
Although Luc is the second youngest among the five siblings, he gets to play Santa for the whole family.
"We would wrap gifts but Luc gets to carry them in a huge bag and be Santa for everybody," said Sergine, the bishop's sister-in-law.
The bishop loves to sing and would gather his family around the piano to sing Christmas carols.
"He makes copies of the songs so that everybody could join in and sing along," Sergine said.
Not only does the bishop love music, he also enjoys telling stories and doing magic tricks for his nieces and nephews.
"He almost becomes a child himself whenever he is around (children)," said Sergine.
Everybody loves Uncle Luc.
"Oh my God, there's nobody like Uncle Luc," said Suzanne.
He's got this thing with the blanket. He makes his feet disappear while humming a tune and playing with the blanket.
"We just love that, no matter how often he does it, it's just as much fun as the first time we saw it," Suzanne said.
Although Bishop Bouchard is passionate about his ministry, his family remains a priority and significant part of his life.
The Bouchard family loves doing things together, from cooking, singing to laughing. It can almost be said that a family that laughs together stays together, as the WCR discovered that the bishop's trademark laughs are echoed by those of his sister and his nephews.
Christian Bouchard, now 23, was five when he realized that Uncle Luc was a priest.
"He was walking in the hallway wearing this white garment of a priest and I came and approached him and said: 'Hello Monsieur, Mon Oncle Luc,'" said Christian.
"He burst into laughter which was so infectious and would make you want to laugh too."
Christian said his uncle is a gifted storyteller. "His eyes would light up and so you respond to that really well."
Whether camping, swimming or simply just laughing, Christian loves to spend time with his uncle.
"He makes the best steak in the world," said the Montreal-based personnel recruiter.
However, Suzanne said Spaghetti Oux Lard, a roast pork with spaghetti, is one of Luc's favourite dishes to prepare. "We actually just found out that our mother made up that recipe," Suzanne said.
"But Luc loves anything, so it is a pleasure to cook for him," she added.
One thing that Sergine admires about her brother-in-law is his devotion to his 83-year-old mother.
"Of course everybody loves her, but Luc has always been there for her and takes care of her."
Now that the bishop will be based in St. Paul, the situation will be totally challenging both for him and his mother.
"Mom, was a little bit worried about this new job for Luc," Suzanne said. "But I think it is an honour for my brother and my family, so Mom would be fine about it."
Suzanne cried when she first heard the news about her brother's appointment. "I was just so happy for him, I couldn't believe it."
"I made him repeat it when he phoned me. You were named what?"
"I just think I did not hear it properly," she laughed.
Although his family is concerned about the fact that the new responsibilities of Bishop Bouchard would mean seeing him less, they pray and hope that all goes well for the new bishop.
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