Last Updated: Tuesday - 01/04/2011
November 19, 2001
New bishop grew up in a happy home
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON — By today's standards, it was an unusual wedding. Gaston Bouchard and Lucienne Morin were united in Holy Matrimony along with 105 other couples at one Mass in July 1939 on Ile Ste-Helene in the middle of the St. Lawrence River in Montreal.
The couples were members of the Young Christian Workers and were seeking to give a public witness to the beauty of married life when they planned the ceremony.
The couples began the day by attending Mass and receiving Communion at St. Joseph's Oratory on Mont Royal. Then they rode in cars provided by General Motors to a hall where they had breakfast.
Later, they went to the island - which later became famous as the site of Expo '67 - where the wedding Mass was celebrated. Each couple brought along their own priest to witness their individual vows.
"My parents were always very committed Christians, very committed Catholics," said Bishop Luc Bouchard as he recounted details of their wedding ceremony.
"Our home was as ordinary and normal as any other home," he said. "It was a very happy home."
Gaston and Lucienne settled in the eastern Ontario city of Cornwall and had five children - three boys and two girls. Gaston was a pipefitter at a rayon manufacturing plant while Lucienne, now 83, worked in the home.
Bouchard said his father, who died in 1978, never wanted to become a boss because that would mean working evenings and weekends and taking time away from the family. "He wanted to consecrate his life to his family."
It was a lively household with plenty of visitors. Both parents had come from large families. "Our house was always sort of the focus" for family get-togethers.
"My father was a very generous person in the sense that the house was open to all."
Bouchard said his parents were people of principle and taught their children the meaning of love and commitment and respect. But they didn't try to steer their children towards any particular career. Luc became a priest; the other four got married and had children of their own.
The Bouchards spoke French in the home and Gaston was an avid fan of the Montreal Canadiens. But the children were educated in both English and French.
Luc Bouchard went on to earn his Grade 10 in piano, study philosophy in university and learn Spanish. After he finished his bachelor of arts, he went to Mexico for three months to learn about Church social action in the southeastern state of Chiapas.
Bouchard has not kept up his studies in music. "But I love to sing and I play once in awhile." At family gatherings, he gets on the piano and leads the singing.
And his early studies have made him keenly aware of the importance of music in the liturgy. "There's nothing more uplifting than when you have a congregation celebrating with music."
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