Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of December 17, 2007
Lemieux spent last days on pilgrimage
Redemptorist left pilgrims with image of a Christ-like man
By ALICIA AMBROSIO
"It was the most Christ-like moment I've ever witnessed."
- Penny Laforge
In a statement released by the Redemptorists, a confrere who knew him from his seminary days Father Jim Mason, said, "he was the ever optimistic, cheerful, joking Redemptorist, both in the pulpit and in the community.
"He carried on with all the vim and verve that life blessed him with. He was gifted with the wonderful grace to make people feel their goodness and treasure and enjoy their lives as a gift from God.
"Like a magnet he drew people to himself with his simplicity, his caring and ever present humour."
Lemieux was born in Paradise Hill, Sask., July 17, 1935. While working for the federal department of agriculture as a patrolman in Aboriginal communities, he heard his calling to the priesthood.
He made his first profession of vows with the Redemptorists in 1957 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1964 by Bishop Emmett Carter of London.
His first appointment was as pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Vancouver, where he developed a unique ministry for the deaf. In 1969 he was appointed to Holy Redeemer College in Edmonton as a teacher of religious education.
In 1970 he became pastor of Our Lady of the Foothills Parish in Hinton. He was a founding member of the Redemptorist Mission Team. He and the mission team gave about 25 missions a year in parishes across Western Canada.
In 1999 he was appointed pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Grande Prairie where he served until his death.
Lemieux was diagnosed with cancer in 2002 but continued to work in the parish and serve in communities where no priest was available.
Lemieux is survived by nine brothers and sisters, a nephew and niece, and is predeceased by his mother and father.
A vigil service was celebrated Dec. 5 and a Mass of the Resurrection on Dec. 6 at St. Joseph Church in Grande Prairie. Another vigil service was celebrated Dec. 7 followed by a Mass of the Resurrection Dec. 8 at St. Albert Catholic Church.
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