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13 November

Most Rev. Auguste Delisle, CSSp

Most Rev. Auguste Delisle was born in Montreal on July 7, 1908 from a very religious Christian family. From 1922 to 1927 he attends high school at the Collège Saint-Alexandre of Gatineau. He then joins the Congrégation du Saint-Esprit and takes his vows in Orly (France), on September 8 1931. He completes his theological studies in Chevilly (France) and in Rome where he is ordained a priest on June 17, 1934. In 1935 Father Auguste Delisle sails off to Cameroon. Here he dedicates himself to teaching. In Cameroon it is the time for evangelisation through catechesis for adults.

He also works at promoting education of young women. After working for seventeen years in this country, he is sent to Nigeria. He arrives in January 1952 and joins other ten Spiritan fathers for the mission. In 1955 the new missionary is appointed Apostolic Prefect of the prefecture of Kabba, erected by Rome. In August 1964 he is ordained a bishop of this same district, that has now become the diocese of Lokoja. The diocese will be divided in 1968. In 1974 he passes on the leadership of his diocese to a Nigerian bishop. Our bishop returns to Canada and continues working a few years at missionary animation. At the age of 71, after having learned Spanish, he sets off for Chili. He serves there for about twenty years as a simple parish priest.

Most Rev. Delisle is a giant, because of his vision of the future, his missionary dynamism, apostolic zeal and talent as a builder. He had but one ambition, as he worked at evangelisation, education or healthcare: to develop the Church, both from a human and a spiritual point of view. Most Rev. Delisle was a man of compassion too. At his funeral, Fr André Vigneault said: “Behind the sometimes rough bark of this big tree, you could find tenderness – he was sensitive to others’ needs, to their sadness, their suffering.”

On November 13, 2006, at the age of 98, “a baobab fell” (inspired by an African expression).