Desjardins: Father Omer Desjardins omi

Share Button
Father Omer Desjardins OMI Lacombe 04 Feb 2011

Father Omer Desjardins OMI Lacombe 04 Feb 2011

Omer Desjardins

Father Omer Desjardins

Oblate priest.  Ordained 1958

Has been charged twice.  Guilty plea to indecent assault of a female.  Sentenced to six months in jail and one year probation.

GUILTY plea to first charges.  January 2015  sentenced to six months in jail and one year probation.  Name added to sex offender registry

Second set of charges:

January 2017four new charges laid (Sexual assault (s. 271); Sexual exploitation: touch (s. 153); Sexual assault (s. 246.1); Gross indecency (s.157)  The first two charges date to offences which are alleged to have transpired between 12 December 1988 and 31 July 1989. The third and fourth charges relate to offences which are alleged to have transpired between 01 October 1988 and 11 December 1988.

16 January 2017:  further charges from a second  complainant added

June 2017:  another complainant has come forward.

______________________

12 January 2017:  Winnipeg Oblate priest charged with historic sexual assault

__________________________

Next court date (new charges)02 October 2017: 1 pm,  “to set date,” court room # 302, Winnipeg Provincial courthouse (Main Floor, 408 York Ave.); 24 July 2017:  1 pm,  “to be spoken to,” court room # 302, Winnipeg Provincial courthouse (Main Floor, 408 York Ave.); 12 June 2017:  1 pm,  “to be spoken to,” court room # 302, Winnipeg Provincial courthouse (Main Floor, 408 York Ave.); 24 April 2017: 1 pm,  “to be spoken to,” court room # 302, Winnipeg Provincial courthouse (Main Floor, 408 York Ave.); 27 March 2017:  1 pm,  “to be spoken to,” court room # 302, Winnipeg Provincial courthouse (Main Floor, 408 York Ave.) ; 27 February 2017: 1 pm,  court room # 302, Winnipeg Provincial courthouse (Main Floor, 408 York Ave.) ; 16 January 2017:  1 pm, first appearance, court room # 302, Winnipeg Provincial courthouse (Main Floor, 408 York Ave.)

______________________

First Trial

judge:  Judge Byron Wright.  Defence lawyer:  George Green.  Crown:  Matthew Miazga

____________________________

22 January 2015:  Father Omer Desjardins – Judgment ( Sentencing)

___________________________

MEDIA coverage and Blogs

24 July 2017:  BLOG Betrayed!

27 January 2017:  BLOG  Could this scenario play out in Winnipeg?

10 January 2017:  BLOG First appearance 16 Jan.

09 January 2017:  BLOG  If only a handful of people know, is it a scandal?

13 December 2016:  BLOG  A Hamilton native

29 January 2015:  BLOG  Another name to add

23 January 2015:  “Priest jailed for 1978 sexual assault” & related article

22 January 2015:  BLOG In jail

23 January 2015:  BLOG   The lower end of the scale of gravity?!

22 January 2015:  Omer Desjardins, 82-year-old Catholic priest, jailed for sexual assault

21 January 2015:  BLOG Apologies ++?

30 December 2014:  Sexual assault by priest haunts victim

30 December 2014:  BLOG Blame it on alcohol?

29 December 2014:  BLOG  Amazingly fast

23 October 2014:  BLOG  Not easy

20 October 2014:  BLOG Updates

11 October 2014:  BLOG  Trial

06  October 2014:  BLOG SMIS sex abuse scandal

17 September 2014:  BLOG   Another Oblate charged

__________________________

The following information is drawn from media (M) and the 1999 Oblate Directory (Oblate 99)

16 January 2017:  further charges from a second  complainant added

January 2017four new charges laid (Sexual assault (s. 271); Sexual exploitation: touch (s. 153); Sexual assault (s. 246.1); Gross indecency (s.157)  The first two charges date to offences which are alleged to have transpired between 12 December 1988 and 31 July 1989. The third and fourth charges relate to offences which are alleged to have transpired between 01 October 1988 and 11 December 1988.

 22 January 2015:   Sentenced to six months jail and one year probation. Name added to sex offender registry

GUILTY plea

September 2014:  charges laid – indecent assault of a female.  The charges date to 1978

2013:  Victim reported abuse to police

2014, 2013:  address, Winnipeg. Manitoba

2011:  has served as chaplain at St. Boniface hospital in Winnipeg Manitoba for 24 years

1988 :  chaplain, St. Boniface Hospital, Winnipeg, Manitoba (Oblate ’99)

1995-1998:  Deuxieme conseiller – Casa Bonita (Oblate house)  (Oblate ’99)

1990:  Assistant econome – Casa Bonita (Oblate house)  (Oblate ’99)

1986-1988:  chaplain, Misericorde Hospital, Winnipeg, Manitoba  (Oblate ’99)

1985-1986:  preacher, Villa Maria, Saint-Norbert, Manitoba (Oblate ’99)

1984-1985:  Elie et Saint Francois, Winnipeg, Manitoba   (Oblate ’99)

1978-1983:  preacher, Villa Maria, Saint-Norbert, Manitoba (Oblate ’99)

sexual abuse of 10-year-old girl (M)

1975-1978:  French teacher – Federal government (Oblate ’99)

1975-1976:  St. Jerome College, Edmonton, Alberta “econome” (Oblate ’99)

1971-1975:   College econome, College Mathieu, Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan (Oblate ’99)

1969-1971:  Pastor, Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, Winnipeg, Manitiba (Oblate ’99)  (This doesn;t marry with reports he taught at

 1969, 1967-1968, 1960-1966:  professor, College Mathieu, Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan (Oblate ’99)

1966-1967:  prefet de discipline

07 September 1958:  ORDAINED. Marselin. Saskatchewan

08 September 1956:  Perpetual vows,   Lebret. Saskatchewan

28 September 1932:  Born in Marselin. Saskatchewan

 ________________________________

Chaplain charged in sex-abuse case

Arrest provides explanation for retirement

The longtime chaplain at St. Boniface Hospital has abruptly retired after being charged with a historical sexual abuse case in Saskatchewan.

Father Omer Desjardins, 82, announced he was leaving his post last month, but provided no explanation for the sudden decision. Weeks later, colleagues learned Desjardins had been arrested following a lengthy RCMP investigation.

“We were just made aware about the charges after he retired,” hospital spokeswoman Hélène Vrignon told the Free Press Friday.

Court records show Desjardins is accused of molesting a 12-year-old girl on one occasion in 1978 in a small community north of Saskatoon. He is facing a charge of indecent assault. Desjardins has made one court appearance and is set to resolve the matter when he appears on Oct. 23.

The now-adult victim only came forward to police earlier this year — a decision her mother says came as a result of numerous difficulties in her life, including a deep depression.

“It’s just all very sad,” the mother told the Free Press on Friday. She said her daughter spoke up immediately following the abuse, but was convinced by family members, including the mother herself, to stay silent.

“Nobody in those days reported anything. It just wasn’t done,” she said. “And back then, priests were put on a pretty high pedestal.”

The Free Press is not revealing how the victim knew Desjardins to avoid potentially identifying her.

Desjardins was ordained in 1958 and has spent much of his career working in Manitoba, with stints at churches in St. Norbert, St. François Xavier and Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Winnipeg.

He became the chaplain at St. Boniface Hospital in 1988 following a two-year stint at the Misericordia. Vrignon said there are no other investigations ongoing as far as she knows.

Desjardins has continued living in Winnipeg free on bail since his arrest with strict conditions including having no contact with the victim or any children under the age of 16.

www.mikeoncrime.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 18, 2014 A12

____________________________

Priest charged with indecent assault

Regina Leader Post

Saskatoon Star Phoenix

12 September 2014

An 83-yearold Catholic priest has been charged with indecent assault dating back to the 1970s in a small community north of Saskatoon.

Omer Desjardins is alleged to have committed the offence against a female in 1978. The StarPhoenix is not naming the community where the charge originates to protect the identity of the complainant.

The charge of indecent assault was subsequently replaced in the Criminal Code of Canada with sexual assault.

Desjardins currently lives in Manitoba, where he continues to practise as a priest and works in spiritual care at the Saint Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg.

When reached by phone, Desjardins declined to comment on the charge and said that he would contact his lawyer. His first appearance in court was last week. His case was adjourned to Oct. 2.

________________________________

ANNIVERSARY OF THE GATHERING OF FRANCOPHONE SASKATCHEWAN

OMI Lacombe

January 21, 2103 Volume 10 Number 2

This November 10, Father Omer Desjardins and Father Jean-Paul Isabelle took part in the 100th anniversary celebration of the gathering of French-speaking Saskatchewan. Father Desjardins gave a speech which reminded the hearers of the important role played by the Oblates in promoting the French language in Saskatchewan. In the name of the Oblates of Western Canada, he also thanked the Francophone Community Assembly (FCA) for having acknowledged and honored the Oblates of Mary Immaculate for their role in promoting the French language in Saskatchewan.

_______________________________


OMER DESJARDINS, OMI

OMI Lacombe

February 04, 2011  Volume 8, Number 05

By Nestor Gregoire, OMI

 

Omer Desjardain, OMI

The Oblate Community boasts of many unique characters. Our Omer must hold the recent record for the longest apostolate in one location in our recent times. He has been the Catholic chaplain at the St. Boniface Hospital for the past twenty four years. Thoughtfully he responds to the question about his ministry. “This is the ministry I felt most comfortable with. There is a sense of being needed and of responding to real needs.” There is a moment of silent reflection. “This is ministering to the poor. I find that people in the hospital are poor people.” He continues to fill out his response. “This is life giving ministry.”

When asked how long he will continue as hospital chaplain he chuckles. “I am not thinking of retiring. I plan on continuing as long as my health allows me.” At this point in time he is working only half time but sees a future in continuing. “It is important for me to continue in this ministry.”

Another part of his ministry is his volunteer work with refugees and new immigrants. He became involved through Brother Duchene. “Through him I got to know a few families and from there it snowballed. I help the refugees in very simple ways. I drive them to and help them to get registered at the food bank. Mostly the refugees are from Burma. They are Karen which is a distinct culture and language group. They are opposed to the military regime in Burma. These refugees have spent many years in refugee camps. They are faith filled Christians, most of a Evangelical persuarsion.

“I am also involved with immigrants from the Congo. I help them obtain furniture and household goods from Florien Laurent here in St. Boniface. Or we go shopping at Le Market which has some very reasonably priced household goods.”

This is very much Oblate work. “I am responding to their need. They are just learning the language. They are very grateful people and they are very positive in their thinking. Their children laugh a lot. There is a wholeness about these people.”

Omer is never at a loss for things to do. He has a very impressive collection of fine wood working that he had made in shop. He is very grateful for his good health and list many major hiking and backpacking expeditions. He has hiked the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island four times; once he hiked the Chilkoot Trail in the Yukon, the Grand Canyon in Arizona and the John Muier trail in California but the most difficult hiking was the Coastal Trail along Lake Superior (2005) which proved to be a real wilderness trail. “But we made it!”

He always carries his trusty camera along the trail as the photos in the hallway indicate. His annual photo albums dating from 1979 highlight his interest in recording the beauty and challenge of nature. Not to consider slowing down for a man of his age, Omer is planning a weekend hike in the Whiteshell (wilderness area north and East of Winnipeg). He includes some of the refugee young men on these hikes. These young men must live in the roughest part of the city due to a very tight shortage of cash and they enjoy the outdoors so much. Omer is impressed at their youth and how they can climb the trees and the rocks.

“It is out here that we sing the hymn to creation that we pray every Sunday morning in our breviary.”
When I asked Omer to give a summary of his Oblate life he rubbed his chin and slowly responded. “Everything comes down to love. It may be an overstatement but God is love. Where there is love, there is care and the results of love are in service.”

________________________________

College Mathieu and the Beginnings of Octopus

Encyclopedia of French Cultural Heritage in Norton America website

 

The first members of Octopus in 1964, under the direction of Father Fernand Binette, OMI.

The first members of Octopus in 1964, under the direction of Father Fernand Binette, OMI.

In 1963, Father Fernand Binette, OMI, selected the eight best adult male voices from the College Mathieu Choir to form a new group, Octopus and it went on to make its mark in the province. The original group was made up of Réal Forest, André Gauthier, Henri Léost, Henri Lepage, Denis L’Heureux, André Moquin and Paul Morin, all from Gravelbourg, and Léo Pinel, from Moose Jaw. “Many Fransaskois and […] former College Mathieu students can remember hearing the musical group, Octopus […]. The group specializes in a capella music, folk songs and popular music.” (NOTE 3) Accompanied by Father Omer Desjardins, OMI, on piano, the group performed for many years, with new singers replacing those who left. Three former College students, Réal Forest, Henri Lepage and André Moquin, were members of the group for the entire period of its existence. After the release of its only CD in 2006, having served as the principal ambassadors of Fransaskois singing for more than 45 years, the group decided to retire and make way for other singers and groups.

In the fall of 1971, a former student, Donald Sirois, returned to College Mathieu and he began the MAT, thus founding an institution that would become as well-known as Octopus. Surrounded initially by talented students like Gerry Pittet, Phillip Fournier, Solange Campagne and Julien Poulin, Sirois was able to create a training ground for future Fransaskois singers and musicians. Several other members of the Campagne family (Paul, Carmen, Annette and Michelle) followed their sister Solange as members of the MAT, and their older sister, Suzanne, was its director for a few years at the end of the 1970s (NOTE 4). Numerous other musicians and singers, like Andrée Noonan, Lisa Hounjet (Leezjah), Cathy Chouinard (Clemonica) and Charles Dumont, began their careers with the MAT. While the MAT still exists, College Mathieu is no longer what it was, with a high school enrolment of only 25 students (2009 figures). As a result, the group is no longer as dynamic as when there were 150 or 200 students at the Collège.

_______________________________

_______________________________

Court dates from first set of charges

Next court date:  22 January 2015: sentencing,  Saskatoon Provincial Court (220 19th Street East, Saskatoon, Sask30 December 2014: 2 pm, courtroom #1, for sentencing hearing, Saskatoon Provincial Court (220 19th Street East, Saskatoon, Sask,;  23 October 2014:  10 am, for sentencing, Blaine Lake circuit court, 107 Main Street, Community Hall, Blaine Lake, Sask.; 02 October 2014, Saskatoon. Sask.

10 Responses to Desjardins: Father Omer Desjardins omi

  1. Sylvia says:

    A total surprise here. I called to get the next court date for Father Omer Desjardins. His next court date is for sentencing! He must have quietly entered a guilty plea:

    23 October 2014
    ; 10 am, for sentencing, Blaine Lake circuit court, 107 Main Street, Community Hall, Blaine Lake, Sask

    Note that court will be in the community hall in Blaine Lake, Saskatchewan.

    Please keep the victim in your prayers.

  2. Sylvia says:

    Father Oner Desjardins omi will be sentenced on 30 December 2014:

    30 December 2014 ; 2 pm, courtroom #1, for sentencing, Saskatoon Provincial Court (220 19th Street East, Saskatoon, Sask.

    It would seem therefore that Father Desjardin’s last court date in Blaine Lake was a sentencing hearing.

    If anyone has any info about that hearing would you please post a comment or link? I have been unable to find any media coverage online.

    Also note that I added an article ” Chaplain charged in sex-abuse case: Arrest provides explanation for retirement.” It is posted as text – gives us a little more information where there seems to such a dearth.

    Please keep the victim and her family in your prayers.

  3. just another victim says:

    Hello Sylvia:

    Yes this has gone very quickly from charges to now sentence of six months jail time. Also there has not been that much in the news about it. I would not have even known about it if it was not for your site. Sadly rarely is there much coverage about clerics who abuse as it is still something that is under reported. I applaud the victim for coming forward.

    Will the current bishop in Saskatoon or Winnipeg proceed to the Vatican for him to be defrock?

    Here is the article posted by CBC. I am having trouble getting a link that will work.

    Omer Desjardins, 82-year-old Catholic priest, jailed for sexual assault
    Father Omer Desjardins pleaded guilty to 1978 offense
    CBC News Posted: Jan 22, 2015 11:24 AM CT Last Updated: Jan 22, 2015 12:11 PM CT

    Desjardins Off to jail. (Courtesy Oblates of Mary Immaculate)

    An 82-year-old Catholic priest who pleaded guilty to a 1978 sexual assault north of Saskatoon is going to jail.

    Father Omer Desjardins assaulted his young victim when he served in the town of Marcelin.

    Judge Byron Wright sentenced Desjardins to six months in jail, to be followed by one year of probation. He also submitted his name to the national sex offender registry.

    ‘The sentence must reflect society’s revulsion.’
    – Judge Byron Wright
    Wright rejected a defense request for a sentence to be served in the community.

    “In cases involving the abuse of children,” he said.

    “The sentence must reflect society’s revulsion.”

    Desjardins was in Marcelin in the late 1970s.

    He moved to Winnipeg in 1986.

    After hearing the sentence, Desjardins quietly emptied his pockets and handed over his cell phone to supporters before deputies escorted him out of court.

    His lawyer said he’s considering appealing the sentence.

  4. JoeB says:

    Was just looking through this page and noticed “he has been charged twice” …… He has been charged 3 times ……….. the 1978 sask case, plus the charges from myself and another victim currently.

  5. Sylvia says:

    Yes Joe, you’re right in a sense, but your charges and that of the other complainant are moving forward to trial together, so in truth he has been charged twice – one set of charges for the Saskatchewan case and one set of charges for you and the other complainants. There are cases which go to trial with 7 or 8 or more “complainants”/victims – that is one set of charges with multiple charges. Often complainants come forward after the first of charges are laid, and those new charges are merged with the first set – at the end of the day it becomes one set of charges, and he is either convicted on some or all of those charges, or pleads guilty to some or all of those charges, or is acquitted of some or all of those charges. They are not tried separately. Likewise there can be numerous charges laid from the allegations of one complainant, and still it boils down to being charged once, but facing many charges.

  6. Sylvia says:

    The next court date Father Omer Desjardins is:

    24 April 2017: 1 pm, “to be spoken to,” court room # 302, Winnipeg Provincial courthouse (Main Floor, 408 York Ave.

    Please keep the complainants in your prayers.

  7. Sylvia says:

    The next court date for Father Omer Desjardins is:

    24 July 2017: 1 pm, “to be spoken to,” court room # 302, Winnipeg Provincial courthouse (Main Floor, 408 York Ave.)

    There is also word that another complainant has come forward.

    Please keep all the complainants in your prayers.

  8. Sylvia says:

    The next court date for Father Omer Desjardns is:

    02 October 2017: 1 pm, “to set date,” court room # 302, Winnipeg Provincial courthouse (Main Floor, 408 York Ave.).

    Please keep the complainant in your prayers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *