Boucher: Monsignor Fernand Boucher

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Mgr Fernand Boucher, P.H.

Priest, Diocese of Edmunston. New Brunswick.   Ordained April 28, 1946. Spent 1951 – 1981 as a chaplain with the military – rose to rank of Brigadier-General.  Around 1995 or 1996 charged with two counts of robbery and one of sexual assault against a male person.  Declared unfit to stand trial.   – Died 2010.

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The following information is drawn from the Canadian Catholic Church Directories (CCCD) which I have on hand, Monsignor Fernand Boucher`s obituary (obit) and legal documents (L)

22 December 2010:  Funeral, St. Michael, Drummond, NB (obit) Bishop Claude Champagne officiated, assisted by Bishop Emeritus Gérard Dionne, Msgr. Urbain Lang, Msgr. Eymard Desjardins, Fathers Pierre Thibodeau, Frédéric Poitras, Roland Poitras, Ivan Thériault, Jean Bourgeois, W.L. Magdziak, Alfred Ouellet, Georges Fournier, Aurèle Godbout, Normand Godbout, Roger Dionne, Lucien Lévesque, Rino Thériault, Jean-Marie Martin, Gilbert Doddatto, Gaëtan Côté, Claude Côté, Bertrand Ouellet (obit)

19 December 2010:  Died in Edmunston, New Brunswick (obit)

13 October 1999New Brunswick Review Board v. Boucher 1999 –  ruling that Father Boucher could be compelled to attend hearings in order to make a decision if he is fit to stand trial

19 March 1999: Boucher v. New Brunswick (Review Board) 1999   ruling that the Board does not have the power to compel Bouchard to testify

08 September 1998: Application by Boucher for declarations that he could not be compelled to testify before the New Brunswick Review Board.  (L)

18 February 1998:  Disposition hearing of New Brunswick Review Board.  His lawyer objected to Board’s power to demand his attendance for examination as well as to the Board’s jurisdiction given the delays and absence of rules of procedure and burden of proof. (L)

15 April 1997:  found unfit to stand trial (L)

1981-1995:  Pastor, Saint Sacramente, Saint-Quentin, New Brunswick (obit)

1951-1981: Chaplain with Canadian Armed Forces – attained rank of Brigadier General.  Served in Montreal, Germany, London, ON, Petawawa, ON, Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto Ottawa, Halifax and back to Ottawa, Ontario until he retired from the military in 1981. (obit)

1950-51: Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Edmunston, New Brunswick

1949-1950: studied sociology at Laval University (obit)

1946-49: Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Edmunston, New Brunswick (obit)

28 April 1946:  ORDAINED (CCCD) by Bishop Marie-Antoine Roy ofm, Bishop of Edmunston

1942-46:  studied theology at Saint-Coeur-de-Marie Seminary of Halifax (obit)

Saint Joseph University of Memramcook (obit)

1921: Born in Drummond, New Brunswiock (obit)

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Mgr Fernand Boucher, P.H.

1921-2010

Mgr Fernand Boucher, P.H.

At the Edmundston Regional Hospital, December 19, 2010, Msgr Fernand Boucher, P.H., passed away at the age of 89 years.  Born at Drummond in 1921, he was a son of the late Georges and Alma (Thériault) Boucher.

After his primary studies in his native community and his secondary studies at Saint Joseph University of Memramcook from 1934 to 1942, he studied theology at Saint-Coeur-de-Marie Seminary of Halifax from 1942 to 1946.

He was ordained to the priesthood April 28, 1946 by Bishop Marie-Antoine Roy, o.f.m., Bishop of Edmundston.  He was appointed curate at the Immaculate Conception parish where he served from 1946 to 1949.  He later studied sociology at Laval University from 1949 to 1950.  He then returned to his duties as curate at the Edmundston Cathedral until 1951 at which time he was asked to joined the Canadian Armed Forces where he became chaplain, serving at various locations:  Montreal, Germany, London, ON, Petawawa, ON, Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto before being posted at Defence headquarters at Ottawa, then to Halifax and again to Ottawa until his retirement from the military in 1981.

His military ranks included Captain, Major, Lieutenant-Colonel, Colonel, Brigadier-General and Chaplain.  Upon his return from the Armed Forces, he was appointed parish priest at Saint-Quentin where he remained until his retirement in 1995.  He has since resided at Hotel-Dieu Saint-Joseph of Saint-Basile.

He is survived by three brothers and five sisters, Gertrude St-Pierre (late Gérard) of Saint-Basile, François (Alvine) of Drummond, Guy (Winnie) of Edmundston, Murielle Picard (Gilbert) of Rochester, New York, Paryse Cyr (Roger) of Moncton, Germaine Duguay (Pete) of Terrebonne, Québec, Reine Boucher of Québec and Réjean (Laurette) of Drummond, as well as nieces and nephews.  He was predeceased by two sisters, Anne Beaulieu (late Will) and Sister Marthe Boucher, o.m.i.

His funeral service was held Wednesday, December 22nd at 11 a.m. from the Saint-Michel Roman Catholic Church, Drummond with interment in the adjoining cemetery.  Bishop Claude Champagne officiatied, assisted by Bishop Emeritus Gérard Dionne, Msgr. Urbain Lang, Msgr. Eymard Desjardins, Fathers Pierre Thibodeau, Frédéric Poitras, Roland Poitras, Ivan Thériault, Jean Bourgeois, W.L. Magdziak, Alfred Ouellet, Georges Fournier, Aurèle Godbout, Normand Godbout, Roger Dionne, Lucien Lévesque, Rino Thériault, Jean-Marie Martin, Gilbert Doddatto, Gaëtan Côté, Claude Côté, Bertrand Ouellet and Jean-François Pelletier, seminarian.  The pallbearers were all nephews of Msgr Boucher, Pierre, Alain, Yves, Marc, Gaston and Denis Boucher.

Arrangements were by O’Regan’s Funeral Home, Grand Falls.

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Priest charged with possessing child pornography

The New Brunswick Telegraph Journal (Saint John, NB)

23 January 1998

Bruce Macfarlane

For the second time in three years, this rural Northern New Brunswick village has been rocked in a sex scandal involving the local parish priest.

Police and church members are keeping silent over yesterday’s news that Rev. Almer Levasseur, the parish priest at Eglise Tres-Saint-Sacrement, was charged with possession of child pornography.

The 61-year-old priest arrived in this village two years ago to replace Monsignor Fernand Boucher, the former parish priest charged with theft and indecent assault. The retired priest was later judged unfit to stand trial and currently resides in St-Basile.

“We’re really disappointed and we’re really down to find out that this stuff is coming here in St-Quentin,” village Mayor Livain Richard said.

“We don’t want to judge him before he goes to court but this is the second problem involving young people,” Mr. Richard said.

RCMP spokesman Sergeant. Rick Daigle said the charge, which calls for a maximum penalty of five years in prison, stems from a three-month investigation involving St-Quentin RCMP and the force’s Custom and Excise Section in St- Leonard.

Police opened an investigation after receiving a tip from the U.S. Customs and U.S. Postal Service, as well additional information from the local detachment.

“It’s a serious case for that type of offence and it’s even more devastating when it’s a community leader,” who is charged, Sgt. Daigle said.

Madeleine Belanger, president of the nine-member parish council, refused to comment on the charges.

“I have nothing to say,” she remarked, prior to hanging up the telephone at the church office.

Bishop Francois Thibodeau of the Diocese of Edmundston didn’t return a reporter’s telephone calls yesterday.

The child pornography possession charge was laid in Provincial Court here yesterday before Provincial Court Judge Frederic Arseneault. A summons was issued ordering the priest to make his first court appearance on Feb. 12 in St- Quentin.

17 Responses to Boucher: Monsignor Fernand Boucher

  1. PJ says:

    Well I hope he’s enjoying his burning in hell. Where all pervert collars will be going.

  2. Sylvia says:

    Did you look through the Review Board hearings PJ? It looks to me as though Boucher was accused or charged around 1995 and then spent 5 years doing battle both to be deemed unfit to stand trial and to avoid having to answer any questions posed by the board. That may well be the way things are usually done, – I have no idea. I did however get the sense that there were questions on the part of some regarding his fitness to stand trial. At the end of the day he essentially ‘won’ the day.

    How much I wonder did it cost to keep this monsignor out of court? And who and where is the young man who alleged sex abuse by this rather high profile priest? And what were the two robbery charges all about?

    Just look at this little corner of his CV. Boucher spent years as Rector at the Edmunston Cathedral, and a full 30 years as a military chaplain. Like Monsignor Roger Bazin who came after him, during his years with the military he rose to the rank of Brigadier General. I do believe that without doubt he and Bazin would have known each other. Likewise I do believe that Boucher would definitely have known Father John E. Sullivan – chances are fair that if we were able to sort out all of Boucher’s military promotions we’d find that at some point Boucher was Sullivan’s ‘boss.’

    • PJ says:

      Not so sure if he would have been his boss. sullivan was a contracted collar, not a military one. These collars make me sick…

      • Sylvia says:

        Back then all priests who served in the military were “on loan” from their diocese. They still ‘belonged to the diocese in which they were incardinated, but were answerable administratively to the Chaplain General (who was not a bishop). It was a rather confusing set up. But, if father Sullivan was serving in a base chapel I am quite certain there would have been interaction with the upper echelons of the chaplaincy corps.

        An article in the above makes mention of Father Boucher being called to serve. That may well have been the case, but often times it was the priest himself who decided to ‘join,’ in which case he needed first to seek approval from his own bishop to let him go (‘on loan’). From a purely materialistic perspective a few years with the military was rather inviting – a great salary, good food and travel.

  3. JG says:

    There were two priests, one after the other with sexual issues in this community, MY home “village”! That’s right. I was born and raised probably within 1000 feet from the church/rectory where this predator operated at the end of his “career”…( strange how I have been so close to some of these “landmarks” because of my life journey: from Ottawa to Montreal, Yarmouth to Cape Breton, Moncton to Saint Quentin!!…..)
    Anyway, what I was told was that “this” twisted “collar”, after the unfit determination, ended up in Saint-Basile, New Brunswick, the community next to Edmundston, in a convent, where nuns waited on him like royalty and still called him “Monseigneur” until the day he died.
    There was no punishment, no need for remorse. The church made sure he preserved the “dignity” he never had.
    If nuns decided to speak and be truly guided by “God’s” will and not be ruled by the “male” dominance in the church…what we could learn!
    They too choose to serve the wrong master when they chose to be silent…

    jg

    • Lina says:

      Your post JG, reminds me of a time when a certain Sister of St. Joseph came to visit my elderly father-in-law in his home. It was during the time when a certain Monsignor from the Pembroke Diocese was brought up on charges of doing stuff to young boys.

      As this Sister entered the house she ask us what we thought about our Monsignor and proceeded to say : “You know…he’s guilty”.
      She continued to talk about other stuff concerning other Catholic clergy but she didn’t mention any other priests by their names.

      At her next visit. She told me I misunderstood what I heard that day when she spoke about the Monsignor.

      This Sister twisted that whole conversation by saying it was about her wanting us to pray for all who are involved in this Monsignor’s case.

      I was stunned, hurt and started to think maybe I did hear her wrong that day when she spoke about the Monsignor and those other priests.

      After she left the house, my father-in-law told me that we both heard her correctly that day when she told us about the Pembroke Monsignor.

      ‘She’s just helping the church to cover up for that Monsignor,’ he said.

      Since then, I never trusted that sister of St. Joseph.

  4. Sylvia says:

    Close to home indeed jg! Ask around if you can – see if anyone recalls any more about this man

  5. JG says:

    Sylvia,
    …born and raised but also “gone and forgotten”! I left many, many years ago!
    As for more information, I just stumbled on an E-mail I sent you 04 Feb 2012..
    You realize the child pornography concerns Boucher’s “replacement”…
    Boucher himself, whom they called “Colonel”, was said to be “extremely severe”…he would tell the unmarried not to bother coming for communion because they would be denied! In the meantime he was abusing young boys who ended up comparing notes.
    They went after him and he tried to buy his way out…he used the collection money from the church…he begged from the elderly in the senior home next to the church; he also borrowed from one (or more?) wealthy parishioners…one of them went to the bishop.
    As for Levasseur, the word had come around from his previous parish, Edmundston, that they should watch him that he would be of some “trouble”…

    jg

    • Sylvia says:

      Thank JG. I found the email. I recall at the time not being frustrated because I had nothing in black and white to allow me to put the name on the site. This again goes to prove that what lawyers and judges blithely pass off as “rumour and innuendo” is generally – if not always? – grounded in fact.

      I get the impression that perhaps the victims were ‘paid off’? Is that right?

      You also made mention that your contact spoke of a “luxurious” apartment was built to accommodate Boucher.

      • JG says:

        Yes, they were paid off…Truck, sports car, 4 wheelers,….It cost the community a lot of money…is how it was explained to me.
        I believe the church money is what was referred to, as in “collection money”…50-100 dollar bills from seniors with very little to spare buy still under the “spell” of their priest…

        jg

  6. JG says:

    Boucher was a native of “Drummond, N.B.”….He was buried in the same cemetery as another abuser…”Leon Gagnon”!!!
    Gagnon was the priest in Drummond in 1940…when Boucher was just 19…
    Gagnon was only there a few years and Boucher was off to become a priest himself in 1942…
    Was he a “trainee” before setting foot in the seminary?…
    ………

    jg

    • Sylvia says:

      Gagnon would certainly have been Boucher’s parish priest, right?

      • JG says:

        Yes, same community! Remote, still today! So imagine in those days…Another vulnerable farming community with families eager to have a priest and-or a nun of their own!…
        Gagnon only stayed there 1940 and 41…A year and some…
        Why the quick stop?…

        jg

  7. JG says:

    Sorry!
    Gagnon is buried in Saint-André and Boucher in Drummond… I thought only one community had the contaminated soil…

    jg

  8. JG says:

    If this was not a self-serving gesture by the church, I don’t really understand what could be….If my count is right , two bishops were present, two monsignors, nineteen(19) priests!!!…
    A grand ceremony meant to cover up some track…a bright light in the eyes of some unsuspecting faithful….What an embarrassment for any self-respecting person to be strung along like this! Most of the people in that church had to be sedated!
    I read it again…That “service” really doesn’t mean anything after, for anyone who may have thought it was necessary before the “gates” of Heaven opened to welcome you!
    This ceremony was a fiction and probably led him net door, to the other gates…where he belonged.
    From above text:

    “His funeral service was held Wednesday, December 22nd at 11 a.m. from the Saint-Michel Roman Catholic Church, Drummond with interment in the adjoining cemetery. Bishop Claude Champagne officiatied, assisted by Bishop Emeritus Gérard Dionne, Msgr. Urbain Lang, Msgr. Eymard Desjardins, Fathers Pierre Thibodeau, Frédéric Poitras, Roland Poitras, Ivan Thériault, Jean Bourgeois, W.L. Magdziak, Alfred Ouellet, Georges Fournier, Aurèle Godbout, Normand Godbout, Roger Dionne, Lucien Lévesque, Rino Thériault, Jean-Marie Martin, Gilbert Doddatto, Gaëtan Côté, Claude Côté, Bertrand Ouellet and Jean-François Pelletier, seminarian. The pallbearers were all nephews of Msgr Boucher, Pierre, Alain, Yves, Marc, Gaston and Denis Boucher.”

    Embarrassing for them!

    jg

  9. y a Moreault says:

    This is an important site: I tried to find this type of information on Fernand Boucher, “vicaire” at the Edmundston cathedral in the 40’s but could not find anything on French web sites. I met this hypocritical individual around 1946 in his office/bedroom of the presbitary. I was around 12 years old but remember the event like if it was yesterday.
    On the first and second visits he was nice and respectful. We had a father/son type of conversation. He even loan me «Le petit prince» of Saint-Exupéry, one of the best book I ever read and still read with pleasure. This was part of his strategy to lure a young mind. At the end of my third visit he stood up openned his arms and gave me a hug. That was when, to my surprise, I felt his hard penis pushing on me behind his soutane (robe). He telephoned many times after that but I never returned to this predator. I consider I was a fortunate one who escaped and learn to stay away from the likes of him. After all those years and seing how these predators are protected by the hierachy of that church, I have absolutely no respect whatsoever for them. His victims should speak up for their own peace of mind and to alert the naïve faithful so that their own sons don’t fall victim to such evil individuals.

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