Deschamps: Father Gaetan Deschamps

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Gaetan Deschamps

Gaetan F. Deschamps

“Father Gates”

Diocesan priest.  Ordained 17 June 1956.  Born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario – was incardinated in Diocese of Prince Albert Saskatchewan. Serving in the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall since the early 1990s. Sexual abuse allegations against him reported to bishop of Prince Albert, Blaise Morand in June 2007.  Deschamps denies the allegations.

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Bishops of Diocese of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan from time of Father Deschamps ordination: Léo Blais  (o4 July 1952 -28 February 1959);  Laurent Morin  (28 February 1959 – 09 April  1983 ) ;  Blaise-Ernest Morand (9 April 1983 – 26 May 2008) ;  Albert Privet Thévenot, M. Afr. (26 May 2008 – – )

Bishops of Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall: Rosario L. Brodeur  (27 July 1941 – 15 October 1966 );   Adolphe E. Proulx  (28 April 1967 – 13 February 1974); Eugene Larocque (June 1974-27 April 2002); Paul Andre Durocher (27 April 2001- 12 October 2011 )

Auxiliary bishops Diocese Alexandria0Cornwall:  Jacques Landriault (15 May 1962 – 27 May 1964); Joseph-Aurèle Plourde ( 30 July 1964 — 02 January 1967)

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27 August 2008Bishop Eugene Larocque cross-examination re Father Gaetan Deschamps

27 August 2008Complete TRANSCRIPT:  Bishop Eugene Larocque testimony at Cornwall Public Inquiry  27 August 2008

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08 May 2010:  BLOG  Whoosh – away he went

16 November 2009:  BLOG  Why the nerves?04 December 2008:  BLOG 

04 December 2008:  BLOG  The bewitching hour

08 May 2008:  BLOG Whoosh – away he went

01 March 2008:  BLOG  Never rule out the impossible

16 December 2007:  BlOG To the Weave shed courthouse

04 October 2007:  BLOG Finish him off

03 September 2007:  BLOG What a sorry reflection on society

01 September 2017:  BLOG  For the sake of the children

01 September 2007: Open season on priests?

01 September 2007: Standing behind ‘Father Gates’

30 August 2007: Sask. police are examining abuse allegations

30 August 2007:  BLOG  Hard to stomach

29 August 2017:  BLOG  No glory

29 August 2017:  BLOG  More allegations

29 August 2007: “Priest Denies Abuse Allegations” and “Priest becomes target of sex abuse allegation”

31 August 2007:  BLOG  I can dream

19/20 August 2007:   Pedophile Alert! (flier distributed and posted around Cornwall)  (after this Father Deschamps moved to Tollgate Rd.

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Father Deschamps and the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall’s

Family Life Ministry

(the following pages were posted on the Alexandria-Cornwall diocesan website for months.  There was no change for several months after “action”was taken to deal with the sexual abuse allegations against Father Deschamps.  The website was checked 31 August 2007 prior to posting these pages) 

31 August 2007:  

Diocesan website intro to Family Life Ministry

 Diocesan website – Other Support groups (including Spectrum)

Diocesan website Bible Study

Diocesan website: Movements and Groups

Diocesan website: Seminars

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The following information is drawn from Canadian Catholic Directories (CCCD) which I have available, media (M) and personal information (P)

02 November 2017:  DIED  Funeral 11 am, 10 November 2017 at Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church on Tollgate Rd.

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2016, 2017:  Not listed in directory index (CCCD)

2015, 2014, 2013:  4017-801 4the Street E., Cornwall (Chartwell McConnell Retirement Residence (CCCD)

2012:  address on Fortier St., Cornwall, Ontario(CCCD)

2010:   Still incardinated in Diocese of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.  Wayback machine shows Father Gaetan Deschamps on Diocese of Prince Albert clergy as “Retired” (Prince Albert Diocese Clergy and Religious 2010 includes Deschamps as retired)

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August 2007:  retired amidst allegations he sexually abused a boy in Prince Albert (M)

2007: Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall Coordinator of Services for the diocesan Family Life Ministry (The Doves, Retrouvaille, Rainbows, Joy of Living, Spectrum, Études bibliques / Bible Study, Loving Choices, Après la Rupture, Inner Bonding)  Contact name for Marriage Encounter and Engaged Encounter.)  (

Contact person for Spectrum described on diocesan website as a support curriculum for adolescents who live in single parent families or stepfamilies.”

22 December 2005:   Celebrant at Vigil Mass at St. Joan of Arc Roman Catholic Church in Domrery, Saskatchewan for funeral of 64-year-old Father Jean-Marie Boutin   ( Deschamps:  Vigil Massfor Father Jean-Marie Boutin)

December 2002Father Deschamps prepared children at Sacred Heart School in Cornwall Ontario for confession

April 2002Attended  125th anniversary celebrations of St. Vital, Battleford

2001 or 2002:  Pastor, Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church, Cornwall, Ontario.  (Just before Bishop Larocque retired (April 2002) he assigned Father Deschamps to serve as Pastor at Blessed Sacrament  (T)

Date ?: Canadian Secretariat Coordinating Team for Worldwide Marriage Encounter

1993 to 2002: In Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall, Ontario.  Living in Cornwall.  Address consistently that of Nativity Co-Cathedral, Cornwall.  (Father René Dubeé pastor at cathedral until 1994, Father Rejean Lebrun pastor from 1995)

Father Deschamps seems to have assisted at various parishes in the diocese.  It is known that he spent some time at St. John Bosco (Cornwall) and from about 2002 was assigned by Bishop Eugen Larocque to serve as Pastor at Blessed Sacrament in Cornwall.

Known additional responsibilities in diocese in those years:

 2000: Evenings for the Engaged- Joie de Vivre

– Marriage and Family Life

2002: Evening for the Engaged

– Marriage Encounter

– Marriage and Family Life

1998: The sole priest on the coordinating team of the Canadian Secretariat for the Canadian Worldwide Marriage Encounter Movement (M.E.is considered a lay movement.  However priests are required to provide spiritual direction, oversee the preparations for an M.E. weekend, attend the weekends, offer Mass at the weekends and post M.E.weekend gatherings, and give talks on the weekends and after.  Father Deschamps would have been the clerical contact and priest responsible for overall M.E. movement in Canada.

1996:   Gaetan Deschamps on Board Directors/Pastoral Advisor  for Ontario Conference of Separated and Divorced

1991 & 1992: Address 2-20th Street, Prince Albert, Sask.  Listed as a Diocesan consultor. (CCCD)

Somewhere in this time frame spent time at Southdown, Ontario.

It is known that in 1991 he was unable to officiate at the wedding of a family member.  This would seem to indicate he had had his faculties removed for a period of time. (P)

30 August 1991:  Member of the first Board of Directors for Catholic Family Services of the Battlefords . (From Catholic Family Services of the Battlefords Inc:  History of Catholic Family Services of the Battlefords)

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late 80s:  Pastor at St., Vital in Battleford, Saskatchewan

1985-86 Not listed in directory

During his years in the PA diocese Deshamps was said to be a close friend of Father Gilles Doucette. In 2000 Doucette stood trial and was convicted for sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy. (P)

1983-1986: Pastor at St. Mark RC Church Prince Albert:

1973-74: Hospital chaplain, Prince Albert (CCCD)

1971-72:  Not listed in directory (CCCD)

I have been told that Father Deschamps was at St. Raphael’s Roman Catholic Church in St. Raphael Cornwall sometime in the early 70s.  He may have been filling in for or assisting Father Father Michael O’Brien?  Does anyone have further information?

1968-69: Studies in Ottawa, Ontario (CCCD)

1967: Professor at St. Mary’s College, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan (CCCD)

During the summers of the 60s and possibly beyond Father Deschamps visited family in Cornwall.  Deschamps made the trip by car and was frequently accompanied on the 4,000+ mile return trip by one of several young boys from Prince Albert.

Richard Hickerson, then a Marianist priest, definitively served in the Diocese of PA between 1964 and 1966 – probably much longer. Hickerson later surfaced in the Cornwall as an employee of Canada Manpower. (P)

Actively involved with the St. John Bosco Boy’s Camp which was founded in 1958.  I believe actually he may have been the camp’s founder or co-founder. (P)

1959: Catholic Directory gives address as Notre Dame College, Prince Albert Saskatchewan (Diocese of Prince Albert). Elsewhere in directory as serving at Immaculate Conception Seminary in Prince Albert. (Father Luc Meunier was in the Diocese at Marsden, Saskatchewan at the same time) (CCCD)

 

17 June 1956:  ORDAINED (seems to have been ordained for the Diocese of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Why Prince Albert and not Alexandria-Cornwall is unknown)

The Bishop of the day in Prince Albert was Leo Blais (Blais resigned in 1959 – then was installed as an auxiliary bishop in Montrel, Quebce 1959-1974). In 1959 Laurent Morin, a close friend of Bishop Alexander Carter, was installed as Bishop of Prince Albert.  In 1981 Blaise Morand was named Co-adjutor bishop to Morin and in 1983 Morand was installed as bishop of the PA diocese. Morand, like Eugene Larocque, hails from the Diocese of London, Ontario.)

Friday 03 April 1953:  Subdeacon at funeral at St. Felix de Valois Roman Catholic Church in Cornwall for Cornwall taxi driver.  Father Hollis Lapierre was Deacon (The Glengarry News, Alexandria, Ontario, 03 April 1956.)

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14 April 1931:  DOB (Obit)  Born and raised in St. Isidore, Ontario

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Priest Denies Abuse Allegations

Cornwall News AM 1220

August 29, 2007 — A Cornwall priest, accused of historic sex abuse, has retired from active ministry while denying the allegations. The Alexandria – Cornwall Diocese, in a statement released to the media, says the accusations were leveled against Father Gaetan Deschamps by a complainent in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. A bishop there recently informed local Bishop, Paul Andre Durocher of the allegations of abuse which would have alledgely occured many decades ago. According to the release, the complainent was a minor at the time of the alleged incident and wanted to have the issue dealt with in confidence and simply ensure Deschamp was no longer involved in ministry. Deschamp has been living in Cornwall the past 10 years and denies any criminal acts related to the complainant but has accepted to retire from all active ministry. He has never been charged in relation to the complaint. The Cornwall police and C.A.S. both were made aware of the situation. The complainant has since expressed his satisfaction with the outcome.

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Priest becomes target of sex abuse allegation

Elisabeth Johns

Wednesday, August 29, 2007 – 08:00

Local News – A Cornwall priest has retired amidst allegations he sexually abused a man who was a minor in Prince Albert, Sask., several decades ago.

Rev. Gaetan Deschamps, who is believed to be in his 70s, has been with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall for the past 10 years, working part-time as a marriage counsellor.

The ministry Deschamps specialized in didn’t deal specifically with young children, said Diocese Bishop Paul-Andre Durocher.

However, on the website for the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall, it states that Deschamps oversaw a support group called “Spectrum,” which is described as a curriculum for “adolescents who live in single-parent families or stepfamilies.”

Deschamps has never been charged in relation to this incident. When confronted by a diocesan delegate from Alexandria-Cornwall, Deschamps denied any allegations against him.

no complaints

There have also never been any complaints received about him by the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall, the bishop said.

The Cornwall Police Service and the local Children’s Aid Society were notified, however, the complainant’s wish was to ensure Deschamps was no longer involved in the ministry.

Deschamps complied, the bishop told the Standard-Freeholder in an interview, and is now retired.

When contacted Tuesday evening the Prince Albert, Sask. police could not provide any information regarding the allegations concerning Deschamps.

Deschamps could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening.

Deschamps was ordained under the Prince Albert Diocese and the majority of his ministerial work was done there, Durocher said.

When he arrived in Cornwall, he was semi-retired, Durocher added.

“He never asked to become a member (of the Alexandria-Cornwall Diocese).

“There’s nothing out of the ordinary there.”

Deschamps, who once wrote a column in the Standard-Freeholder and was involved in fundraising for the Children’s Christmas Fund, had retired from parish ministry last year because of his age.

Prior to that, he was appointed as a priest at Blessed Sacrament in the city’s north end in 2000.

Durocher said he was contacted by Bishop Blaise Morand from the diocese in Prince Albert a few weeks ago, advising him of the complaint of historical sexual abuse.

The diocese issued the press release with an eye to keeping the ministry open and transparent, Durocher said.

In June 1992, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a document, entitled “From Pain to Hope,” in which they discussed how churches should deal with allegations of sexual abuse from members of the clergy.

The document advised ministries to be open in the wake of sexual abuse allegations.

“One of the objectives of ‘From Pain to Hope’ was to overcome the shroud of secrecy around these issues,” Durocher explained. “This is what we’re trying to do.”

1 Response to Deschamps: Father Gaetan Deschamps

  1. Sylvia says:

     I have been told that Father Deschamps was at St. Raphael’s Roman Catholic Church in St. Raphael Cornwall sometime in the early 70s.  He may have been filling in for or assisting Father Father Michael O’Brien?  Does anyone have further information?

    Also, I have added the info from John that Father Deschamps was born and raised in St. Isidore, Ontario (Archdiocese of Ottawa).

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