Rheal Francis LeBlanc csc
Holy Cross Father – member of the Congregation of the Holy Cross. Ordained 1963. Former principal of Notre Dame College School in Welland, Ontario and St. Paul Catholic High School in Niagara Falls, Ontario. December 2011 charged with possession of child pornography.
July 2013: GUILTY plea – sentenced to 14 days in jail, to be served on weekends
[According to media reports, trial date MAY be set for 10 non-consecutive days running from 04 November 2013 to 03 December 2013. If the amount of time needed for trial can be shortened then the date of trial MAY be scheduled earlier.]
Next court appearance: July 2013: GUILTY plea; 02 July 2013: 10 am, “to speak to,” Welland, Ontario courthouse (102 East Main Street);
09 May 2013: 10 am, pre-trial conference (NOT open to the public) , Welland, Ontario courthouse (102 East Main Street; 10 April 2013: 9 am, “to be spoken to,” Welland, Ontario courthouse (102 East Main Street); 10 am 25 February 2013 10 am, to set further dates; 22 February 2013 : continuation of pre-trial, 09:15 am, Welland Courthouse, Welland, Ontario (102 East Main Street) ; 27 November 2012: pre-trial (usually NOT open to the public) ; 28 November 2012: to set a date – Welland Courthouse, Welland, Ontario (102 East Main Street); 05 October 2012: 2 pm, pretrial hearing, Welland Courthouse, Welland, Ontario (102 East Main Street) ; 26 September 2012: 10 am, pretrial hearing, Welland Courthouse, Welland, Ontario (102 East Main Street); 17 August 2012: 09:00 am, “to set a date,” Welland Courthouse, Welland, Ontario (102 East Main Street); 01 August 2012: 09:00 am, “to set date,” Welland Courthouse, Welland, Ontario (102 East Main Street); 27 June 2012: 09:00 am, Welland Courthouse, Welland, Ontario; 16 May 2012: 09:00 am, Welland Courthouse, Welland, Ontario; 18 April 2012: 09:00 am, Welland court house, Welland, Ontario; 22 February 2012: 09:00 am, Welland court house, Welland, Ontario; 25 January 2012: Welland courthouse
28 November 2012: Priest’s pretrial continues in February
The following information is drawn from Ontario Catholic Church Directories (CCCD) which I have available, the 1980 Ontario Catholic Church Directory (OCD) and media (M)
08 December 2011: arrested and charged woth possession of child pornography – released on bail (M)
December 2011: living at Holy Cross Fathers House in Welland, Ontario (201 Niagara St.) (CCCD)
Fall 2007: meeting and greeting alumni at St. Paul Catholic Secondary School 25th anniversary celebrations on Thanksgiving weekend. Also kicked the first ball at the game against Welland’s Notre Dame (M)
February 2009: in attendance at Niagara Catholic District School Board Special Board Meeting (see excerpt from minutes below). Also in attendance, amongst others, was then Bishop of St. Catharine’s, James Windle.
12 June 2008: Said Mass for the Niagara Catholic District School Board’s annual “Past and present Leaders celebration”
08 June 2006: Said Mass for attendees at 7th Annual Catholic Leadership Conference held at Club Richelieu in Welland (Board News: Niagara Catholic District School Board, June 2006)
2004: New cafeteria at the Notre Dame College School in Welland named LeBlanc Hall in honour of Father LeBlanc (M)
2011, 2010: living at Holy Cross Fathers House in Welland, Ontario (201 Niagara St.) (CCCD)
2002, 2000, 1999, 1998: Provincial for Holy Cross Fathers of English Canada (CCCD)
living at Holy Cross Fathers residence in Welland, Ontario (201 Niagara St.) (CCCD)
1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993: address for Holy Cross House (201 Niagara St.), Welland, Ontario (CCCD)
1994: RETIRED (M)
1982-1994: in 1982 became the first principal at St. Paul Catholic High School in Niagara Falls, Ontario. He remained at the school until his retirement in 1994 (M)
1995, 1994, 1992, 1991: address for Holy Cross House (201 Niagara St.), Welland, Ontario (CCCD)
1985-1986: 3834 Windemere Rd., Welland, (St. Paul Catholic High School, Niagara Falls, Ontario) (CCCD)
1972-1982: Principal at Notre Dame College School (M)
1980: in residence at Holy Cross House (201 Niagara St.), Welland, Ontario with fellow Holy Cross Fathers E. Baird, K. Burns, D. Foley, B. Keating, J. Mulligan and J. Vickers. (OCD)
1980: Principal at Notre Dame College School (directory indicates 7 priest, 2 sisters, 48 lay teachers and 1,300 pupils) (OCD)
1973-74: Principal at Notre Dame College School , Welland, Ontario with Father F.R. Theriault as sup. (superior or superintendent?) and Father E.J. Baird as Bursar (CCCD)
1971-72: Assist. Sup. at Notre Dame College School , Welland, Ontario with Father F.R. Theriault as sup. (superior or superintendent?), Alph J. Bates as Principal and E.J. Baird as Bursar (CCCD)
1968-69: not listed in index (CCCD)
1967: not listed in index (CCCD)
Former Notre Dame principal arrested
Rheal LeBlanc charged with possession of child pornography
The Welland Tribune
08 December 2011
By MARYANNE FIRTH/Tribune Staff
WELLAND — A former Notre Dame College School principal and member of the Holy Cross Fathers has been arrested and charged with possession of child pornography.
The Niagara Regional Police Internet child exploitation unit carried out a search of a Welland home on Thursday following an investigation that began in November.
A number of computer systems and peripheral devices were seized as evidence.
Rheal LeBlanc, 76, of Welland was arrested and charged with one count of possession of child pornography.
Police have confirmed that Leblanc is a Niagara St. resident. The Holy Cross Fathers reside at 201 Niagara St., where Notre Dame was founded.
Fr. Don Layden, who also resides at 201 Niagara St., confirmed the former principal was the man arrested Thursday.
Rev. LeBlanc was Notre Dame’s fifth principal, holding the position at the Smith St. school from 1972 to 1982.
When a $4.4-million expansion was completed at Notre Dame in 2004, the school’s new cafeteria was renamed LeBlanc Hall in honour of the former principal.
Following his time at Notre Dame, LeBlanc became the first principal at Saint Paul Catholic High School in Niagara Falls when it opened its doors in 1982. He remained at the school until he retired in 1994.
As a result of a bail court appearance Thursday afternoon, LeBlanc was released to appear in court on Jan. 25.
According to a police news release, investigation into the matter is ongoing.
From Niagara Catholic District School Board Minutes of the Board Meeting, 24 February 2009 (emphasis added)
‘….Chairperson Burtnik welcomed all those in attendance to the Special Board Meeting. She said that the meeting was a special Celebration of the past, present and future during which the Catholic Education Centre Meeting Rooms would be dedicated to the Founding Religious Orders for Catholic Education in Niagara. A special welcome was extended to (Most Rev.) James M. Wingle, D.D., Bishop of the Diocese of St. Catharines and Honorary Chairperson of the Niagara Catholic District School Board; Fr. Jim Mulligan, Fr. John Vickers, Fr. Rheal LeBlanc, Fr. Don Layden, Fr. Norman Bordage, Fr. Edward Baird and Brother Ron Rumboth of the Holy Cross Fr.s; Sr. Mary Heather McKinnon, Sr. Eileen Donohoe, Sr. Gloria Seifried, Sr. Irene Freeman and Sr. Barbara Frank of the School Sisters of Notre Dame; Sr. Patricia Conway, Sr. Loretta Rollheiser, Sr. Helen Kluke, Sr. Kathleen Conway and Sr. Anne Schenck of the Sisters of St. Joseph; Sr. Joan Quinn of the Sisters of Holy Cross; Sr. Cecilia Ann Fatula, Sr. Corrine Giel, Sr. Concepta Fudala and Sr. Teresa Margaret Bransky of the Vincentian Sisters of Charity, Eileen McCarthy and Ann Libertini representing the Sisters of St. Martha who could not be in attendance; SM Blaise Podruczny, SM Celestine Giertych, SM Jean Romanowicz, SM Teresa Forma, SM Marilyn Stata and SM Jacquie Keefe of the Felician Sisters; Sr. Johanna D’Agostino, Sr. Mary Kay Camp of the Loretto Sisters; and Don Lefebvre, former Trustee, Superintendent, and co-author of “Catholic Education a Gift from the Past, a Present for the Future”.’
School spirit, dedication hallmarks of St. Paul’s 25 years
The Intelligencer (Belleville, Ontario)
By MELISSA CHURLY
Even after the memories of high school calculus or chemistry have faded people still remember the friends they made, the teachers they admired and the teams they cheered.
Students, staff and alumni will get the chance to relive some of those moments when Saint Paul Catholic Secondary School celebrates its 25th anniversary this Thanksgiving weekend.
“It’s pretty amazing and hard to believe that it has come so quickly,” said John Navarroli, who has been teaching at Saint Paul for the past 24 years. “There’s going to be lots of smiling and laughing and probably a bit of crying when alumni come back to reminisce.”
Navarroli currently teaches in the music department, but was also an English teacher. He has been at the school so long that he’s now teaching the second generation of some families.
“I’ve taught a lot of the kids’ parents,” he laughed. And he even teaches alongside some of his former students.
“There are a lot of teachers here who are graduates of Saint Paul. It’s such an amazing school that people don’t ever want to leave. They have so much respect for it that most want it to stay a part of their lives.”
Mario Ciccarelli, Saint Paul’s principal, said that one of his favourite things about the school is the spirit.
“Students who come in here like being here, they like being apart of this place. We know this because they always come back and they speak very highly of the school,” said Ciccarelli.
He said at least 12 current teachers are graduates of Saint Paul and about 10 teachers have been with the school since the 1980s.
After nine years as principal, Ciccarelli said he is looking forward to being a part of this momentous anniversary.
Ciccarelli said the school’s vibrant history and the many people who have passed through the halls over the years, including teachers, students, support staff, the sisters of Loretto and the Holy Cross congregation, have made Saint Paul the school it is today.
“The history goes back to quite a few years before it was officially called Saint Paul,” he said.
In 1982, the Holy Cross Fathers and Sisters were asked to open a new Catholic high school to replace Loretto Academy, which had been serving Niagara Falls since the late 1800s.
They chose the location on Windermere Road formerly used by George P. Vanier Senior Elementary and named it Saint Paul. Rev. Rheal Leblanc was chosen as principal and about 20 members of the Loretto staff moved to the new school to teach. They opened with 100 students.
Over the years, the school has expanded both in size and population and now houses about 1,100 students.
Ciccarelli is the school’s third principal and those returning for the anniversary events will get a chance to see all three in action together.
Rev. Leblanc will be there to meet and greet alumni and will kick start the festivities Friday by kicking the first ball at the football game against Welland’s Notre Dame.
The school’s second principal, Jack Rapattoni will also be there to celebrate and welcome returning teachers and students.
The celebration will start in the afternoon Thursday with an alumni basketball game and at 1 p.m. the unveiling of the Wall of Athletic Excellence.
Ashley Gallardi, a graduate now attending Berkeley University in California, has been invited to sing O Canada at the football game the following day.
A time-capsule ceremony, open house and party is planned for Saturday. A stage is also going to be set up and Saint Paul musicians are invited to take the stage.
The festivities will conclude Sunday with an alumni liturgy led by Rev. Leblanc.
“We hope that anyone who had anything to do with Saint Paul or even Loretto will come back and reminisce about the good times and see how Saint Paul has changed over the last 25 years,” said Ciccarelli. school celebrates its 25th anniversary
Schedule of events for the 25th Anniversary Celebrations at Saint Paul High School, 3834 Windermere Rd.
– Thursday: Girls and Boys alumni basketball game
Unveiling of Wall of Athletic Excellence and inductees at 1 p.m.
– Friday: Pregame festivities and alumni meet and greet 6 p.m.
Football game Patriots vs. Notre Dame at 7 p.m.
– Saturday: Open house all day
Alumni party 7 p.m.
– Sunday: Liturgy 10 a.m.
Anniversary, beatification celebrated
The Sudbury Star
Two milestone events are being observed by a religious community known locally for a distinguished record in education and parish ministry.
The community – the Holy Cross Fathers – this year marks 60 years of service in Niagara.
The first two Holy Cross Fathers arrived in Welland in July, 1947 to begin the high school known today as Notre Dame.
Also being celebrated is the beatification of Rev. Basil Moreau, founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, in France.
He will be beatified – declared Blessed – Saturday, Sept. 15 in LeMans, France. In the Roman Catholic church, beatification is the final step before being canonized or declared a saint.
Several members of the religious community along with parishioners from St. Kevin church and other friends will attend the beatification ceremonies.
“Representatives from 14 countries where Holy Cross ministers will gather with friends, local people and representatives from educational institutions and parishes as well as dignitaries from various countries,” will be in attendance, said Rev. John Vickers, CSC, the provincial superior of the English Canadian Holy Cross Fathers.
Moreau established the Holy Cross men – brothers and priests, and Holy Cross sisters. Some were sent to Canada and the United States to serve as teachers in the faith and as pastors.
“In 1840 a small group was sent to Algeria, in 1841 a group went to the United States and began the University of Notre Dame and in 1847, a group of priests, brothers and sisters arrived in Montreal,” said Vickers.
Moreau, described as “an accomplished teacher, sought after preacher and a person who as a scripture scholar was deeply rooted in the person and mission of Jesus Christ” suffered hardship throughout his life from fellow priests and his local bishop, said Vickers. In addition, some of his “best and brightest” died soon after arriving at the first mission sites.
He is remembered for instilling in his community the importance of zeal guided by charity and the importance of being close to the people they minister to, said Vickers.
In Niagara, the Holy Cross Fathers are known for their part in the development of Catholic secondary schools. In 1947, Notre Dame was founded with Rev. Ted McCarthy its first principal. In 1958, Denis Morris was started in St. Catharines with Rev. Patrick Fogarty the first principal.
Other schools followed, including St. Paul in Niagara Falls in 1982, with Rev. Rheal LeBlanc the first principal and Holy Cross Secondary School in St. Catharines in 1985 with Rev. Ken Burns its first principal.
Holy Cross priests also have been active in parish ministry. They have been involved in Immaculate Conception Parish in Port Robinson, St. Joseph Parish in Snyder and St. Alexander Parish in Fonthill.
In 1995 they assumed pastoral responsibility for St. Kevin parish in Welland, where they still serve. Rev. Frank Wagner was the first pastor followed by Rev. Jim Mulligan, current pastor. Rev. Norman Bordage is associate pastor.
One of the hallmarks of the Holy Cross tradition here is commitment to social justice issues on the part of both pastors. Their style of servant leadership, by word and example, challenges parishioners to live their Christian vocations together by being church in their parish, their community and world.
The Latin words under their symbol come from the motto O Crux ave, spes unica! or, Hail, O Cross, our only hope.
The letters CSC behind their name are derived from Congregatio Sanctae Crucis, Congregation of Holy Cross.
Niagara Catholic District School Board
NIAGARA CATHOLIC CELEBRATES
PAST AND PRESENT LEADERS
15 May 2008
The Niagara Catholic District School Board will hold its annual Past and Present Leaders celebration on Thursday, June 12th at Club Richelieu, Welland. The event gets underway at 11:00 a.m.
At the last Director’s meeting of each school year, past leaders are invited to join current leaders for this much anticipated annual event. The celebration allows present principals, vice-principals and Board administrators to network with past leaders and bring them up to date on current practices and activities within the Board and its schools. It also gives the retirees the opportunity to share their own experiences and knowledge with the current leaders.
As part of the event, Mass will be celebrated by one of Niagara Catholic’s former leaders, Rev. Rheal LeBlanc. Father LeBlanc was Principal of Saint Paul Catholic High School before he retired.
Niagara Catholic students in the Foods Technology program will prepare lunch for the attendees.
“Retirees have a wealth of experience and knowledge to share with our leaders today. In addition, the Past and Present Leaders celebration gives our current leaders the opportunity to share information on what is new in the system and our current practices. It is an opportunity for us to acknowledge the contributions of both past and present leaders, to Catholic education and more specifically to our students and the Niagara Catholic community,” said Angelo Di Ianni, Director of Education.
Past and Present Leaders Celebration
Thursday, June 12th, 2008 at 11:00 a.m.
Club Richelieu, 565 River Rd, Welland
|Contact:||Angelo Di Ianni, Director of Education|
|Issued by:||Jennifer Brailey, Manager of Board Services & Communications|
|Date:||May 15, 2008|
Saint Paul honours athletic pioneers
12 October 2007
NIAGARA FALLS — As the school’s first principal in 1982, Father Rheal Leblanc was aware of the importance sports could play in helping establish Saint Paul, not only on the football field or in the gym, but as a place students could be proud of.
He had seen first hand at Notre Dame how excellence in athletics could translate to high marks in the classroom.
“I came from Notre Dame in Welland and my experience with high school students was that its athletics had to be part and parcel of high school life. It was necessary for the kids who were there, and to attract kids who might be thinking of coming here,” said Leblanc last week after being honoured along with Mike Isherwood and Gina Pieterangelo-Magnotta as the first three inductees to the school’s Athletic Wall of Excellence.
Leblanc remembered that Saint Paul suffered its fair share of lopsided defeats, but persevered against bigger and more experienced schools.
“At that time there was only one league, so if you played football you played Myer or you played Notre Dame. These other schools used us for practice and it wasn’t pretty,” said Leblanc.
He added that St. Paul was fortunate to have a staff willing to put in long hours, arriving early and staying late to coach and help the Patriots gain a foothold in the high school sports foundation.”The staff was very, very dedicated and as a principal I had an obligation to support my teachers and to be visible at the games,” said Leblanc.
Saint Paul’s gymnasium is now known as Leblanc Hall.
Pieterangelo-Magnotta was part of St. Paul’s first graduating class and was an outstanding cross-country and long distance runner and hockey player at the school.
She held the Zone III 1,500-metre and 3,000-metre records for more than 10 years and in her first year at Saint Paul scored 25 of her team’s 50 goals.
Away from the rink and track, Pieterangelo excelled in the classroom as well. She was St. Paul’s first student council president, winner of the Governor General’s award at graduation and an Ontario scholar.
She earned a scholarship to Princeton University, where she played hockey and soccer, earning the Ivy League rookie of the year award in 1984 and, in 1987, was named the ECAC player of the year at a time when it was the only conference playing girls hockey.
Isherwood was a standout golfer and volleyball player, but was at his best on the ice as the first Grade 9 student to play varsity hockey at Saint Paul.
“That means he was 14 playing against 19- and 20-year-olds because back then we had Grade 13,” said Isherwood’s former coach Kevin Flynn.
Isherwood went on to play for the St. Catharines Falcons and earned a scholarship to Niagara University where he played from 1996-2000 and graduated as the school’s second all-time leading scorer with 56 goals and 89 assists.
Later this month, Isherwood will be inducted into Niagara University’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
The induction ceremony at Saint Paul took place between alumni basketball games featuring the boy’s and girls teams and kicked off the 25th anniversary celebrations at the school.
Frank Capretta headed up the induction committee and said that rather than accept nominations in the first year, the committee decided just to select the inaugural inductees.
“We spoke to a lot of the teachers who had been here for a while and once we had some names the committee sat down and made a decision. And once the names got out I don’t think anybody could argue,” said Capretta.
“We’re hoping to do this on a bi-annual basis.”