Wednesday, 30 December 2020

The Reverend Father Yves Normandin - Requiescat in pace


It is reported that Father Yves Normandin has passed into eternity this morning at 4:50 A.M. EST. Father Normandin was a priest of Montreal who was the father of the restoration of the traditional Mass movement in Canada. There were three of these men, all who ministered in their own way. Father John Mole, OMI who founded the community of St. Clement in Ottawa died in 2004. Father Liam Gavigan, whom I knew personally and worked with him numerous times, passed on in 2017 and founded the communities now at St. Lawrence the Martyr and St. Patrick's in Schomberg in the Archdiocese of Toronto. It was Father Normandin, however, who was the lion. He travelled the entire country establishing chapels and offering the Mass in homes paving the way for both the Society of St. Pius X, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter and other diocesan traditional Masses. Without Father Normandin and Mole and Gavigan, the Mass would have been lost entirely. There was a time, that there were only three priests in all of Canada offering the pre-modernist Latin Rite. This trinity of servants of God and his people are heroes.

No information is yet available on details. 

Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescat in pace. Amen.

The history of the Mass in Quebec is inseparably tied up with the history of Fr. Yves Normandin and Sainte-Yvett’s parish in Montréal. On 14th May 1975 Fr. Normandin decided to revert to the Mass of his ordination. On April 18, however, the CCCB had decreed that, effective 30th June 1975, only ill and elderly priests could thenceforth celebrate the traditional Mass, and only in private.

Oct. 27th 1975 in a meeting with Abp. Grégoire Fr. Normandin was told ‘I must demand your resignation because you stubbornly insist on celebrating the Mass of St. Pius V, contrary to the ordinance of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops…… You are to resign immediately. Otherwise, effective Nov. 5, you shall lose all jurisdiction in this diocese.”

Nov. 9th Abp. Lefebvre celebrates pontifical high Mass at Sainte-Yvette’s. Nov. 12th. Mgr. Grégoire published a letter which declared the Mass of all time is no longer the Mass of today, and that the cure of Sainte-Yvette’s is deserving of his removal by virtue of his unrepentant disobedience to the Church.

To cut a long story short the battle moves on to court, to the barricading of the rectory doors and the changing of locks; to Fr. Normandin having to leave the rectory, on Dec. 15th by stepladder from the balcony to escape notice of the guards and attend court. The rectory doors are broken down and Fr. Normadin starts a new phase in the ‘Traditional Latin Mass Movement’ in Canada.

This phase is what I would characterize as that of a wandering priest. Fr. Normandin ‘As a young man, I had dreamed of an apostolate as an itinerant missionary in the jungle, with the White Fathers of Africa. Now, at 52 years of age, I discover that Canada, thanks to our own post conciliar bishops, has become a missionary frontier, once again a spiritually barren land, offering itself to priests loyal to infallible and indestructible Tradition.

‘Every Sunday about 400 continue to attend the Traditional Latin Mass in spacious quarters in Montréal and we have found the means to expand our ministry, to Ottawa and to Northern New Brunswick, to Toronto, London and Stratford, to Winnipeg and to Vancouver and Victoria and even as far away as Florida.’

After the expulsion of Fr. Normandin there arose a movement under the leadership of Mr. Roman Bhattacharya. It is from this movement's fidelity to the traditional Roman Liturgy that formed primarily the faithful group, which is at the origin of the community Saint-Paul in Montreal. Their first "priest", providentially, was Fr. Normandin who for nine years after the expulsion from his Parish, led a heroic life of missionary activity providing access to the traditional liturgy across the Canada. It is at this point that Fr. Normandin visited Vancouver to offer the Mass.

Fr. Normandin was parish priest of the Latin Community Catholic St-Paul October 7, 1985, to January 1, 2010, i.e. for almost twenty-five years before finally retiring.


Anonymous said...

Fr was probably in his 90s, since he celebrated 60 years of priesthood in 2013, ie ordained in 1953.

Irenaeus said...

May Father Normandin rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

It just chokes me up to read of the indignities that heroic priests like Fr. Normandin, had to suffer in order to preserve somethings which was never made illegal by VII but only the evil spirit of VII...Lord Jesus please grant this faithful servant eternal rest and my Your perpetual light shine upon him.
Lord may he hear Your words "well done good and faithful servant"


Leah said...

It was at my hermitage chapel in northern Alberta that Fr. Normandin celebrated the Holy Mass once or twice a month for many years. He was picked up at the Greyhound bus depot in Edmonton and with half a dozen faithful and children, traveled to my chapel. He administered First Communion at least once and also traveled to a farm 20 miles away. What would we have done without him?
May he rest in peace and receive the reward of his labors.
Dec. 30, 2020

Tom A. said...

This true Catholoc priest realized that one cannot practice Catholicism inside the structures of a non-Catholic church. Flee the NO and don’t look back.

CanukFrank said...

Wow, thank you for this! I did not know about this phase of TLM history in Canada

coradcorloquitur said...

I recall that reading the book "Pastor Out in the Cold" was instrumental in my opening my eyes to the apostate treachery of the Novus Ordo heretics. May this humble, good priest rest in the hallowed courts of Christ the King, never again fearing monsters to lock him out of his legitimate dwelling.