Biographies

Biography of Béliveau, Arthur P., 1870-1955

Arthur Béliveau Arthur Béliveau was born in Mont-Carmel, Quebec, in 1870 and moved to Manitoba with his family in 1882. He studied at Saint-Boniface College and le Grand Séminaire de Montréal and was ordained in 1893. He furthered his studies in Rome, returning to Manitoba in 1895 with a PhD in theology. He then held a number of important positions in the St. Boniface archdiocese including secretary to Archbishop Langevin, chancellor, and diocesan procurator. In 1913, an ailing Langevin requested that Beliveau be named auxiliary bishop, and he was ordained later that year. He succeeded Langevin in December 1915. Beliveau’s immediate preoccupation was the division of his archdiocese. The original boundaries of the newly-created Archdiocese of Winnipeg meant that the population of the St. Boniface diocese was greatly reduced and the French-speaking parishes divided between the two dioceses. Beliveau’s negotiations with Rome resulted in boundary revisions which were more advantageous for St. Boniface. When the bilingual school system was abolished in 1916, Béliveau was the driving force behind the establishment of l’Association de l’Éducation des Canadiens Français du Manitoba and strove to maintain French Catholic education in his parishes. He sacrificed his Minor Seminary so that students of St. Boniface College could continue their studies after their institution was destroyed by fire in November 1922. During the Depression, he promoted economic diversification in the rural parishes to encourage the farmers not to abandon their land. A talented speaker and writer, he wrote numerous anonymous articles in La Liberté to promote rural life. He also encouraged the participation of lay persons in the Church through the Action Catholic movement. In 1931, Béliveau suffered a stroke, and until his death in 1955, his archdiocese was administered by his three successive coadjutors, Émile Yelle, Georges Cabana and Maurice Baudoux.

Mentioned in:

correspondence

  1. Circulaire confidentiel de Monseigneur Arthur Béliveau aux conseils scolaires des districts bilingues du Manitoba, 20 août 1916
  2. Lettre du 21 octobre 1914 de Louis Philippe Adélard Langevin à Simon Nivon

publications

  1. Soirée Dramatique et Musicale donnée par l'Aide aux Drapeaux, 13 décembre 1914
  2. "Que penser du vote des femmes?" dans Les Cloches de Saint-Boniface, vol. XVI, no 9, 1 mai 1917, extrait, p. 130
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