Born in 1853 at Lalaye, in the Bas Rhin province of France, Jean Gaire studied in Strasbourg, Luxeuil and Nancy and was ordained priest in 1878. Ten years later, his desire to work as an immigration agent led him to Manitoba where his commitment to colonizing the West with French-speaking families was welcomed by Archbishop Taché. After spending some time in St. Pierre Jolys to familiarize himself with the land, he set out for the south-western part of the province, where he selected a site for what was to become the mission of Grande Clairière. Within a few years, Gaire had succeeded in attracting families from France, Switzerland, and Luxembourg, as well as from Eastern Canada to his new parish. Once all the available farmland had been taken, Gaire went on to Saskatchewan where he founded two other parishes, Cantal in 1892 and Bellegarde in 1893. His final parish was Wauchope, Saskatchewan, which he established in 1902. For many years he traveled regularly to France and Belgium in order to convince French-speaking Europeans of the advantages that awaited them in Western Canada. He died at Wauchope in 1925.