Charles La Rocque
Charles La Rocque
|Bishop of Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec|
|Installed||March 20, 1866|
|Term ended||July 25, 1875|
|Predecessor||Joseph La Rocque|
|Ordination||July 29, 1832|
|Born||November 15, 1809|
Chambly-sur-Richelieu, Lower Canada
|Died||July 15, 1875 (aged 65)|
Charles La Rocque was born 15 Nov. 1809 at Chambly-sur-Richelieu, L.C., the eldest son of Henri and Sophie Robert La Rocque. He attended the College of Saint-Hyacinthe on scholarship, as did his cousin Joseph La Rocque. Upon completion of his studies he decided to enter religious life. While preparing for the priesthood, he taught humanities at the College of Saint-Hyacinthe. In 1831 he went to Montreal to complete his studies in theology at the seminary of Saint-Jacques.
He was ordained to the priesthood 29 July 1832, and served as vicar at Saint-Roch-de-l'Achigan and Berthier; and as curé at St. Pie de Bagot, Ste. Marguerite de Blainville, and St. John Dorchester. On 15 September 1863, Father Charles was at Burlington, Vermont for the laying of the cornerstone of St. Mary's Cathedral. The Mass was sung by Rev. La Rocque in the open air with the altar placed in the same location as planned once the cathedral was completed. (In 2018 the Diocese of Burlington announced plans to merge the parish with St. Joseph's due to low attendance and sell the property.)
Upon the resignation of his cousin as Bishop of the Diocese of Saint Hyacinthe, Charles La Rocque was chosen to succeed him. The new bishop was a highly cultured man with rare financial ability; realizing that the debts of his cathedral called for unusual measures, he closed the episcopal palace and retired with his staff to Beloeil, where he combined the duties of bishop and pastor of this parish. Bishop La Rocque assisted at the Vatican founding the Sherbrooke Diocese. He opened the first house of the Dominicans in Canada by giving them a parish in his titular city, and had the satisfaction of effectively reducing the cathedral debt and placing the diocese on a satisfactory money basis. In 1870, he attended the Vatican Council, but left early due to a serious illness.
Bishop La Rocque passed away on 15 July 1875 at the Hôtel-Dieu of Saint-Hyacinthe.
- Sylvain, Philippe. “La Rocque, Charles”, Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 10, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003
- "Laroque, Rt. Rev. Charles", A Cyclopædia of Canadian Biography, (George Maclean Rose, ed.), Rose Publishing Company, 1888, p. 689 This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- History of Chittenden County, Vermont, (William S. Rann, ed.), D. Mason & Company, 1886, p. 527
- Choquette, Charles. "Saint Hyacinthe." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 13. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 17 February 2019