Joseph La Rocque

Joseph La Rocque, also spelled Larocque, (28 August 1808 – 18 November 1887) was a Canadian Roman Catholic priest, professor, and bishop.

Joseph La Rocque
Bishop of Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec
Joseph La Rocque.jpg
InstalledJune 22, 1860
Term endedFebruary 4, 1866
PredecessorJean-Charles Prince
SuccessorCharles La Rocque
Other postsCoadjutor Bishop of Montreal
OrdinationMarch 15, 1835
Personal details
Born(1808-08-28)August 28, 1808
Chambly, Lower Canada
DiedNovember 18, 1887(1887-11-18) (aged 79)
Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec


Born in Chambly, Lower Canada, Joseph La Rocque received a classical education at the Collège de Saint-Hyacinthe. He was ordained a priest on 15 March 1835 by Bishop Jean-Jacques Lartigue. He taught calligraphy, stenography, and drawing as well as literature at Saint-Hyacinthe; and became director in 1840. When the college became a seminary in 1842, La Rocque was named Superior.[1]

In 1849 La Rocque became canon at Saint-Jacques Cathedral (Montreal), and in 1849 editor of the diocese's Mélanges religieux (Religious Miscellany),[2] until September 1851 when François-Magloire Derome took over. Canon La Rocque became spiritual director of the nuns of Notre-Dame de Charité du Bon-Pasteur and the Sisters of Charity of Providence.

In 1852, La Rocque accompanied Coadjutor Bishop Jean-Charles Prince to Rome as his secretary. When Prince was named Bishop of the Diocese of Saint-Hyacinthe, La Rocque was appointed Titular Bishop of Cydonia and Prince's successor as Coadjutor Bishop of Montreal. In 1860, he was transferred to succeed Prince as Bishop of Saint-Hyacinthe|Saint-Hyacinthe.[2] He later took on the administration of the diocese of Saint-Hyacinthe from Nov. 1856 to July 1857 during Bishop Prince's illness. During his tenure as bishop, La Rocque helped Catherine Aurelia Caouette found the congregation of the Sœurs Adoratrices du Précieux-Sang, and wrote the community's constitution.

In poor health for many years, La Rocque resigned in 1866. As titular Bishop of Germanicopolis and vicar-general, he remained in his diocese, at the monastery of the Sisters of the Precious Blood (a community which honored him as its founder), until his death on 18 November, 1887, at the age of seventy-nine.[3] He was buried in the sisters' cemetery.

He was succeeded by his cousin, Charles La Rocque.