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MORIN, GERMAIN, first Canadian to be ordained priest, secretary of the bishopric of Quebec, parish priest, canon; baptized 15 Jan. 1642 at Quebec, son of Noël Morin, master wheelwright, and of Hélène Desportes*, widow of Guillaume Hébert; d. 20 Aug. 1702 at the Hôtel-Dieu, Quebec.

There is documentary evidence of Germain Morin’s presence at the Jesuit college on 15 Nov. 1659. He was one of the four pupils whose board was paid by the parish of Quebec, to ensure that masses were served and that there were choirboys to sing at mass. Bishop Laval even judged it fitting to confer the tonsure and the minor orders on him, despite his youth. This was done on 2 Dec. 1659, and was the first ceremony of its kind in Canada. After receiving the subdiaconate on 6 Aug. 1662, Morin continued to live with the Jesuits and served as sacristan for the parish. When Morin was old enough, Bishop Laval conferred the diaconate on him on 21 March 1665 and the priesthood on 19 September.

From the time of his entry into the ecclesiastical state in 1659 he was secretary to the bishopric, then from 20 Oct. 1663 clerk to the officiality of the diocese. In this capacity he was responsible for keeping the official registers and for transcribing and initialling the bishop’s pastoral letters. He continued to hold these offices until at least 1665, for until 1670 he is not known to have had any other ministry but that of vicar at the cathedral. After that he served the parishes of Champlain, Neuville (Pointe-aux-Trembles), Repentigny, Saint-Joseph de la Pointe-de-Lévy, Sainte-Anne de Beaupré, and Saint-Michel. He was rewarded for this missionary life by being appointed a canon on 20 Sept. 1697. He died in 1702.

Honorius Provost

ASQ, Chapitre, 138; Documents Faribault, 1a; Lettres, M, 29; O, 23; Paroisse de Québec, 129; Polygraphie, XXII, 22; Séminaire, I, 12, 40; XCII, 19. Charland, “Notre-Dame de Québec: le nécrologe de la crypte,” 150. Laurent Morin, Le chanoine Germain Morin, premier prêtre canadien (Québec, 1965). “Le drapeau du camp de la Canardière,” BRH, II (1896), 61. P.-G. Roy, “St-François de Sales de la Pointe-aux-Trembles,” BRH, III (1897), 129.

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Cite This Article

Honorius Provost, “MORIN, GERMAIN,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 2, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed September 28, 2023, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/morin_germain_2E.html.

The citation above shows the format for footnotes and endnotes according to the Chicago manual of style (16th edition). Information to be used in other citation formats:

Permalink:   http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/morin_germain_2E.html
Author of Article:   Honorius Provost
Title of Article:   MORIN, GERMAIN
Publication Name:   Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 2
Publisher:   University of Toronto/Université Laval
Year of publication:   1969
Year of revision:   1982
Access Date:   September 28, 2023