BRASSARD, LOUIS-MOÏSE, secular priest, bursar of the seminary of Nicolet, and parish priest; b. 25 Oct. 1800 at Nicolet, L.C., son of Jean-Baptiste Brassard and Marie-Josephte Manseau; d. 21 June 1877 at Longueuil, Que.
Louis-Moïse, grand-nephew of Louis-Marie Brassard*, the founder of the school that became the seminary of Nicolet, came from a family that provided many priests and nuns. He was a pupil at the seminary of Nicolet from 1811 to 1820, and was ordained priest at Quebec on 4 Jan. 1824. Having been assistant priest at Les Cèdres, in Soulanges County, parish priest of Saint-Timothée de Beauharnois, Saint-Polycarpe, and Sainte-Elizabeth de Joliette, he returned to the seminary of Nicolet as bursar for the period 1836 to 1840. In particular he sought to find ways of improving cultivation on the farms. The chronic deficit of the institution led him to doubt his ability for this kind of work, and he asked his bishop for permission to return to the care of a parish.
As parish priest of Saint-Antoine de Longueuil from 1840 to 1855, he displayed great activity, particularly in the field of education. He had a boys’ secondary school built, on which work was almost finished when he left the parish. He founded the convent of Longueuil. His costly ventures drained the treasury of the parish council, and he did not succeed in having a new church built.
His dealings with the sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary are famous. After vainly trying to obtain the services of the nuns of the Congregation of Notre-Dame for his future school, Brassard, through the intermediary of the Oblate Pierre-Antoine-Adrien Telmon, had asked for some of the sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. In 1846 he prevailed upon the parish council of Longueuil to build a spacious house and to put it at the disposal of the sisters. Soon the parish council was trying to dictate to the sisters’ school. For his part, the Canadian priest considered that the nuns were too receptive to the directives given by the French Oblates, their spiritual advisers. He even threatened to withdraw his material assistance from the sisters. In 1849 the Oblates left Longueuil, and shortly afterwards Brassard assumed the spiritual direction of the community. Historians have not failed to stress that the difficult relations between the parish priest, the sisters, and the Oblates began when Charles-Paschal-Télesphore Chiniquy*, who had left the noviciate of the Oblates in November 1847, took refuge with Brassard; the parish priest had been Chiniquy’s friend and protector since the latter’s brief stay at the seminary of Nicolet.
In 1857, after residing two years in Europe, Brassard was appointed parish priest at Saint-Roch-de-l’Achigan. He built a convent there, which he entrusted to the sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, and a college, intended for the Clercs de Saint-Viateur. He was also interested in encouraging settlement on the land. In September 1862, with this end in view, he explored the valleys of L’Assomption and La Mataouin (Matawin), together with the parish priests Théophile-Stanislas Provost and Thomas-Léandre Brassard, his brother.
In 1874 L.-M. Brassard retired to Longueuil, and for some time lived in the residence of the sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. He died at Longueuil at the age of 77. His body rests in the cemetery of the sisters.
Allaire, Dictionnaire. Carrière, Histoire des O.M.I., I, 133–41, 303–20; V, 41–82. J.-A.-I. Douville, Histoire du collège-séminaire de Nicolet, 1803–1903, avec les listes complètes des directeurs, professeurs et élèves de l’institution (2v., Montréal, 1903), I, 250. Stanislas Drapeau, Études sur les développements de la colonisation du Bas-Canada depuis dix ans, de 1851 à 1861 (Québec, 1863), 425–31. Fidelis [J.-H. Prétot], Mère Marie-Rose, fondatrice de la congrégation des SS. Noms de Jésus et de Marie au Canada (Montréal, 1895). Alexandre Jodoin et J.-L. Vincent, Histoire de Longueuil et de la famille de Longueuil (Montréal, 1889), 410–12. Paroisse de Saint-Roch de l’Achigan, Annuaire de Ville-Marie (Montréal, 1871), 57–80. Marcel Trudel, Chiniquy (2e éd., [Trois-Rivières, Qué. ], 1955).