LE FEVRE, FRANÇOIS, priest, Sulpician, superior of the seminary of Saint-Sulpice in New France, grand vicar of the bishop of Quebec, ecclesiastical superior of the Hôtel-Dieu at Montreal, 1676–78, and of the sisters of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame, 1676–77; b. at Écouis, in the diocese of Rouen; d. 1718 at the Abbaye Saint-Victor, Paris.
Le Fevre entered the seminary of Saint-Sulpice in Paris in March 1667, and remained there until he received holy orders. He left for New France in July 1672, and for the next three years performed the functions of superior of the seminary of Saint-Sulpice in Montreal. Much to the annoyance of the missionaries of Kenté (Quinte) and the Sulpician superior in Paris, Le Fevre ordered the abandonment of the Kenté mission. In 1675 he returned to France, perhaps to explain his decision, but came back to the colony the following year as the official superior of the Sulpicians in New France.
Although Le Fevre’s haughty and inconsiderate manner offended many of those with whom he worked during his remaining two years in the colony, his fervour, regularity, and strictness brought much-needed order to the Montreal seminary. In September 1677, he presented the letters of establishment for the Montreal seminary to the Conseil Souverain for registration. Before returning to France in October of the following year, he wisely refused Bishop Laval’s offer of Île Jésus, on the basis that the seminary already held enough undeveloped land.
The various positions held by Le Fevre during the next few years seem indicative of his inability to work harmoniously with others. He was first posted to the Bourges seminary as director, but left for the Orient to work as a missionary in 1683. He probably never reached this destination for he was back in France in 1685 after having served in Rome for a short period as the representative of the bishops of the Levant. Three years later he entered an annex of the Paris seminary for ailing members of the order. This Petite Communauté was abolished in 1690, and Le Fevre then moved to the seminary where he died in 1718.
ASSM, Biographies: François Le Fevre; Correspondance générale, 2e partie, lettres de M. Tronson, I, 8, 19. Jug. et délib., II, 163f. Allaire, Dictionnaire, I, 332. Henri Gauthier, Sulpitiana (Montréal, 1926), 227.