QUÉRÉ DE TRÉGURON, MAURICE, priest, Sulpician, missionary; b. probably 23 Sept. 1663 at Châteauneuf-du-Faou (dept. of Finistère), France; d. 7 Aug. 1754 at Montreal.
Maurice Quéré de Tréguron was ordained a priest on 9 Sept. 1689, but he did not enter the Society of Saint-Sulpice in Paris until 20 Feb. 1692, after having received his licentiate in theology. According to Louis Tronson, superior general of the Society of Saint-Sulpice, Quéré de Tréguron presumably arrived in Montreal in the autumn of 1692. On the superior general’s recommendation François Dollier* de Casson, superior of the seminary of Montreal, granted him a few months’ rest, then in the autumn of 1693 entrusted him with the office of bursar and secretary of the seigneurs of Montreal Island. He exercised this function until February 1695, when he became a missionary to the Indians residing in the vicinity of Montreal.
Quéré de Tréguron began his ministry at the La Montagne mission, just when it was entering a period of instability which was to last more than 30 years, and which he became acquainted with in all its phases. This instability took the form of successive moves, the first of which was caused by the burning of the fort at La Montagne and all the mission’s installations, fired in the autumn of 1694 by a drunk Indian. It was then decided to move the Indians farther from the town, where they could too easily obtain intoxicants, and to set up the new mission on the bank of the Rivière des Prairies, at the foot of the Sault au Récollet, in a wild site separated on all sides from the French habitations by a wood that was four to five miles wide. Ground had to be cleared, then a chapel, fort, seigneurial manor, and residences for the nuns and the Indians had to be built. The move to this site began in 1696 and was not completed until 1704. During those years Quéré de Tréguron participated in all the work of building and moving, under the direction of his confrère Robert-Michel Gay*, the superior of the mission.
In 1720, to protect the Indians against drunkenness, it was deemed necessary to move them still farther from the whites, who in the intervening years had acquired lands in the vicinity of the mission, both on Île Jésus and Montreal Island. This time, however, because of his age and infirmities, the mission superior entrusted to M. Quéré the work of setting up new installations and moving, which took place in February 1721.
The Sulpicians had chosen as their site an isolated spot 35 miles from Montreal, on the shore of Lac des Deux-Montagnes in the seigneury of the same name which the seminary of Saint-Sulpice in Paris had obtained in 1717. In 1720 a start was made on clearing an immense area intended for the Indians; later a temporary chapel and a temporary residence for the missionaries were built. Excavations carried out in 1876 revealed that these buildings, situated about 300 feet from the lake, were made of wood and that the chapel measured 100 feet by 40 and the residence 40 by 60.
In 1725, upon Robert-Michel Gay’s death, Quéré de Tréguron became superior of the mission and therewith acquired the task of watching over the spiritual and temporal needs of his neophytes. It may be presumed that he personally chose the final site for the mission and concerned himself with all the details of the new establishment, three-quarters of a mile to the west of the old site, on a headland jutting out into the lake, where the presbytery of the parish of L’Annonciation d’Oka is situated today. Work began in 1728 with the building of a church and a manor house in stone, as was required by the deed of grant of the seigneury of Lac-des-Deux-Montagnes; the fort, also to be in stone, was not built until 1741. By 1734 the Indians were all installed near the new church, the Iroquois to the west and the Algonkins to the east, each group having its own organization.
In 1754, after 59 years of missionary work, characterized by great charity and rare patience, Quéré de Tréguron submitted his resignation and was replaced by Hamon Guen. He retired to the seminary of Montreal, where he died on 7 August of that same year, nearly 91 years of age.
ASSM, Section de la correspondance générale; Section de la seigneurie du Lac-des-Deux-Montagnes; Section des biographies; Section des cartes et plans; Section des concessions de terre et d’emplacement de l’île de Montréal. Allaire, Dictionnaire. Gauthier, Sulpitiana. C.-P. Beaubien, Le Sault-au-Récollet; ses rapports avec les premiers temps de la colonie; mission-paroisse (Montréal, 1898), 155–56, 274–80. [É.-M. Faillon], Vie de la sœur Bourgeoys, fondatrice de la Congrégation de Notre-Dame de Villemarie en Canada, suivie de l’histoire de cet institut jusqu’à ce jour (2v., Villemarie [Montréal], 1853), II, 168, 264–67. Olivier Maurault, Marges d’histoire (3v., Montréal, 1929–30), III. Pierre Rousseau, Saint-Sulpice et les missions catholiques (Montréal, 1930). J.-A. Cuoq, “Anotc kekon,” RSCT, 1st ser., XI (1893), sect.i, 137–79. Olivier Maurault, “Les vicissitudes d’une mission sauvage,” Revue trimestrielle canadienne, XVI (1930), 121–49.