RIP Jean Ménard pmé

Born in Valleyfield, Ontario, Canada, on 23 July 1928, Fr Jean Ménard was the son of Joseph-Maximilien Ménard and Juliette L’Arche.

He completed his secondary school studies at the Valleyfield Seminary followed by theology studies at the National University of Ottawa and the Major Seminary of the Missions Etrangères at Pont-Viau.

While at high school, he became a member of the Jeunesse Etudiante Catholique (JEC or YCS), where he learnt the methods of the movement.

“In the YCS, the “see, judge, act” method provided me with an initial start in the capacity to analyse,” he recalled.

As diocesan leader, he went on school visits where he met with school principals.

“They gave me 15-20 minutes to speak to the students, explain what the YCS was, sell the Jeunesse étudiante (Student Youth) and François magazines.

“Seeing was easy enough. In my parish, there was a textile factory where the people were exploited. As for judging, we did so on the basis of social class, the reality of which was quite clear even though no one spoke of it.

“And we added a dimension that came from the Gospel, the Bible. We said that if the boss acted like that, what he did deserved to be criticised.”

“Later we discovered that the Gospel also had something about that, namely that the people had the right to fight and that it was not a sin to go on strike.”

“Because of the YCS, it meant we did it for Jesus and that meant that when there was injustrice, it was necessary to fight and condemn, announce as well as denounce. I also liked that, criticising the authorities and the bosses still more.”

The YCS thus represented “my first step towards mission,” he later said.

“Arriving in a school where you don’t know anyone, talk to the principal, convince him to give you 15-20 minutes and see a bit who the leaders in the school were, bring them together over a beer or something else to pass on the message.”

“I said to myself, if I can do something that resembles the JEC, I would love to do that and that’s how I decided on the missions but not necessarily a confessional mission, simply a liking to visit a place and to pass on a message to someone there.”

Jean Ménard was ordained on 4 July 1954. He then worked as a teacher in Moncton, New Brunswick from 1956-59.

He left for Cuba on 10 September 1959 and worked as a missionary there until 1961.

He was a missionary in Chile from 1962-73 and later in Nicaragua from 1981-82.

In between these two posts he taught at Valleyfield from 1977-79.

Fr Ménard was involved in many groups including the following: Solidarité Québec-Amérique-Latine et Québec-Chili (1973-79), CISO (1976-2009), CECM (1976), CPMO (1979-80 et 1985-91), GTCQ (1980-2009), Amitié-Chine (1983-93), RAM (1984), Entraide Missionnaire (1990-2000), RML (1990-2009), OPDS (1991-2001), Développement et Paix (1991-2000), Alerte Centre-Sud (1991-95) and Attac-Québec.

He also worked as an animator with the Société des Missions-Étrangères from 1983-2009.

He died in Laval on 26 January 2020 at the age of 91.


Avis de décès (Valleyfield Diocese)

Catherine Foisy, Au risque de la conversion, L’expérience québecoise de la mission au XXe siècle, MQUP, 2017.

Ménard, Tout le monde va au ciel, Blogue de Eloy Roy

Catherine LeGrand, L’axe missionnaire catholique entre le Québec et l’Amérique latine. Une exploration préliminaire / The North-South Missionary Nexus between Quebec and Latin America: A Preliminary Exploration

Globe, Revue internationale d’études québécoises, Coopération et missonnariat, Volume 12, numéro 1, 2009.



Avis de décès

1928 – 2020

M. l’abbé Jean Ménard, prêtre des Missions-Étrangères, est décédé à Laval, le dimanche 26 janvier 2020 à l’âge de 91 ans et 6 mois. Né à Valleyfield le 23 juillet 1928, il était le fils de Joseph-Maximilien Ménard et de Juliette L’Arche.

Il a fait ses études secondaires au Séminaire de Valleyfield, puis ses études théologiques au Séminaire Universitaire d’Ottawa et au Grand Séminaire des Missions-Étrangères de Pont-Viau. Ordonné prêtre le 4 juillet 1954, il est parti le 10 septembre 1959 pour Cuba, où il a travaillé comme missionnaire jusqu’en 1961. Il fut missionnaire aussi au Chili (1962-73) et au Nicaragua (1981-82).

Au Canada, il a travaillé comme professeur à Moncton, N.B. (1956-59) et à Valleyfield (1977-79) et s’est impliqué dans divers secteurs de Montréal: Solidarité Québec-Amérique-Latine et Québec-Chili (1973-79), CISO (1976-2009), CECM (1976), CPMO (1979-80 et 1985-91), GTCQ (1980-2009), Amitié-Chine (1983-93), RAM (1984), Entraide Missionnaire (1990-2000), RML (1990-2009), OPDS (1991-2001), Développement et Paix (1991-2000), Alerte Centre-Sud (1991-95) et Attac-Québec. Il a travaillé aussi à l’Animation missionnaire de la Société des Missions-Étrangères (1983-2009).

Au moment de son décès, il vivait retraité à Laval. Il laisse dans le deuil, outre ses confrères missionnaires, ses belles-sœurs Monique Carrier et Jeanne Haineault, ainsi que des neveux, des nièces et de nombreux autres parents et amis.