Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Father Lacombe

Father Lacombe, image from Canadian Encyclopedia

Albert Lacombe was born in 1827 near Montreal, the first of eight children. He inherited some Ojibway (or Ojibwe) blood through his maternal grandmother Duchamel.

He was ordained in St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, in 1849 and travelled west to St. Boniface Mission on the Red River.

Lacombe worked extensively among the Cree and Blackfoot people, and learned to speak several aboriginal languages. During a challenging time in Canada's history, he carried out much more than his religious duties.

As reported in Alberta's Culture, he ministered to the sick and served as a cultural interpreter and mediator among the First Nations, Metis, Euro-Canadians and the CPR.

The city of St. Albert, located along Edmonton's northwestern boundary, was founded as an Oblate Mission in 1861. It was named after the patron saint of Father Lacombe. The city of Lacombe, north of Red Deer in central Alberta, is also named after this practical priest.

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