Our History


The diocese erected in Chatham on May 8, 1860 officially became the "Diocese of Bathurst" on May 15, 1938

Here is an excerpt translated from an article which appeared in the Évangéline paper on May 19, 1938 and which was republished in the diocesean publication La/The Barque - Automne/Fall 2013 to honour the 75 years of the transfer of the diocese...
 

The episcopal seat of Chatham was transferred to Bathurst by a decree of the Consistorial Congregation, the holder of the diocese, his excellency  P.-A. Chiasson, became Bishop of Bathurst and his diocese from  then on was known as the  Diocese of Bathurst. Under this new designation, however, the diocese of Bishop Chiasson retains the same limits that were set for it by the decree of February 1936 and includes the counties of Gloucester, Madawaska, Restigouche, Victoria and Northumberland. The Diocese of Bathurst has a Catholic population of 110,000 souls, 113 diocesan priests, 10 religious brothers, 61 parishes, two classical colleges, 15 convents, 2 orphanages, 5 hospitals, 9 preparatory schools for boys (Figures taken from Canada ecclésistique 1937). Mgr Chiasson, who was born in 1867, was consecrated bishop in 1917 (October) and inducted in Chatham in December 1920. In the seat of Chatham, he succeeded Bishop Thomas Barry.

Today in 2015, the Diocese of Bathurst extends from Glen Levit in the Restigouche region through all of the Chaleur region and Miscou Island in the Acadian Peninsula. The Diocese of Bathurst is a French diocese serving 56 vibrant and dynamic parishes, of which 10 are english-speaking.

 

Diocesan Coat of Arms

His excellency, Bishop Camille LeBlanc requested Father Dom Williams Bayne, Benedictin and Brother Gérard Brossard, Assomptionist to prepare the diocesan coat of arms. 

 

Three main ideas are represented in the coat of arms: the Sacred Heart, Patron Saint of the Bathurst cathedral church; the Virgin Mary in her Assumption, Patron Saint of the Acadian people; New Brunswick where the diocese is located.
 
I: The Patron Saint of the Cathedral is represented by the cross,instrument of redemption: its color is blue to recall the part the Blessed Virgin Mary plays in the redemption, as she is known as  the co-redeemer of mankind.  
 
I: The Virgin Mary, Patron Saint of the Acadian people, under the patronage of her Assumption, is in a place of honor represented by the symbol of a star with the waves at the bottom of the shield recalling the words in the national anthem of the Acadian people: "Ave Maris Stella ". The waves also emphasizes that much of the Acadian population's main industry is fishing. Everything is on a gold background, color reminiscent of the halls of heaven.
 
III: To identify that the diocese of Bathurst is located in the civil province of New Brunswick, the head of the coat of arms of the province is emblemed in the diocesan coat of arms.  
 
By its choice of colors, the Bathurst coat of arms is especially marial in inspiration, well choses as the Acadian people are of a marial culture, if we may say so.

Predecessors of the Bishop

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Statistics

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