BAUDRAND, FLEURY (baptized Jean-Fleury), Roman Catholic priest and Oblate of Mary Immaculate; b. 9 March 1811 in Vienne, France, son of Jean-Fleury Baudrand, a farmer, and Madelaine Faure; d. 1 Oct. 1853 in Galveston, Texas.
Nothing is known of Fleury Baudrand’s childhood or education. He was ordained priest at Grenoble on 16 July 1837 by Bishop Philibert de Bruillard, and on 31 October entered the noviciate of the Oblates at the Maison du Calvaire in Marseilles. Here on 1 Nov. 1838 he professed his perpetual vows. That year he began his service at the sanctuary in Notre-Dame de l’Osier as a preaching missionary and priest to those on pilgrimages, offices he held until 1841.
On 13 August of that year the founder of the Oblates, Bishop Charles-Joseph-Eugène de Mazenod, accepted the invitation of Bishop Ignace Bourget* to send some members of his community to the diocese of Montreal. Baudrand volunteered and was selected for the first group going to Canada. On 2 Dec. 1841 he arrived in Montreal along with fathers Jean-Baptiste Honorat*, Pierre-Antoine-Adrien Telmon, and Lucien-Antoine Lagier* and lay brothers Basile Fastray and Pierre-Jean-Louis-François Roux.
Baudrand took up residence in Saint-Hilaire parish (at Mont-Saint-Hilaire), where he became curate on 4 December. In August 1842 he moved to the Oblates’ new house at Longueuil, where he remained nearly four years. He spent some of his time preaching retreats in the parishes, convents, and colleges of the Montreal region; in addition he worked hard to establish temperance societies and the Congrégation des Filles de Marie-Immaculée, a community of pious women. He also devoted his energies from 1843 to 1845 to the arduous work of ministering in the Eastern Townships, travelling an immense territory whose principal centres were Granby, Stanbridge, Dunham, and Stanstead. He stayed at Bytown (Ottawa) in 1846 and 1847 to help his confrères who were wrestling with a typhus epidemic.
Baudrand returned to Longueuil the following year and in 1849 and 1850 served as superior of the house. When the Oblates gave up their residence in the latter year, he went to the Maison Saint-Pierre-Apôtre in Sainte-Marie Ward, a working-class area of Montreal; in 1850 and 1851 he was the superior of the house, where he continued to live until 1853. In addition to undertaking ministry in the chapel, which was open to the public, and preaching, he supervised the construction of the magnificent church of Saint-Pierre-Apôtre. Enjoying Bourget’s confidence, he accompanied the bishop to the first provincial council of Quebec in 1851 as a theologian.
A scholar with a good grasp of English and a man of high principle, Baudrand was sent as a missionary to Galveston, Texas, in April 1853. On his arrival in May, he was chosen superior of the future college at Brownsville and he supervised the construction of its buildings, which were completed under his successor, Julien Baudre, on 1 Jan. 1855.
Fleury Baudrand had been in Texas but a few months when he was stricken with yellow fever; he died on 1 Oct. 1853 after an illness of only three days. Although the doctor had advised him to leave the area where the epidemic was raging, he refused, being determined to remain at his post and not wanting to be accused of cowardice in the face of danger. Baudrand was buried at the entrance to the cathedral in Galveston. He was remembered as a good, charitable priest with a humble heart.
ACAM, RLB, II: 438. AD, Isère (Grenoble), État civil, Vienne, 10 mars 1811. Arch. du diocèse de Grenoble (Grenoble, France), HEB 1342, J43c/3 (copie aux Arch. hist. oblates, Ottawa). Arch. générales O.M.I. (Rome), Dossier Fleury Baudrand; C.-J.-E. de Mazenod, Journal (copies aux Arch. hist. oblates). Arch. provinciales O.M.I. (Montréal), Codex historicus, Saint-Hilaire; Longueuil; Saint-Pierre de Montréal (copies aux Arch. hist. oblates). C.-J.-E. de Mazenod, Lettres aux correspondants d’Amérique, 1841–1850 (Rome, 1977). Allaire, Dictionnaire, 1: 28. Notice historique et statistique sur la Congrégation des missionnaires oblats de Marie-Immaculée et compte rendu de l’année 1853–1854 (Marseille, France, 1854), 41. Notices nécrologiques des membres de la Congrégation des oblats de Marie-Immaculée (8v., Paris, 1868–1939), 6: 325. Tanguay, Répertoire (1893), 233. Gaston Carrière, Histoire documentaire de la Congrégation des missionnaires oblats de Marie-Immaculée dans l’Est du Canada (12v., Ottawa, 1957–75), 1: 198; 11: 144. Bernardo Doyon, The cavalry of Christ on the Rio Grande: a historical study of the Oblate missions in Texas and Mexico, 1849–1883 (Milwaukee, Wis., 1956), 39–40, 156–57, 236. Jacques Grisé, Les conciles provinciaux de Québec et l’Église canadienne (1851–1886) (Montréal, 1979), 33, 53. P.-F. Parisot, The reminiscences of a Texas missionary (San Antonio, Tex., 1899), 6, 8.