CALVARIN, GOULVEN, originally from Vannes, in Brittany, priest of the Séminaire des Missions Étrangères in Paris and of the seminary of Quebec, parish priest and missionary; d. 26 Nov. 1719 in the Mississippi region.
Before coming to Canada Abbé Goulven Calvarin had been a missionary to Île Bourbon (Réunion). Wishing to devote himself to Indian missions, he joined the seminary of Quebec in 1703. The directors were on the point of sending him to the Mississippi region when a letter from Abbé Henri-Jean Tremblay* dissuaded them from doing so. Abbé Calvarin, stated the procurator of the seminary, was too old to learn the Indian languages and would never be of any use in a mission. Goulven Calvarin did not go to a mission, but was made parish priest of Pointe-à-la-Caille (Montmagny). He lived there from 1704 till 1708, then went on to direct the parish and the École des Arts et Métiers at Saint-Joachim until 1712.
Abbé Calvarin doubtless possessed remarkable qualities, for the directors of the seminary of Quebec chose him to join their ranks in 1710. Bishop Saint-Vallier [La Croix] appointed him canon on 26 Nov. 1712 and promoter of the officiality on 30 Nov. 1716. He had nevertheless not given up thinking of the missions, and when he was asked to go as superior of the mission to the Tamaroas, he accepted. On 10 May 1718 the missionary left, in company with two confrères from the seminary of Quebec, Abbés Jean-Pierre Mercier* and René Thaumur de La Source. But Abbé Calvarin had over-estimated his strength; he arrived among the Tamaroas in a state of complete exhaustion and died some months later, on 26 Nov. 1719.
AAQ, Registres d’insinuation B, 189, 244. ASQ, C13, 51, 297; Chapitre, 40; Lettres, N, 123; 0, 41; Missions, 43, 73c; Paroisse de Québec, 2; Paroisses diverses, 57, 59b; Polygraphie, VII, 80. Édits ord., 11, 163.