CONSTANTIN, NICOLAS-BERNARDIN, Recollet priest; b. 1664; d. September 1730.
Father Constantin must have been one of the four Recollets who came to Canada in 1696. His name appears in the records for the first time on 8 Nov. 1697 at Trois-Rivières; on 20 Feb. 1698 he recorded another act there. In 1701 he was apparently a missionary at Sorel and Berthier, since he figures as such on the list of parish priests to whom the king gave allowances in “the present year of 1701,” a list that was closed on 15 October of that year. In 1702 on 22 July, 4 and 12 August, he held services at Batiscan, which was at that time without a parish priest. During February and March 1703 he served at Saint-François de Sales, on Île Jésus.
Father Constantin was at Montreal in 1706. He served at Longueuil and was always ready to assist parish priests in the region and to help out in parishes where there was no one to officiate. The following year he was to be found at La Prairie de la Magdeleine and Saint-François de Sales and in 1710 at Lachenaye.
It was doubtless in the parish of Saint-Francois de Sales that Father Constantin served on a more regular basis. Abbé Louis Lepage de Sainte-Claire, who had been appointed priest of this parish and officiant at Lachenaye, appealed to the Recollets of Montreal for help in securing replacements during his numerous absences. It was Father Constantin who became, as it were, his curate, but he did not take the title until 2 March 1721; he retained the office until 18 September of that year.
In 1724 Father Constantin again served at Lachenaye and Varennes, and in 1726 at La Prairie de la Magdeleine. We encounter him for the last time on 23 March 1729, when he baptized a pair of twins at the request of the parish priest of Longueuil, the Sulpician Joseph Isambart. He died “in Canada . . . September 1730, at the age of 66.”
Archives des Franciscains de Québec, Fonds Jouve-Godbout, Table générale des Frères Mineurs, f.41. AJJ, Registres d’état civil de Lachenaie. AJTR, Registres d’état civil de Batiscan. AN, Col., B, 19; F5A, 3, f.25.