MOREAU, HIPPOLYTE, secular priest, missionary, canon, vicar general; b. 8 March 1815 at Saint-Luc-sur-Richelieu, L.C., son of Raphaël Moreau and Marguerite Tremblay; d. 30 July 1880 at Montreal, Que.
Hippolyte Moreau received his classical education at the seminary of Saint-Hyacinthe. He was studying theology there, and at the same time teaching junior classes, when in 1838 Bishop Jean-Jacques Lartigue* judged him worthy of succeeding the Sulpician C.-L. Lefebvre* de Bellefeuille, missionary to the Indians of Lakes Timiskaming, Nipissing, and Abitibi. He was immediately elevated to the diaconate and sent to the mission of Lac-des-Deux-Montagnes (Oka) to study the Algonkin language under the direction of Flavien Durocher. On 16 March 1839 he was admitted into the priesthood by Bishop Ignace Bourget*, and returned to Oka to continue his study of Algonkin. In 1840 he undertook his first journey as a missionary, to Timiskaming. From 1841 on he lived at Fort des Allumettes and travelled throughout the vast region of the Ottawas, carrying out his ministry among the Indians and scattered whites. He left this post on 14 Sept. 1844 and was appointed parish priest of Saint-Joseph-de-Soulanges.
During the typhus epidemic that raged at Montreal in 1847, he devoted himself, to the point of exhaustion, to tending the Irish who were relegated to sheds at Pointe-Saint-Charles (Montreal Island); he fell seriously ill with the disease. On 11 Feb. 1848 he became parish priest of Saint-Eustache (Deux-Montagnes County), in succession to Abbé Jacques Paquin. He applied himself particularly to bringing religious education to the poor and ignorant. He paid out of his own pocket for the completion of the presbytery and its outbuildings, and in 1850 he enlarged the convent of the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre-Dame. Two years later he started work on the vault of the parish church.
He left Saint-Eustache in 1853 and became titular canon of the cathedral at Montreal, where for 20 years he was archdeacon; in 1873 he was appointed vicar general, in place of Alexis-Frédéric Truteau. He held this position until his death, which occurred on 30 July 1880 at the H6tel-Dieu at Montreal, following a stroke he had had a month earlier. His body was buried in the cathedral.
In his Mémoire pour servir à l’histoire du chapitre de la cathédrale . . . , Bishop Bourget testified as follows: “Both as an archdeacon and as a vicar general M. Moreau showed himself skilful, prudent, and wise. In this respect he rendered real service to the bishop. Nor do the nuns of the Hôtel-Dieu forget the services he has rendered them by the skill and devotion with which he has straightened out the matter of their temporal possessions.” In all the positions he held, Moreau displayed unusual dedication. He belonged to the class of unassuming workers who are vitally necessary to all institutions, religious or lay, if they are to live and develop.
ACAM, RCD, 94, 95. Rapport sur les missions du diocèse de Québec . . . , no.4 (janv. 1842), 67–74; no.6 (juill. 1845), 112–16. [Ignace Bourget], Mémoire pour servir à l’histoire du chapitre de la cathédrale S. Jacques de Montréal (Montréal, 1882), 180–81. Paroisse de Saint-Eustache, Annuaire de Ville-Marie (Montréal, 1871), 191–93.