Mgr Ernest Leger


Most Reverend Ernest Léger (Archbishop Emeritus)

Fourth archbishop of Moncton (1997 – 2002)

     Most Reverend Ernest Léger replaced Most Reverend Chiasson as archbishop of Moncton in 1997 and tendered his resignation in March 2002. He is presently the parish priest in the parish of Plantagenet in Ottawa. 

      He was born February 27, 1944 in Amherst Nova Scotia, son of Sifroi Léger and Imelda Johnson. He is the tenth child of a family of eleven and grew up in Cormier-Village, a small village situated in south-eastern New Brunswick. He completed classical studies at the Collège de l'Assomption in Moncton as well as the Université du Sacré-Coeur in Bathurst before entering Sacred Heart of Mary Seminary in Halifax where he studied theology.

     Bishop Léger was ordained to the priesthood on May 11, 1968, in the Notre-Dame de l'Assomption Cathedral in Moncton by Most Reverend Norbert Robichaud. He was consecutively named curate of the following parishes: Christ-Roi (Moncton), Saint-Louis-des-Français (St-Louis-de-Kent), Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (Moncton) and pastor for the parishes of Saint-Charles-Borromée (St-Charles), Saint-François-de-Sales (Rogersville), Saint Lawrence O'Toole (Irishtown), Saint-Paul (Saint-Paul-de-Kent), Saint Vincent (Sackville) and finally Saint Edward (Sackville).


Father Léger completed a Bachelors degree in Education at the University of Moncton in 1972. The following year, he undertook religious studies. He also obtained a Masters in Theology from Laval University in Quebec. He completed his studies in Canon Law at Saint Paul University in Ottawa in 1985 and then became Director of the Matrimonial Tribunal. He was also vicar general from 1991 to 1993 and was named as diocesan administrator in September, 1995.

     Most Reverend Léger was ordained as archbishop in the Cathedral on January 29, 1997, the same church where he had been ordained to the priesthood 30 years earlier.

     During his more than five year stay in office, Bishop Léger continued the work undertaken by his predecessor, Most Reverend Chiasson.

     He mandated a group of diocesan priests and lay persons to examine the diocesan situation in light of an aging clergy and a continuing decline in the number of practicing Catholics.In its report on pastoral restructuring, the group proposed grouping parishes into pastoral units, the creation of pastoral ministry teams, and further formation opportunities for priests and for the lay persons. Bishop Léger immediately put these recommendations into place. He tendered his resignation barely two years after the presentation of this report.