Most Reverend Norbert Robichaud
Second Archbishop of Moncton (1942 – 1972)
Most Reverend Norbert Robichaud died at the Dumont Hospital in Moncton following a lengthy illness at the age of 74. He left behind six sisters and two brothers.
Son of Marcel Robichaud and Nathalie (née Gallant), Most Reverend Robichaud was born April 1st, 1905 in Saint-Charles-de-Kent New Brunswick.
His classical studies were completed at Saint Anne College in Church Point, Nova Scotia and his theological studies were done at the Sacred Heart of Mary Seminary in Halifax.
He was ordained to the priesthood in 1932 and served as the bishop's secretary before becoming director of cloistered retreats in Chatham. He then went on to continue his studies at the Angelicum College in Rome from 1935 to 1938 to obtain a Doctorate in theology before returning to Canada in July 1939 to become Chancellor and Vicar general for the diocese of Bathurst.
He was consecrated as archbishop in 1942 and succeeded Most Reverend Louis-J.-Arthur Melanson. The event took place at the Notre-Dame de l'Assomption Cathedral in Moncton. At the time, Most Reverend Robichaud was the youngest bishop in Canada.
Through the years, Most Reverend Robichaud received several honourable doctorates from various universities and colleges such as those in Montreal, Laval, Ottawa, Sainte-Anne, Saint Thomas, Bathurst College, Saint Joseph College as well as the University of Moncton.
Incidentally, he became the first chancellor of the University of Moncton.
During his thirty-year episcopate, 13 new parishes were founded, 50 priests were ordained and two bishops and he was also witness to several hundred religious professions as well as thousands of confirmations.
Having acquired some experience in Bathurst in 1932, he went on to found a cloistered retreat house in Bouctouche and also organised the Catholic Action Movement across the diocese. He was also instrumental in the organisation of pilgrimages to the Cathedral for novenas in preparation for the Feast of the Assumption. He was also the key organiser of a grand public demonstration of the peoples' devotion to the Virgin Mary during a Marian congress in Bouctouche in 1947.
After serving thirty years as the second archbishop of Moncton, Most Reverend Robichaud was forced to leave the episcopate due to health concerns in 1972. Pope Paul VI accepted his resignation and authorised his retirement. This news was made public on March 22, 1972.
'' History will prolong the influence of this great man of the Church that was Most Reverend Norbert Robichaud, since history will remember all that our memories will forget over the years,'' With these words, Most Reverend Donat Chiasson paid hommage to his predecessor.