In Memoriam Fr Gérald Leduc
Father Gérald Leduc, teacher, priest of the Prelature of Opus Dei, died peacefully in Québec City on January 22, 2022.
Gérald Leduc was born in Valleyfield, Québec on December 30, 1949, the seventh of 14 children. He did his primary and secondary schooling in the city of his birth, where he began studies at the Collège de Valleyfield, which he finished in Québec City. There, at Laval University, he obtained a Bachelor’s of Arts and a teaching certificate. He taught high school English in Quebec City from 1971 to 1973.
He became familiar with the message of Opus Dei as a teenager. He was starting to live his vocation as a layman in the middle of the world when a new calling from God took him to Rome to eventually become a priest.
In the city of the Pope, he pursued studies in theology, and took a doctorate in Theology at the University of Navarre, eventually obtaining that degree with a dissertation on Cardinal Henry Manning. On August 21, 1977, he was ordained a priest. In Rome he met the founder of Opus Dei, Saint Josemaria Escriva. In fact, he was the choirmaster at the saint’s funeral in June of 1975.
Returning to Québec, he dedicated himself generously to pastoral work in the region of Montréal, with stays in Québec City and other places. The priestly ministry of Gérald Leduc was with young and old, single and married, students and workers. He lived many years in the university residence Riverview, near downtown Montréal. For over 20 years he was assistant pastor of Saint Ambroise Parish in Montreal.
He preached extensively, and had a special concern for explaining the faith in the language of today. This led him to write books like Introduction à la science du bonheur (2006), La nouvelle créature (2006), and Expliquer la messe aux jeunes du primaire (2010), published in Montréal by Éditions des oliviers. He was a diligent confessor at the cathedral Marie-Reine-du-Monde and at Saint Ambroise parish.
Throughout his priestly ministry, he also helped many brothers in the priesthood with his sincere friendship, often within the framework of the activities of the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross.
Cheerful, gentle and academic, he loved music, and often entertained his relatives, friends and families, as well as his brothers in the Work, with his accordion and harmonica. He was highly talented in music, especially Québécois folk music.
Two years ago l’abbé Leduc developed symptoms of blood cancer, of which he ultimately died. With Christian endurance and a faith perspective he offered up his illness and tiredness for the good of souls. After a series of stays at the hospital, he finally moved to Boisgomin, a university residence of Opus Dei a few blocks away from his alma mater in Quebec City. There he passed away, constantly surrounded by the affection of other faithful of the Prelature and his family, on January 22, three weeks after turning 72.
On occasion of his passing, the Prelate of Opus Dei, Mgr Fernando Ocariz wrote in a letter to the regional vicar of the prelature in Canada: “It is comforting to think that he left us well prepared, having offered the inconveniences and difficulties of his disease, and through his dedication to so many people, whom he helped to place the Lord at the centre of their lives”.
The funeral will be at the cathedral of Montreal on Friday, January 28, at 11:00 a.m., and he will be buried in Notre Dame des Neiges Cemetery. Many people in Québec and outside of Québec have expressed their condolences. People are invited to make a donation to FCE in lieu of flowers.