Born on March 19th, 1963, in Saint Joseph, Manitoba, Archbishop Marcel Damphousse was ordained a priest on June 28th, 1991 for the Archdiocese of Saint Boniface. He served in a number of French and English parishes throughout the Archdiocese before being appointed Rector of the Cathedral in 2008. The Bishop earned a Bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1984 at the University College of Saint-Boniface, followed by a Bachelor’s degree in theology in 1989 from Saint Paul University, Ottawa.
He received his formation for the priesthood at Saint Paul’s Seminary, Ottawa. In 2002, he earned a licentiate in spiritual theology from the Teresianum in Rome.
For a number of years, Archbishop Damphousse taught at the Manitoba Catholic School of Evangelization and was vocations director for more than 12 years. Before being appointed Rector of the Cathedral, he was chaplain at St. Boniface Diocesan High School for five years.
On June 28th, 2012, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI appointed the Reverend Marcel Damphousse as Bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall. He was ordained bishop on September 2, 2012 in St. Finnan’s Cathedral in Alexandria, ON. On November 12th, 2015, His Holiness Pope Francis appointed Bishop Damphousse as the sixth Bishop of the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada.
On May 6, 2020, Archbishop Marcel Damphousse was named the coadjutor archbishop of the newly created Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall. He succeeded Archbishop Terrence Prendergast following the latter’s retirement on December 3, 2020.
Coat of Arms of Archbishop Damphousse
The Blue Field of the Shield evokes the sky of the Canadian Prairies where Bishop Damphousse was born and of Quebec where his ancestors from France settled.
The Cross in the Centre of the Shield highlights the heart of the Christian faith. It is red bordered in gold with a wavy form as an allusion to the Red River in Manitoba on whose banks the first Catholic mission in the Canadian West was established and to the Saint Lawrence, the great seaway that borders the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall where he was first appointed as bishop.
The Celtic Cross is a copy of the one found on St. Boniface’s Cathedral where Bishop Damphousse was rector when appointed bishop.
The Fleur de Lys symbolises the French roots of the Bishop’s ancestors. In the biblical tradition, the lily symbolizes Divine election, the choice of the loved one. Such was the privilege of Israel among the nations and that of the Virgin Mary from among the women of Israel. The new bishop has been chosen to serve the Church, the people of God.
The Bunch of Grapes is taken from the Arms adopted by the Association of Les Dionne d’Amérique Inc., incorporated in December 1986 and which evokes the maternal side of the family. In the biblical and Christian tradition, the bunch of grapes represents the Christian people, the fruit of the Vine which finds its life in Jesus Christ. It is a Eucharistic symbol.
The Sheaf of Wheat recalls the agricultural background of the Damphousse family in Manitoba. The sheaf is also a Eucharistic symbol, source and apex of Christian life.
The motto UT VITAM HABEANT (John 10:10) is translated as “That they may have life”. Bishop Damphousse has adopted Christ’s mission who did everything in order to communicate Life in abundance to all those He met.
The achievement is completed by a reference to the pallium, a liturgical vestment (represented by the three black crosses on wool) conferred on metropolitan archbishops, by the Pope, who shares his universal jurisdiction with the Archbishop in the Ottawa-Cornwall ecclesiastical province, which includes the dioceses of Hearst-Moosonee, Pembroke, and Timmins. The double-barred cross, the broad rimmed galero pontifical hat, and the galero’s ten tassels, in four rows, appearing on either side of the shield are also the heraldic insignia of a prelate of the rank of metropolitan archbishop by instruction of the Holy See.