Roy, Henri



Roy, Henri

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Henri Roy was an Oblate of Mary Immaculate priest, who was also the founding chaplain of the Canadian JOC.


Born in 1898, Henri Roy joined the Oblates of Mary Immaculate at the age of fifteen in 1913.

He was ordained a priest in Ottawa in 1929, and made his first contacts with the YCW movement soon after.

In 1931, he met Joseph Cardijn and 20 September of that year he founded his first YCW section in the parish of St Alphonse, Youville in Montreal.

In 1932, he met Pope Pius XI in private audience.

The Quebec YCW held its first national congress in 1935 and Fr Roy attended the first international congress of the YCW in Brussels the same year.

"Father Roy was 'obsessed' with the desire to become a saint and he didn't even want to consider the possibility that others would not also be saints," according to founding members of the Quebec YCW Thérèse and Henri Séguin and Jeanne and Julien White. "His only desire for everyone, especially the poor and the young, would have the same longing for holiness."

"He had chosen to work with the youth of the working class. Being close to them, he knew it was possible to find young men and women ready to give themselves without reservation for the salvation of their brothers and sisters. He had discovered among the youth the possibility to put their talents to the service of their brothers and sisters of the working class.

"His way of coming into contact with them was not ordinary; he knew in the 'blink of an eye' how to discover and appreciate the hidden value in the depths of a soul, even though the exterior shell often times did not give much hope. From the first encounter with him, we had this vague impression of being as transparent as a window that was recently washed, for he was able to unroll the film of our life as if he had seen us be born.

"He knew how to be so convincing and enthusiastic that you left that encounter 'free as a bird', overflowing with a great love of Jesus and an unbounding self-confidence and trust towards the whole universe!"

"Without you being aware of it, Father Roy had just given you an orientation that would mark your whole life!"

In 1959, he founded the St Pius X Secular Institute.

In 1960, he launched the magazine, Je crois (I believe).

He died in 1965.


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