Fr. Jean-Baptiste Thibault, courtesy, SHSB
Fr. Jean-Baptiste Thibault
courtesy SHSB
Father Jean-Baptiste Thibault
  • son of Jean-Baptiste (farmer) Thibault and Charlotte Carrier
    eldest of a family of eight; Jean-Baptiste, Marie, François- Xavier, Esther, Geneviève, Julie, Scholastique, Charlotte
  • born on December 14, 1810 in St-Joseph-de-Levis, QC
  • did classical and theological studies at the Quebec Seminary
  • died on April 4, 1879 in St-Denis-de-la-Bouteillerie, QC
  •  upon arriving at the Red River Settlement, Thibault worked as humanities professor at the Saint Boniface Priestly School of Latin in (Saint Boniface College) to a group of boys, wishing to promote the ordination of priests originating from Red River Settlement (1833-1838)

  • ordained a priest on September 8, 1833 by Bishop Provencher, Red River Diocese
  • during the years 1835-1837 he was assigned to the care of the diocese; ends the construction of the third church (Cathedral - walls, boards and shingles, gable structure)
  • 1841 - founds the mission of Duck Bay (baie-des-canards) where he built a chapel
  • 1842 his missionary work takes him west to the Rockies and north – travelled for 6 months

  • 1844 Thibault establishes the permanent mission of Lac Ste-Anne, AB

  • Priest of St François Xavier (White Horse Plains) during 1838-1839 and 1852-1869

  • in 1847 celebrates the first mass at Oak Ridge (Coteau-des-Chênes - Richer)

  • during the winter of 1861-1862 Thibault directs sawmill operations (land of Prosper Nault) in Oak Ridge – the wood was to be used to rebuild the fourth Church, the second Cathedral of Saint Boniface

  • Vicar General of the Bishop for the Red River Diocese - 1845-1872

  • 1869-1870 Thibault acted as mediator on behalf of the Government in the Red River Rebellion - without success

  • worked as a missionary in western Canada for 40 years

  • priest of Sainte Louise Parish, Diocese of Quebec 1872-1875

  • priest of Saint Denis-de-la-Bouteillerie 1875-1879; died on April 4, 1879 in St-Denis-de-la-Bouteillerie, QC

  • Fr Jean-Baptiste Thibault is buried in the basement of the Saint Denis Church, Kamouraska County
  • in 1901 sister Melanie Nault (GNM), daughter of Prosper, suggests that Coteau des Chênes be changed to Thibaultville to honour Jean-Baptiste Thibault, Sr Melanie’s wish becomes reality

  • 1904 Thibaultville is changed to Richer upon the arrival of the post office in the village

Father Jean-Baptiste Thibault is renowned for: 

  • learning the Cree and the Saulteaux languages, having opened the way to the West, and having defended the interests of Aboriginal peoples, the Metis and pioneers
  • his gentleness, modesty, humility and shyness
  • having been a skilled administrator, a good preacher, secular, and missionary priest
  • being a man of the people with a sense of adventure that welcomed all members of society


Source: Saint Boniface Historical Society Archives, Lionel Dorge

Also, at the historical society, you will find copies of letters written by Fr. Thibault (1842-1846)



Fr. Jean-Baptiste Thibault, courtesy, Saint Denis Parish
Portrait of Fr. Jean-Baptiste Thibault
 in the winter chapel of the St Denis  
     Church in Kamouraska County    
Cemetery in basement of St Denis Church
  Cemetery in basement of St Denis
Church. Fr. Thibault's grave marker
        is at the right of the photo        
Granit stone used for the Thibault monument, in the shape of a flame.
Granite stone for the monument;
Flame of hope for  God's people

Thank you to all of our donors  and supporters who helped make this commemorative monument a reality for the June 23, 2013. 

Following the mass, a Memorial in honour of Fr. Jean-Baptiste Thibault was held to unveil and bless the monument by our Archbishop, his Excellency Archbishop Albert LeGatt. 

The monument is flame-shaped, of mahogany Brown polished granite measuring 30" wide 8" thick and 50" high. It rests on a granite base that sits on a pillared foundation.

We would like to thank Monuments Brunet for their continued support toward this project and our heritage site.


Patricia Gendreau 2012, for the Cemetery Committee, Enfant-Jesus Heritage Site Corporation