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Diocese of Nicolet
Diocese in the Province of Quebec, Canada, suffragan of Quebec. It comprises the counties of Nicolet, Yamaska, Arthabaska, Drummond, and a small part of Shefford and Bagot. The see takes its name from the town of Nicolet (population 3915), situated on the south bank of the St. Lawrence, opposite Trois-Rivières.
It was erected into a bishopric on 11 July, 1885, by separation from the Diocese of Trois-Rivières, the first occupant of the see being Mgr Elphège Gravel. He was born on 12 October, 1838, at Saint-Antoine de Richelieu, Quebec; consecrated at Rome on 2 August, 1885, and died, 28 January, 1904. His successor, Mgr Joseph-Simon-Herman Brunault, the present occupant of the see, was born at St-David, Quebec, on 10 January, 1857; educated at the seminary of Nicolet and the Canadian College, Rome; ordained, 29 June, 1882. Having ministered two years in the cathedral of St. Hyacinth and taught for many years in the seminary of Nicolet, first as professor of literature, and then of theology, he was named coadjutor to Mgr Gravel and consecrated titular Bishop of Tubuna, 27 December, 1899; and succeeded as Bishop of Nicolet, 28 January, 1904. The seminary of Nicolet was founded in October, 1803, and affiliated to the Laval University of Quebec, in 1863; it contains over 320 students; a grand séminaire, likewise affiliated to the University of Laval, was established at Nicolet, 22 February, 1908.
The religious in the diocese are as follows: Soeurs de l'Assomption de la Sainte-Vierge, teachers, founded at St-Grégoire (Nicolet) in 1853, have eighteen houses in the diocese; Soeurs Grises (de Nicolet), hospitallers, three houses; Congrégation de Notre-Dame (of Montreal), teachers, at Arthabaskaville, and Victoriaville; Soeurs de la Présentation de la Bienheureuse Vierge Marie, teachers, at St-David and Drummondville; Soeurs Grises de la Croix (of Ottawa), teachers and nurses, with academy and school of house-keeping at St-Francois du Lac, and a school at Pierreville (Abenaki Indian village); Religieuses hospitalières de St-Joseph (of Montreal), hospitallers, at Arthabaskaville; Soeurs du Précieux-Sang, and Soeurs de la Sainte-Famille at Nicolet; the Frères des Ecoles Chrétiennes have schools at Nicolet, Arthabaskaville, La Baie, and St-Grégoire; the Frères de la Charité are at Drummondville; and the Frères du Sacré-Coeur teach at Arthabaskaville, and Victoriaville.
Secular priests, 140; brothers, 120; sisters, 400; churches with resident priests, 65; mission, 1; theological seminary, 1; college seminary, 1; commercial colleges and academies for boys, 11; students, 1500; academies for young ladies in charge of sisters, 28; students, 1800; normal school for young ladies, 1; parochial schools, 500; children attending parochial schools, 20,000; orphan asylums, 1; orphans, 120; hospitals, 3; population: Catholic French Canadians, 90,000; Irish Canadians, 600; Protestants, 1800; total population, 92,400.
J. S. Herman Brunault.
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