Cornwall Classical College & Viatorian priests


Cornwall Classical College and the Viatorian priests

In 1949 at the invitation of Roman Catholic Bishop Rosario Brodeur (Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall) the Clercs de St. Viateur (Clerics of St. Viator/Viatorians) opened the doors of the Cornwall Classical College.

The French college provided high school classes (grades 9 to 12) for boys and served as an off-campus college for the University of Ottawa leading to a baccaloreate degree.The Viatorians operated a similar college in nearby Rigaud, Quebec and numerous Roman Catholic colleges, schools and churches in dioceses throughout Quebec, in addition to a college in the Diocese of St. Bonifice, Manitoba, Canada and missions in Japan, Taiwan and Peru.

The Viatorians also had/have schools and headquarters in the USA and missions in Africa.

According to one history of the diocese “the College became the centre of French Canadian life of the community” and provided invaluable service assisting at hospitals, covering during diocesan priests’ vacations and assisting with confessions, “There was not a parish in the diocese which did not use their services.”

The Viatorian priests assisted in local parishes in the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall, some seemingly on a temporary and others on a permanent basis.

Viatorian priests were a common presence at Nativity of the Blesses Virgin church in Cornwall.In 1957 the Viatorians took over administration of St.Felix de Valois. Members of the Viatorian community routinely served at St. Felix as pastors and/or assistants within the parish and the Viatorian priests teaching at the college often assisted at the church (the college was situated just South of St. Felix).

In 1972 Bishop Brodeur also appealed to and received assistance from the Viatorians to operate Canadian Martyr’s Roman Catholic Church in Cornwall.The College closed its doors in 1968.  Eleven Viatorian priests elected to stay in the diocese following the closure.

Father Ronald Leger csv

Charged January 2015 – charges relate to sex abuse allegations in Manitoba (A few years after the Classical College closed its doors in 1968 Father Leger began to serve in Manitoba ) Click here to link to Father Ronald Leger page

Father Edouard Berube csv

(allegations in lawsuit of severe physical abuse)

Ordained:   1940

1959-1966:   Student Director at Cornwall Classical College.

1966:  Seemed to be gone from the College

1967-1968:  listed at Saint Joseph College, Otterburne, Manitoba (Diocese of St. Bonifice, Manitoba)

1973-1974: Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Cornwall (with Father Aime Leduc as pastor)          Member of the diocesan council of priests

1980: Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Cornwall (with Fathers Aimee Leduc, M. Lalonde and Denis Vaillancourt)

1991:  address is St. Felix where Father Evariste was pastor

Died:  1994


Father Jean Primeau csv   

(allegations in lawsuit of sexual abuse abuse)

Ordained:  24 June 1953

(According to Directory listings there are lengthy gaps in Primeau’s presence at the College.  This could be due to errors in reporting or entering information, or it could have been that Primeau was removed for several years at a time after allegations of sexual abuse were reported against him.)

1959:  on staff at Cornwall Classical College

was at the Classical College in the 50s, and also at Rigaud College.  Began his PhD in the 60s)

1964:  on staff at Cornwall Classical College

1964-67: Outremont

1967:  St. Viateur College, Montreal, Quebec

1967-1968: Dean of Studies and Principal at Cornwall Classical College

1968-70: teaching in Montreal at a public college

1973-1973:  250 Grande  Alle O, Quebec

1985-1986: Outrement, Quebec

according to obit-bio was a parish priest in Montreal

Died:  according to obit-bio, died 08 November 1999, allegedly after learning he was about to be charged.  There were numerous allegations against Primeau.


Father Hector Cote csv

(allegations in lawsuit of sexual abuse abuse)

Ordained:   29 June 1940

1964-1966:   on staff at Cornwall Classical College

1968: listed in index as at Classical College but not listed among staff in that year in other listings

1973-1974: CGEP Joliette, Quebec

Died:  1994


Father Paul Desilets csv

Page on Father Desilets

(charged and convicted in States)


Father Henri Legault csv

(allegations in lawsuit of sexual abuse abuse)

Legal Action against Viatorians

18 October 2018:  Judge OKs another class action lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by priests at Clercs de St-Viateur


09 January 2001:  Law suit filed by Dick Nadeau et al against the Viatorians and Diocese of Alexandria Cornwall re physical and sexual abuse at the Cornwall Classical College

The lawsuit was filed against Les Clercs St. Viateur (Viatorian priests) who operated the Cornwall Classical College and the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation for the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall in Ontario, Canada.  The Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall somehow managed to extricate itself from the action.

The suit was settled out of court in 2004.  The victims were gagged regarding the terms of settlement.


08 September 2001:  ‘Others’ involved in sex abuse: priest

 Naming Names

 Naming Names