Varennes (Lower Canada), October 30, 1811.
Priestly ordination: Montreal, February 3, 1839.
Took the habit: Marseille, December 7, 1846.
Vows: Marseille (?), December 8, 1848 (N. 227).
Expelled: spring 1856.
Died: La Prairie, Canada, September 28, 1883.
François Toussaint Rouisse was born in Varennes, then in the diocese of Quebec, on October 30, 1811. His parents were Alexis Rouisse and Josephte Cadieux. He was ordained to the priesthood in Montreal on February 3, 1839 by Bishop Ignace Bourget, coadjutor of Montreal. He was assistant priest in Rigaud (1839-1840) and in Saint-Cuthbert (1840). He was then pastor in Saint-Thomas de Joliette (1841-1842), and Saint-Gabriel-de-Brandon (1842-1844), ministering in Saint-Valentin (1844-1846).
He began his novitiate in Marseille on December 7, 1846 but continued in Notre-Dame de l’Osier under the direction of Father Ambroise Vincens. In the summer of 1847 he wanted to travel and therefore his novitiate was interrupted. It was suggested that he be dismissed but Father Vincens advised that his trial should be prolonged for another year. On September 23, 1848, he wrote that Father Rouisse “is the same as he was six months ago, that is, inconsistent in character, naturally flippant, with an astonishing facility for speaking on everything and out of order, rather small minded, but with all these defects this priest has also some good qualities: a sincere attachment to his vocation, a love of family, a certain dedication, diligence in his work and the ability to get things done.” He made his oblation, probably in Marseille, on December 8, 1848. He received his obedience for England where he worked zealously in Aldenham and then, it seems, in Everingham until 1851. He then accompanied Father Tempier when the latter visited England in the spring of 1851. Bishop de Mazenod wrote to Father Tempier in May 1, 1851: “I insisted that Father Rouisse accompany you in England … he will be very useful to you and you will be good for him. On the way, give him good advice. I believe that he can be useful. The fact is that, since he left Aldenham, there have been no more conversions, although the number while he was there was more than one hundred.”
Father Rouisse returned to Canada during the summer of 1851. He ministered in Saint-Pierre Apôtre, Montreal, from 1851 to 1856. In April 1856, the Provincial Father Jacques Santoni, informed Bishop de Mazenod that the provincial council had decided urgently that Father Rouisse be dismissed for grave acts of formal disobedience and other grave faults. On April 8, 1856, the general council confirmed this expulsion.
Having been dispensed from his vows, Father Rouisse ministered first of all in Keeseville, New York (1856-1857) and then he was lost trace of until he retired to La Prairie, Quebec (1880-1883). It was there that he died on September 28, 1883 and he is buried there.
Sources and Bibliography
G. A.: petition for entry to novitiate,
signed by Bishop de Mazenod.
Carrière, Gaston, o.m.i., “François Toussaint Rouisse”, in Dictionnaire biographique des Oblats de M.I. au Canada, Tome III, Ottawa 1979, p. 139. That is the text reproduced here.