Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Charles-Félix Cazeau

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 3
Charles-Félix Cazeau

by Lionel Lindsay


A French-Canadian priest, born at Quebec, 24 December, 1807, of Jean-Baptiste Cazeau and Genevieve Chabot; died 26 February, 1881. He studied at Nicolet Seminay and in 1825 joined the clergy, acting as under-secretary to Bishop Plessis of Quebec. He shared more or less directly in the diocesan administration during fifty-six years, serving successively under Bishops Plessis, Panet, Signay, Turgeon, Baillargeon, and Taschereau. With his arduous duties as secretary vicar-general, and, at four different periods, administrator of an immense diocese, he combined the direction of the men's sodality and, later, the chaplaincy of the Good Shepherd Institute, from 1856 until his death. His generosity and charity were boundless. His chief title to veneration and gratitude is his devotedness to the "exiles of Erin", whom, in 1847, famine and pestilence forced to seek a home on the shores of the St. Lawrence. Not content with risking his life in the quarantine station with so many heroic priests, nine of whom fell victims to duty, the Abbe Cazeau, moved with compassion at the sight of the many orphans, took for his share 300, placed them in French-Canadian families, and helped to provide for their maintenance and education out of his slender means. Few of these failed to respond to his zeal, many graced the Church and society by their brilliant qualities and virtuous lives. He kept a register of his 300 orphans, in which were inscribed the chief events of their careers, and he was always ready by word, by letter, or by a gift, to reform the wayward, comfort and relieve the stricken and the afflicted. The Abbé Cazeau was appointed a Domestic Prelate by Pius IX in 1875.

LIONEL LINDSAY