Lionel Groulx part of past, present and future
Vaudreuil’s native son, Lionel Groulx (1878-1967), has recently made headlines again. He will continue to do so as long as Quebec and Canada seek to come to terms with his legacy. A seminal figure in historiography, literature,and nationalism, he studied theology and philosophy in Europe, and thereafter pursued these disciplines throughout his life, as his huge personal library evidenced, not least through the notes he often copiously wrote on the pages of his books.
Further, he maintained a voluminous correspondence with a veritable Who’s Who of Francophones on both sides of the Atlantic. It stands as one of the largest collection of letters in the history of Canada. Religion early attracted Groulx, led him into the priesthood,and constituted the touchstone of his multifaceted career. Indeed on the basis of Roman Catholicism he challenged contemporary ideas of society, culture,and nation. More to the point, he thereby redefined Quebec and Canada. To both he thus represents an ‘inconvenient truth,’ but failure to take the measure of this man, warts and all, ill serves the past and present, not to mention the future.
Professor Norman Cornett, PhD