His Excellency the Most Reverend Guy Desrochers, C.Ss.R.
Bishop Desrochers was born in 1956 in the Hull sector of Gatineau, Québec. Upon completion of secondary school, he entered Algonquin College, Ottawa, to pursue studies in Fine Arts and Commercial Art which, in turn, led him to work as a graphic artist for seven years with the Ottawa French-language newspaper Le Droit.
He later entered the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists) to pursue his vocation and was ordained to the priesthood in 1989.
Following his ordination, he worked on a special evangelization project in the Gaspé region of Québec. He went on to serve for several years as Rector of the former Redemptorist monastery in Aylmer-Gatineau, before being appointed to the Shrine of Saint Anne-de-Beaupré. After a brief period as superior of a retirement home for Redemptorists near Québec City, he returned to Saint Anne-de-Beaupré as director of the Annals of Saint Anne magazine, serving in that capacity for three years and, in July 2011, became Rector of the Basilica Shrine of Saint Anne-de-Beaupré. He devoted part of his time to preaching retreats all over North America and, in June 2015, returned to this ministry in a full-time capacity as well as serving as Director of Vocations for the Redemptorists.
He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall of Ottawa on 12 December 2018 and ordained Bishop at Alexandria on 22 February 2019. Bishop Desrochers has subsequently worked closely with the Most Reverend Terrence Prendergast, S.J., the then Bishop of the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall and Archbishop of Ottawa, both of which were then united in persona episcopi.
On May 6, 2020, His Holiness Pope Francis appointed Bishop Desrochers, Bishop of the Diocese of Pembroke. He was installed as the ninth Bishop of Pembroke in St. Columbkille’s Cathedral, Pembroke, Ontario, on July 3, 2020.
Coat of Arms
The arms are shown with the traditional heraldic attributes of a bishop: a green galero, or ecclesiastical hat, with six green tassels suspended from each side, and behind the shield, a gold processional Cross.
On the top left part of the coat of arms is a seashell, which traditionally represents pilgrims. In a special way to Bishop Desrochers, it represents the pilgrimage Centre of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, one of the most important shrines in the world dedicated to Saint Anne. The seashell also represents baptism in Christ, the doorway to share God’s gift of everlasting life.
On the top right part are the initials of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whom Bishop Desrochers regards as his main support in his ministry and his spiritual life. As a preacher, he always included a special evening service in his missions, to make Mary better known and loved.
The Bible with the sword on the bottom left of his coat of arms represents his first call to the priesthood to preach the Word of God within the Redemptorist Congregation.
In the divine realm, the sword represents the Word of God and divine omnipotence: it slices through the darkness of ignorance and frees people from the evil powers. It also represents the interior struggle of every individual, the battle between the soul and the flesh, which the soul must conquer to attain heaven.
On the bottom right part of the crest is the coat-of-arms of the Redemptorist Congregation, to which Bishop Desrochers has belonged since 1983; an order of preachers founded by St. Alphonsus Liguori to bring the abundance of God’s redeeming love to every nation through the proclamation of the Gospel message.
Across the entire shield of his crest is the white Cross, representing the Resurrection with the Holy Spirit in the centre. Inside the luminous Cross, the green colour represents hope and life given through the Cross, and the circle represents the Holy Eucharist.
From the side of Christ on the Cross, blood and water came out of the Heart of Jesus. These are the symbols of eternal life (Holy Spirit) given to us through the Sacrament of the Eucharist (blood), from which flow all the other Catholic sacraments (water).
The red background colour represents the Pentecostal Spirit and the Blood of the Saviour that redeems and sanctifies us.
The blue background is attributed to Mary in the Catholic tradition. The colour of the sky represents the heavenly realms to which both the Word made flesh and His Blessed Mother convene us.
Bishop Desrochers’ motto in Latin, Praedica Verbum, embodies the command “Proclaim the Word.” From the very beginning of Bishop Desrochers’ conversion in his early-twenties, this has been the inner call that he received from God when he was inspired to become a priest—a divine mission he continues now as a bishop.
Former Bishops of Pembroke
Bishop Michael Mulhall D.D.
Named Bishop of Pembroke: June 30, 2007
Consecrated: September 21, 2007
Named Archbishop of Kingston: 30 March 2019
Installed as Archbishop of Kingston: 3 May 2019
Bishop Richard William Smith
Named Bishop of Pembroke: April 27, 2002
Consecrated & Installed as Bishop of Pembroke: June 18, 2002
Named Archbishop of Edmonton, Alberta: March 22, 2007
Installed as the Archbishop of Edmonton: May 1, 2007
Bishop Brendan Michael O’Brien, S.T.D.
Named Auxiliary Bishop of Ottawa: May 9, 1987
Consecrated: June 29, 1987
Named Bishop of Pembroke: May 5, 1993
Named Archbishop of St. John’s: December 4, 2000
Named Archbishop of Kingston: June 1, 2007
Retired: May 3, 2019
Bishop Joseph Raymond Windle, D.D.
Nominated Auxiliary Bishop of Ottawa: November 24, 1960
Consecrated: January 18, 1961
Named Coadjutor Bishop of Pembroke: January 23, 1969
Named Bishop of Pembroke: February 15, 1971
Retired: May 5, 1993
Died: September 24, 1997
Bishop William Joseph Smith, D.D.
Nominated Bishop of Pembroke: May 19, 1945
Consecrated: July 25, 1945
Installed as Bishop of Pembroke: August 8, 1945
Retired: February 15, 1971
Died: October 28, 1986
Bishop Charles Leo Nelligan, D.D.
Nominated Bishop of Pembroke: August 16, 1937
Consecrated: October 28, 1937
Named Military Ordinary Cdn. Armed Forces: September 20, 1939
Retired: May 18, 1945
Died: March 31, 1974
Bishop Patrick Thomas Ryan, D.D.
Nominated Auxiliary Bishop of Pembroke: May 6, 1912
Consecrated: July 25, 1912
Named Bishop of Pembroke: August 7, 1916
Died: April 15, 1937
Bishop Narcisse Zéphirin Lorrain, D.D.
Nominated Vicar Apostolic of Pontiac: July 14, 1882
Consecrated: September 21, 1882
Named Bishop of Pembroke: May 6, 1898
Died: December 16, 1915