René Ménard | The Canadian Encyclopedia

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René Ménard

Ménard, René. Priest, missionary, composer, b Paris 2 Mar 1605, d Wisconsin, August 1661. He joined the Jesuits in 1624, was ordained, and was sent to Canada in 1640.

Ménard, René

Ménard, René. Priest, missionary, composer, b Paris 2 Mar 1605, d Wisconsin, August 1661. He joined the Jesuits in 1624, was ordained, and was sent to Canada in 1640. He went on numerous missionary expeditions to the Nipissings, Algonquins, Iroquois, and Hurons and succeeded in winning their confidence. He was the superior 1651-6 of the Jesuits' residence at Trois-Rivières. A letter written by Sister Anne de Ste-Claire from Quebec, 2 Sep 1640, mentions that Ménard had 'composed several motets which we sang after the elevation' (Les Ursulines de Québec, vol 1, p 39). Willy Amtmann has examined the circumstances of this early instance of composition in Canada and speculates that a copy of some of Ménard's music may survive in a manuscript compilation at the Quebec Ursuline convent.

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