Most Reverend Christian Lépine has appointed Fr. Raymond Lafontaine Episcopal Vicar for the English-speaking faithful and Director of the Office for English Pastoral Services (O.E.P.S.).
He succeeds Bishop Thomas Dowd, Auxiliary Bishop, who was recently named Vicar General.
Our best wishes and prayers are with him as he assumes this new responsibility.
Fr. Raymond is a priest of the Archdiocese of Montreal, serving as Pastor of St. Monica's Parish in N.D.G. After undergraduate studies at McGill in Mathematics, and a brief career as an actuary, he entered St. Paul's University Seminary in Ottawa in 1986, where he received his B.Th. and his M.A. (Christian Ethics) degrees summa cum laude. Ordained in 1991, he served as associate pastor at St. Luke's Parish (1991-1996), before pursuing graduate studies in moral theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, receiving his licentiate in 1997 and his doctorate in 2001. His Ph.D. dissertation, "The Development of a Moral Doctrine", traced the historical development of Catholic teaching on religious liberty, analyzing the contribution of John Courtney Murray, S.J. through the lens of John Henry Newman and Bernard Lonergan's theologies of doctrinal development.
From 2000 to 2002, Fr. Raymond served as co-chair of the North American Congress on Vocations, and authored its pastoral plan Conversion, Discernment, Mission: Fostering a Vocation Culture in North America (Ottawa: CCCB, 2003). He also served as Roman Catholic chaplain at Concordia University (2001-2004) and as staff member and director of pastoral formation at the Grand Seminaire de Montreal (2003-2005).
As well as being a parish priest, Fr. Raymond is a member of the part-time faculty in the department of Theological Studies at Concordia, and teaches at the Grand Séminaire de Montréal. He lectures in the areas of ecclesiology, spirituality, Christian ethics, bioethics, Catholic social thought, and pastoral ministry. He has received formation in spiritual direction through the Montreal Ignatian Center of Spirituality, and serves on the presbyteral council and adult faith advisory board of the Archdiocese of Montreal. Since 2012, he has served on the Anglican-Roman Catholic Theological Dialogue in Canada.
Fr. Raymond is also involved in the preaching of parish missions, retreats, and diocesan study days, in which he integrates his passion for music, film, spirituality, and social analysis into his teaching ministry.