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Death of Jean Monbourquette

It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of Jean Monbourquette, best-selling author and Saint Paul University professor, who died on Sunday, August 28, in Ottawa at the age of 77. A priest and a Jungian psychologist, he was the author of numerous books and co-author of many journal articles. His books sold extremely well in Canada and abroad. His best-known work, To Love Again: Finding Comfort and Meaning in Times of Grief (later published as How to Love Again: Moving from Grief to Growth), explored the grieving process. Since it was first published in the early 1990s, it has sold over one million copies in Canada and around the world. According to his publisher, Novalis, that book continues to appear on the bestseller lists in Quebec bookstores. Today, his books are available in twelve languages on four continents.

Throughout his career, Jean Monbourquette dealt with the most sensitive and vital questions, responding to real and universal issues: grief, of course; forgiveness (How to Forgive); the search for meaning (How to Discover Your Personal Mission), male violence (La violence des hommes); death (La mort, ça s’attrape? [Is death contagious?]), self-esteem (Self-Esteem and the Soul: From Psychology to Spirituality), and his final work, Excusez-moi je suis en deuil [Excuse me, I’m grieving].

As a priest who was also a therapist, Jean Monbourquette developed a unique and original approach where healing was achieved through both the psyche and spirituality. This approach is widely known today, but 25 years ago it was viewed with much scepticism. In this sense, Jean Monbourquette was a pioneer who made a major contribution to the evolution of attitudes in a society that was suspicious of the spiritual. He knew this and he was rightfully proud of it.

Jean Monbourquette had serious health problems over the last dozen years. But he always bounced back, and always with new writing projects and presentations in mind.

The management and staff of Saint Paul University offer their heartfelt condolences to the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and to the family and the many friends of Fr. Monbourquette. Reading How to Love Again: Finding Comfort and Meaning in Times of Grief could help to soothe the pain we are feeling at this time. 

The wake will be held at Deschâtelets Residence, 175 Main Street in Ottawa on Friday, September 2, 2011, beginning at 2:00 p.m. A prayer service will be held at 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday, September 3, visitation will begin at 9:00 a.m. The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. at Sacré-Cœur Church, 591 Cumberland Avenue, in Ottawa.

A Liturgy of the Word will be celebrated at Saint-Pierre-Apôtre Church in Montreal (1201 rue de la Visitation) on Saturday, September 3, at 7:30 p.m.

The burial will take place at the Oblates of Mary Immaculate cemetery in Richelieu.

Jean Monbourquette, a priest of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, held a master’s in clinical psychology from the University of San Francisco and a doctorate in psychology from International College in Los Angeles. His clinical approach was especially inspired by neuro-linguistic programming and by the psychological analysis of Carl Jung. Jean Monbourquette’s research explored the relationship between psychology and spirituality, especially in the areas of the grieving process, the accompanying of the dying, the psycho-spiritual process of forgiveness, self-esteem, and one’s personal mission in life. He gave workshops to various groups of professionals in Canada, France, Switzerland and Belgium. He had the honour of seeing his name grace La maison Monbourquette, an organization that offers support to the grieving. His books have been translated into many languages.

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