Gérald Leduc was born in Valleyfield, Québec on December 30, 1949, the seventh of fourteen children. He did his elementary and secondary schooling in the city of his birth. He went on to study at Laval University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a teaching certificate.
He first encountered the message of Opus Dei when he was a teenager. Following several years of teaching, he moved to the Eternal City to pursue theological studies. There he met the founder of Opus Dei, St. Josemaria Escriva. Due to his musical talent, Fr. Leduc was chosen to conduct the choir for the celebration of the saint's funeral in June 1975.
He obtained a doctorate in Theology at the University of Navarra in Spain with a thesis on Cardinal Henry Manning. On August 21, 1977 he was ordained to the priesthood.
Upon his return to Quebec, Fr. Leduc dedicated himself generously to pastoral work with people of all backgrounds, both young and old, single and married, students and workers. He lived for many years at Riverview University Residence in Montreal. For over 20 years he was assistant pastor of Saint Ambroise Parish in Montreal.
He had a special concern for explaining the faith in contemporary language. This led him to write Introduction à la science du bonheur (2006), La nouvelle créature (2006), and Expliquer la messe aux jeunes du primaire (2010), published in Montreal by Éditions des Oliviers.
Throughout his priestly ministry he collaborated generously with the activities of the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross.
Cheerful, gentle and well-read, he loved music and often entertained his relatives, friends and brothers in the Work with his accordion and harmonica.
Two years ago, l’abbé Leduc developed symptoms of blood cancer, of which he ultimately died. With Christian endurance filled with faith, he offered up his illness for the good of souls. After a series of stays at the hospital, he finally moved to Boisgomin, a university residence of Opus Dei a few blocks away from his alma mater in Quebec City. There he passed away on January 22, continually surrounded by the affection of other faithful of the Prelature and members of his family.
On the occasion of Fr. Gerald’s passing, the Prelate of Opus Dei, Msgr Fernando Ocariz, wrote in a letter to the regional vicar of the prelature in Canada: “It is comforting to think that he left us well prepared, having offered the inconveniences and difficulties of his disease for the good of souls, and through his dedication to people he helped place the Lord at the centre of their lives”.
The family will be available to receive condolences on Thursday, January 27 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Charles E. Rajotte Funeral Complex, 1350 Beaubien Street East.
The funeral will be at Marie-Reine-du-Monde Cathedral on Friday, January 28, at 11:00 a.m. The burial will take place in Notre Dame des Neiges Cemetery. The celebration will be streamed on the Cathedral's YouTube channel, which can be accessed using this link. You are invited to make a donation to FCE in lieu of flowers.