About the author
Archbishop Gervais was born in Elie Manitoba on September 21 1931. He is the ninth of fourteen children. His family came from Manitoba to the Sparta area near St. Thomas Ontario when he was just a teenager. He went to Sparta Continuation School and took his final year at Saint Joseph`s High School in St. Thomas. After high school he went to study for the priesthood at St. Peter’s Seminary in London, Ontario. He was ordained in 1958.
He was sent to study in Rome. This was followed by studies at the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem. He returned to London to teach scripture to the seminarians at St. Peter’s Seminary.
In 1974 he was asked by Bishop Emmett Carter to take over as director of the Divine Word International Centre of Religious Education. This Centre had been founded by Bishop Carter to provide a resource for adult education in the spirit of Vatican II.
This Centre involved sessions of one or two weeks with many of the best scholars of the time. Students came not only from Canada and the United States but from all over the globe, Australia, Africa, Asia and Europe.
By the time Father Gervais became the director Divine Word Centre was already a course dominated by the study of scripture to which he added social justice. This aspect of the course of studies was presented by people from every part of the “third world”; among which were Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez and Cardinal Dery of Ghana.
In 1976 the Conference of Ontario Bishops along with the Canadian conference of Religious Women approached Father Gervais to provide a written course of studies in Sacred Scripture for the Church at large, but especially for priests and religious women. This is when Fr. Gervais began to write Journey, a set of forty lessons on the Bible. He was armed with a treasure of information from all the teachers and witnesses to the faith that had lectured at Devine Word.
He was assisted by a large number of enthusiastic collaborators: all the people who had made presentations at Divine Word and provided materials and a team of great assistants, also at Divine Word Centre.
The work was finished just as Father Gervais was ordained an auxiliary bishop of London (1980). He subsequently was made Bishop of Sault Saint Marie Diocese, and after four years, Archbishop of Ottawa (1989).
He retired in 2007, and at the time of this writing, he is enjoying retirement.