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Theodore Beschefer

Jesuit missionary (1630-1711)

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Beschefer, THEODORE, Jesuit missionary in Canada, b. at Chalons-sur-Marne, May 25, 1630; d. at Reims, February 4, 1711. He entered the Society of Jesus at Nancy, May 24, 1647, studied philosophy and theology at Pont-a-Mousson, taught humanities and rhetoric for seven years in various colleges in France, and after his third year of probation came to Canada in 1665. From Quebec, where he was stationed for three years after his arrival, the set out on an embassy to the Mohawks, and to the Dutch at Albany, but a sudden outbreak of Indian hostilities compelled him to turn back. In 1670-71, however, he was a missionary among the Iroquois. In 1672, he returned to Quebec, becoming superior of the Canadian missions in 1680, and retaining that office until at least 1687. A year later he was prefect of classes in the College of Quebec and in 1689 returned to France, where he acted as procurator of the missions. During his stay in Canada he was for sixteen years the spiritual director of the Ursulines at Quebec, and their annals describe him as “a man of distinguished merit and a director of great wisdom and experience”.

EDWARD P. SPILLANE


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