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Father François Hamel was born August 26, 1953 in Cap-de-la-Madeleine (Trois-Rivières), Québec, the eldest of three children. He learned of the Institute by a teacher at the Trois-Rivières Minor Seminary. It was this professor – Father Gaston Laroche – who invited him to join the Institute in 1978. Father François started his aspirancy on May 9, 1980 and was ordained a priest on November 22, 1986. His own experience of consecrated secularity helps him reach out to the people where they are. He is a listener and has the gift of touching the heart of those around him. He is a canonist who can ally humanity and pastoral reality.  

Father François spent most of his adult life as a secondary school teacher (1976-1998) and as a professor at the Montreal Major Seminary, the Université du Québec at Trois-Rivières, and Saint Paul University in Ottawa, Ontario. He was granted a doctorate in canon law in 1992 by the University of Strasbourg, France. From 1987 to 1992 he was on the Canadian District Council and was in charge of formation of candidates to sacred orders. In 1992 he was elected to the Central Council where he held the position of secretary general, and in this way worked in close collaboration with Director General Father Yvon Carpentier. Father François is a hard worker – if not a workaholic! – who can juggle a number of portfolios together at any time.

In 1998 he was elected the fifth Director General of the Institute, and was re-elected in 2004 to a second six-year term. His two terms as leader of the Institute were marked by a considerable increase in membership, new foundations, and by a different  restructuring of the Institute in certain countries. He contributed in making the Institute known by serving two mandates (2000-2004 and 2004-2008) on the executive council of the World Conference of Secular Institutes (WCSI) in Rome. Through his efforts, in 2007, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life granted the Voluntas Dei Institute a permanent indult to grant dimissorial letters.









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Central administration:
Institut Voluntas Dei
Administration centrale
7385, boul. Parent
Trois-Rivières (Québec)
Canada G9A 5E1

tel. : +1-819-375-7933
fax : +1-819-69

Canada :
Institut Voluntas Dei
District canadien
10 565, rue Olympia
Montréal (Québec)
Canada H2C 2W4

tel. : +1-514-564-4724

United States :
Voluntas Dei Institute
US District
334 W 87 Street, apt. 6A
New York, NY   10024

tel. : +1-646-748-6808

Haiti :
Institut Voluntas Dei
District d'Haïti
86-90, 4e Avenue Bolosse,
B.P. 19060
Port-au-Prince, Haïti (WI)

tel. : +509-223-6298


République Dominicaine :
Instituto Voluntas Dei
Distrito Altagracia
Casa El Buen Pastor
Apartado 306-2
Buenos Aires, Herrera
Santo Domingo, D.N.
Republica Dominicana
tel. : +1-809-701-1663


Colombia / Ecuador :
Instituto Voluntas Dei
Calle 36 # 28-04
Barrio La Clarita
Armenia (Quindío)
Colombia, S.A.

tel. : +57-67-40-82-74

Chili :
Instituto Voluntas Dei
Casilla 613
La Serena
Chile, S.A.

tel. : +56-28-50-45-42
fax  : +56-51-54-65-36

India :
Voluntas Dei Institute
India District
Bethel, Azhakulam
Vizhinjam P.O.
Kerala, India 695 521

tel. : +91-471-248-15-16
fax  : +91-471-248-13-17


Sri Lanka :
Voluntas Dei Institute
Sri Lanka District
534, East Bound,
Meekanuwa, Ampitiya
KANDY - Sri Lanka

tel. : +94-81-221-9952



Father Mario Laroche hails from Arthabaska, Québec (Canada), where he was born on May 18, 1939, the third child from a family of 14 children.

He was studying philosophy in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, when he first met Father Louis-Marie Parent who was visiting the Oblate Missionaries of Mary Immaculate (O.M.M.I.) of western Canada. There was another student, Maurice Roy, who knew Father Parent; Maurice had been part of a “trial foundation” of a secular institute by Father Parent (1954). Along with a few others, the young men asked Father Parent to attempt a new foundation.  Mario took interest in the mission project of such an institute, and he then contacted Father Parent.  

Mario joined the Institute when it was founded in 1958 and did his theology at the St. Boniface, Manitoba major seminary. He was ordained a priest June 22, 1963.

After ordination he first served as curate in the parish of Fatima in the Magdalen Islands (Québec). From 1964 to 1970, he was professor and then director of the I.V.D. Philosophate at Trois-Rivières. In the 1970s he worked in pastoral ministry in the Diocese of Amos (Québec) as a school chaplain and in parish work. He was also a Canadian District councillor. In 1980 he was elected Director General of the Voluntas Dei Institute, and re-elected to a second six-year term in 1986. He then spent one year in India to help set up the formation of our members there. From 1994 until his retirement in September, 2009, he worked mainly in parish ministry in the Diocese of Amos. Since then, he has been collaborating in pastoral ministry in several parishes.

From 1980 to 1986, under the direction of Father Mario Laroche, he Central Council placed major emphasis on member formation and support. It was during that time that the formation guides were published, along with many resource documents for reflection and facilitation. At that time, too, the Institute revised the Constitutions in order to “highlight the presence of married couples in the Institute” (Cf. The Present Moment, Volume 9, January 2008). On July 12, 1987, the Voluntas Dei institute was granted the status of a secular institute of pontifical right and the Constitutions were approved September 21 of the same year. In 1989, as intermediate Assembly was held on the theme “The Experience of Secular Consecration in Our Institute.” An editorial committee published a brochure as a follow-up to this assembly.

In the course of these twelve years (1980-1992), with the growth of the Institute in several districts, there grew a need for “houses of formation”for the seminarians of the Institute, especially in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Sri Lanka, and India, all of which called for a major effort on the part of the Institute’s central administration.

His Life   

Name:   Henri-Louis Parent

Name at First Profession:  Louis-Marie Parent

Date and Place of Birth:   July 12, 1910,

                                   in the Québec City Region (Canada)

Entry in religious life:   1931

Religious Community:   Oblates of Mary Immaculate

First Profession:   July 21, 1932

Ordination:   May 23, 1937, in the Mont Laurier, Québec Diocese

Death:    May 17, 2009, at Richelieu (Quebec, Canada)

His Ministry

Missionary in northern Alberta (Canada) – 1938

Parish Priest at Falher (Alberta) – 1944

Missionary-colonist at Rivière-de-la-Paix (Alberta) – 1945

Principal Ministry from the beginning

of his priesthood: preaching

         – parish missions

         – to religious communities

         – retreat work

His Foundations

The Recluse Sisters

      – a contemplative religious congregation

      – for women

      – founded in 1943


The Oblate Missionaries

    of Mary Immaculate

       – a secular institute

       – for lay women

       – founded July 2, 1952


The Voluntas Dei Institute

      – a secular institute

      – for   clerics

               single laymen

               married couples

               persons spiritually affiliated

      – founded July 2, 1958

His Writings

For 20 years, publication (in French) of Collection Volontaire de Dieu, a monthly brochure

Author distinguished for his concrete and practical writings in a simple, direct and picgturesque style. He published several volumes on spirituality and human relations:

Sur les pas de Jésus (In the Footsteps of Jesus)

Le moment présent (The Present Moment)

En intimité avec Jésus (Intimacy with Jesus)

C’est possible de s’entendre avec les autres (It is Possible to Get Along with Others!)

          Je t’accueille

          Tu es à moi

          En route vers Quelqu’un, volume 1

          En route vers Quelqu’un, volume 2

          Un cœur sur la main: Mgr J.L. Collignon

          Victor Lelièvre, un homme branché sur... 

The Man

An amazing capacity for listening; he was inhabited with presence.

A man of the positive, he finds and highlights the good that he finds in the person he sees.

He is a master in the art of welcoming those who seek the help of his ministry. He has a surprising capacity for listening.

An amazing sense of availability to others.

His prayer life is composed of long hours devoted to mental prayer and spiritual reading, early in the morning.

His zeal for the salvation of souls is seen in his preaching, his ministry of confession, and his spiritual direction.

His is a missionary’s heart.


His marian heart is an expression of a filial, real, and faithful love for the Virgin Mary.

His humility is real, practical, and simple.

Inhabited with an invincible hope, he never surrenders to defeatism or sadness.

A man of peace, he continually searches for what is creative of unity and fraternity within persons and groups.

His being is rooted in a deep and mature faith.


 Souvenir of Father Parent (Video)

 Prayer Father Parent

Let us pray the Rosary with Father Parent...


The Joyful

The Luminous

The Sorrowful

The Glorious