He was born in 1928 on the Plateau Mont-Royal in Montreal. His father is of Irish origin tank top. Young he meets God in contemplating the stars at the park in his neighborhood. At 17 the young Emmet part of the body of army cadets and dream of being aviator. (Later he will have a Cessna he will drive from coast to another as a hobby.) But his father insists he does higher education.
So studying and is found in theology at the Grand Seminary of Montreal and decided to pursue his other big dream that of being a foreign missionary and enrolled in the Society of Foreign Missions Scarboro with hope evangelize China. Four years later his superiors tell him he does not have the temperament to be a missionary. So exercise his priesthood in various parishes in the Montreal area for over 36 years.
His true mission and fulfilling his childhood dream began in 1988, when he was 60 years old. It is then the retirement age but seeks to give meaning to his life in times of depression when he has no parish dependents. It was in this period that he heard on the radio about a man in Toronto that runs through the city on a trailer to distribute food and clothing to the homeless in the city.
Immediately he decides to imitate request a personal loan of $ 10,000, bought a used motor and starts serving youth with the philosophy of the Bible that says "Are you hungry, here's something to eat. You're thirsty, here to drink. I'll be here tomorrow "
However, not trying to impose its beliefs on young people, it does not try to convert them. Most young people who have lost religious values nowadays he answers simply."They do not believe in God, okay, there is a God, that you believe or not. "The call is initiated and the foreign country it becomes the streets of Montreal, where he saw during those years of priesthood all the misery it contains and its share of poor.
It will focus on youth because he is concerned about the fate of the generation of the future. He would have liked to have children himself. Over time he became the father of thousands of young people clung to him like a buoy thrown into the sea during a storm.For these young people it is a father figure, a grandfather who is there to listen, not judge them.
He started through the streets, 5 nights a week. He meets and 70,000 young people annually, serves 140,000 hot dogs and distributed 10,800 bags of groceries annually. He still continues his tour, a little less often now, after a heart attack and underwent triple bypass surgery in 2000.
To this trailer was grafted a day center, which receives more than 40 000 young people a bunker that provides temporary shelter for young people, various support services through a medical clinic, various psychologists and social workers.
It is also a place for a hot meal (200 per day), assistance to return to school, integration into the workplace, activities and workshops in computer science, arts and music. A place to regain its footing again and especially confidence in themselves, to life and to others in a climate of respect and love.
He also visited many schools. "One day, he said, my name appeared in textbooks, in terms of Christian witnesses, so we started to invite me. He sees this as a means of prevention. He commissioned the making of a film that demonstrates the harsh reality of street life to young people who see the side calling for freedom and independence.
To assist in this mission, he has to help a team of more than 135 volunteers.
To learn more, I encourage you to visit the site of his work " The Good God in the street "
by Louise Ménard, cursillista