Jesuit priest beaten in Pierrefonds
An 86-year-old Jesuit priest may lose the use of an eye after being beaten outside a Jesuit retirement home in Pierrefonds.
Father Louis Bourgeois was found at about 11 a.m.Monday lying on the ground near a Jesuit residence called Villa St. Martin, located at 9451 Gouin Blvd. W., where he lives.
Bourgeois, an avid camper, was on a short walk when the attack occurred.
“He was just going to clean his camper. Because the camper is just a bit far from the house, beyond the garden, so he was just out there cleaning,” said the director of Villa St. Martin, Father Gabriel Cote.
Bourgeois was perhaps attacked by a squatter in the camper, though no witnesses can confirm those details.
“It's the theory that he probably surprised somebody who was in the camper,” said Cote.
It’s believed he crawled to a nearby parking lot, where he was discovered by a passerby.
When police arrived, Bourgeois was confused, severely injured, and could not clearly describe what had happened.
He was taken to Sacre-Coeur Hospital where he underwent surgery. His life is not in danger but he suffered injuries to his head and upper body, and may lose the use of one of his eyes.
Because of his age, he is being monitored closely.
“They're keeping him calm. I sensed that he wanted to say a lot of things, but we just reassured him and we're fortunate to have a chaplain at the hospital who's his Jesuit brother also - so he's well taken care of,” said Cote.
Twenty-four hours later, police were still hoping to talk to Bourgeois about what happened.
"We're trying to learn if this person was assaulted by people. We're trying to see what was happening on the site," said Jean-Pierre Brabant of the Montreal police department.
College Jean-de-Brebeuf sent out a newsletter Tuesday to alumni informing them of the attack and its severity.
Bourgeois has only moved to the home six months ago after spending decades teaching science at the college. During that time, he lived in the residences there.
The school said Bourgeois was not able to receive visitors and did not wish to receive flowers.
He was warmed by the show of support from the school, however, said Cote.
“He's very well liked at the college,” he said. “Everyone is very supportive. I told him that, he was very touched by that.”