Gruff exterior hid Carriere's cultured interests – MacNeil

Fr. Guy Carriere

Fr. Guy Carriere

October 6, 2014

At first glance, Father Guy Maurice Joseph Carriere had a gruff, macho exterior. Rough around the edges, he visited the farms in his cowboy boots, went fishing and enjoyed fly-tying.

However, Archbishop Joseph MacNeil said that upon getting to know Carriere, people were often surprised that he was a sensitive man, prayerful, intelligent and a talented pianist.

"He was a big man, a husky guy and seemed to be kind of brusque. But he was a very shy man," said MacNeil, emphasizing the contrast between his physical appearance and calm demeanour.

Carriere died peacefully on Saturday evening, Sept. 20 at the Sturgeon Hospital in St. Albert. He was 85.

He was born March 20, 1929 in Edmonton to Leo Carriere and Gilberte Farley of Legal.

Carriere's journey to the priesthood included studies at both St. Joseph Seminary in Edmonton and St. Boniface Seminary in Manitoba. He was ordained June 12, 1955 by Archbishop Anthony Jordan at St. Emile Church in Legal.

From 1955 to 1960 he served as assistant pastor at Immaculate Conception Parish in Edmonton. Next, he served as chaplain at the Edmonton General Hospital in 1960-63.

"He loved the rural areas. He always felt that's where he belonged," said MacNeil.

Most of his priestly ministry took place in small-town parishes as pastor in Chauvin (1963-68), Rimbey (1968-78) and Stettler (1978-87).

He concluded his full-time pastoral ministry in 1997 after 10 years serving the people of Bashaw at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish.

"He was a wonderful priest and we were very blessed to have him in our midst all these years. He was an example to the other priests in his commitment and his humility. He never wanted a big city parish," said MacNeil.


He was a great friend of the RCMP in all those rural parishes, often accompanying the Mounties during their evening rounds, said MacNeil.

In preparing children for Confirmation, he made his own booklets for them to read and learn from.

"He was a real educator that way. Again, this was something that people just wouldn't expect. Most people who thought they knew him didn't really know him at all," said MacNeil.

MacNeil described his friend as a great ecumenist. At the Bashaw parish, a Lutheran couple worked with him. Some years later both of them, due to his influence in their lives, became Catholics.

Every Sunday for 42 years he had a place to go and something to do. In September 1997, at age 68, he retired in St. Albert with his faithful companion, Hershey, a beloved black lab. They lived in the basement of his mother's home.


After his final Mass, he told his parishioners that he planned on spending his time "surfing the 'Net," delving into some of his favourite interests: biblical archeology, music history, Church history and Mariology.

In 2013, he moved to Foyer Lacombe. He became hard of hearing in those years, and people had to holler when conversing with him.

"He had all kinds of physical ailments later in life. Staying at the Sturgeon Hospital, it was hard for the attendants to look after him because he was so deaf and because he was so big. He looked gruff, but then they realized he was just a teddy bear," said MacNeil.


"He always had a huge, beautiful smile. He and Jesus are having a great session right now."

He is remembered by his sister, Eloise Belley (Maurice), his brother Laurier Carriere (Karen), nieces and nephews, by friends and parishioners and his brother priests of the Edmonton Archdiocese.

Prayers were held at St. Joseph's Basilica on Sept. 24. A Mass of Christian Burial was held Sept. 25, also at the basilica, presided over by Archbishop Richard Smith, followed by Carriere's interment at Holy Cross Cemetery.