- Place of Use Continent - North America, Country - Canada, Province / Territory - Quebec
- Category Communication artifacts
- Sub-category Ceremonial artifact
- Department History
- Museum CMH
- Earliest 1842/01/01
- Latest 1856/12/31
- Materials Silver
- Measurements Height 8.3 cm, Length 10.6 cm, Width 4.5 cm
- Caption The Priest
Having completed studies at a classical college and then at a seminary, the parish priest joins the doctor, notary, and lawyer as one of the best educated residents in the village. In fact, in smaller communities without these other professionals, the "curé" may sometimes be required to fulfill their roles as best he can. Except in areas where the soil is poor and the climate harsh, the priest enjoys a relatively comfortable living, because his main source of income is the tithe, a payment equal to one-twenty-sixth of the value of a farmer's harvest. He supplements this revenue with the fees he earns performing marriages, burials and special masses, and with the allowance he receives from the government for submitting the annual figures of births, marriages and deaths. The priest's household typically includes a housekeeper who cleans and prepares meals, and, if the parish is sufficiently large and well-off, an assistant who helps him complete parish duties.
The responsibilities of the priest do not simply revolve around celebrating Sunday mass and delivering the sermon, although these are his most public functions. Aside from conducting baptisms, marriages and burials, he also instructs the young about the teachings of the Church; and visits the sick and dying. He also distributes charity among the needy and well-deserving and, at least once a year, he visits each of his parishioners. By supporting collective activities that encourage religious devotion or mutual aid societies, and also agricultural groups that promote economic self-reliance, he promotes the religious and social welfare of the parish.