Br. Richard-Benoit Tremblay was born April 16, 1949 in Quebec. He joined the Viatorian Community in Montreal as a postulant in the Province of Joliette, in 1969. Two years later, he entered the novitiate in 1971 and professed first vows in 1972, before making his perpetual vows in 1978.
After his first profession, Br. Benoit earned degrees in religious sciences and theology, as well as a teaching certificate in secondary education, both from the University of Montreal. He would go on to earn a master’s degree in sociology at the Catholic Institute of Paris and a master’s degree in education at the University of Ottawa.
Br. Benoit began his ministry as a young brother, teaching religion at the Seminary of Joliette and at a high school in Roberval, both in Quebec. Ultimately, he would serve as a social worker at the Roberval Center from 1977-1983.
However, it was in 1985, that he was drawn to the Viatorian mission in Peru, where he would spend the next 10 years helping with the formation of postulants, novices and professed. In 1996, Br. Benoit was selected to serve as the spiritual advisor to the Diocesan Commission for Social Pastoral of the Diocese of Huaraz in Peru.
In 1999, Br. Benoit was among the Viatorians who established a new foundation in Burkina Faso. He also served as socius of the Master of Novices at the common novitiate of Bouaké in the Ivory Coast. He would spend one year, 2009-2010, as a French teacher with immigrants in Montreal, and as a teacher with the native community in Atikamekw of Manawan in Canada.
Those varied experiences – of teaching, establishing new missions and working in pastoral ministry – led Br. Benoit to be elected to the Provincial Council in Canada, on which he served from 2010-2014. From there, he returned to Peru, where he served two years as director of the initial formation program of the Religious Conference of Peru, before working with professed religious for the next three years. In 2019, Br. Benoit was named director of the San Viator Center until its closure in 2020 due to the pandemic. He returned in June 2021 to Quebec.