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Witness – Fr. Michel Côté
Michel Côté was born on August 8, 1941 at Brive-la-Gaillarde, in France, of Canadian (Albertan) parents. He grew up in the bilingual area of downtown Montréal (Notre-Dame de Grâce) from 1942-1961. Upon completion of high school and two years of studies in Social Sciences at the University of Montreal, he entered the Dominican Friars in 1961 and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and a Master’s degree in Theology at the Dominican Faculty of Studies in Ottawa. Michel was ordained to the priesthood in 1969. For ten years (1969-1979), he lived and worked with a missionary team of Dominicans within a blue collar, immigrant, city core area of Ottawa as a community organizer working with the poor. From 1970 – 1973, Fr. Côté served as Ottawa Archdiocesan coordinator for Social Development and was a founding member of Development and Peace and 10 Days for World Development in the Archdiocese.
Since 1970, he has served as conference interpreter for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, The Canadian Religious Conference, the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, The Canadian Council for International Co-operation, The Catholic Health Association of Canada, The Canadian Canon Law Society and many other groups in the field of religion or development. He is founder of the Canadian Religious Conference’s Theological Committee on the Future of Religious Life. Founding theologian for the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace. Fr. Côté is sought after as an excellent interpreter, acclaimed speaker, seminar facilitator and preacher at retreats or workshops in parishes and with many varied groups. He has also co-authored books on spirituality and social justice topics.
From 1969-1985, he has served his own religious congregation in the role of Prior of several communities as well as serving on the Provincial Council for several terms. Has also worked in the area of vocation promotion and currently resides in downtown Toronto with his Dominican Brothers and serves as House treasurer and Vocation Director.
This interview took place at the Salt + Light TV broadcast center in Toronto on May 16, 2017.