Above image: Brigadier-General Guy Bélisle.
A new Chaplain General was appointed during a virtual ceremony earlier this year.
On May 31, 2021, Lieutenant-General Wayne Eyre, Acting Chief of the Defence Staff, presided over the ceremony as Brigadier-General Guy Bélisle was appointed Chaplin General.
As the Chaplain General, Brig.-Gen. Bélisle assumes responsibility for supporting the religious and spiritual needs of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and their families from the outgoing Chaplain General, Major-General Guy Chapdelaine, according to a press release.
Eyre congratulated Bélisle and thanked Chapdelaine for his service to Canada.
“I am proud to oversee the installation of Brigadier-General Bélisle as Chaplain General. Canadian Armed Forces Chaplains are integral to the wellbeing of our members, by providing them spiritual support, and working with leadership, when needed, on matters that require attention in a multi-faith framework. Padre Bélisle is well suited to oversee this important work and to lead the Royal Canadian Chaplain Service,” he expressed.
From July 2018 until he was appointed Chaplain General, Brig.-Gen Bélisle served as the Director of Chaplain Services at the Chaplain General Office. Bélisle expressed his pride in being appointed as the new Chaplin General for the CAF.
“I look forward to leading a team of chaplains who can provide religious and spiritual support, and guidance, in these most challenging of times to CAF members and their families,” he commented.
After 42 years of service, Maj.-Gen Chapdelaine retired from the CAF. Chapdelaine said his time as Chaplain General was a rewarding experience, and he is confident Bélisle would serve this role well.
“After working directly with Brigadier-General Bélisle these last three years, I have been impressed by his commitment to our chaplains on the ground and his efforts to ensure they have the information and tools necessary to be effective,” stated Maj.-Gen Chapdelaine.
About Brig.-Gen. Bélisle
According to the press release, Brig.-Gen Bélisle joined the CAF in 1986 as an infantry officer with the Royal 22e Régiment. In 1988, he was posted to the 2nd Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment in Quebec City, followed by a posting to the 1st Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment, stationed in Germany. He completed an overseas operational mission with that unit as the first CAF unit deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992.
Bélisle later transferred to the Royal Canadian Chaplain Service and studied at St. Paul University in Ottawa from 1998 to 2004, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in theology.
In 2004, he was posted to Valcartier as unit chaplain at Land Force Quebec Area Training Centre and The 12ᵉ Régiment blindé du Canada. He was then posted to St-Jean, where he served at the Canadian Forces Recruit and Leadership School for two years.
Bélisle later returned to Valcartier as brigade chaplain, deploying to Haiti in 2010 after the earthquake, and to Afghanistan in 2010-2011 on the last combat mission.