Le curé de Tanconville,
Charles-Joseph Gonant, n'est pas né à Nancy comme l'indique la
biographie ci-dessous, mais à Frémonville le 26 janvier 1836,
fils de Nicolas Gonant et Marie Catherine Martin.
Entrée au Grand Séminaire de Nancy en 1853, tonsuré le 22
décembre 1855, après un séjour au séminaire irlandais d'All-Hallows
(Dublin), il part en juin 1858 exercer le sous-diaconat à Alton
(diocèse de l'Illinois, U.S.A.). Il y est ordonné prêtre le 12
août 1858, dans le tout récent évêché d'Alton, organisé par
l'évêque Henri-Damien Juncker (originaire de Fenétrange, ordonné
prêtre à Cincinnati en 1834, premier évêque d'Alton le 26 avril
Charles-Joseph Gonant exerce son ministère à Assumption jusqu'en
1861, puis Litchfield jusqu'en 1871. Après un passage par la
paroisse d'Arcola (diocèse de Chicago), il rejoint le diocèse de
Peoria de 1876 à 1886.
Il retourne alors en France, où devient curé de Tanconville, du
6 mars 1886 jusqu'à son décès le 26 août 1907.
Clerical bead roll of the
Diocese of Alton, Ill.
REV. CHARLES GONANT.
coming and I hear him
Soft and stealthy cometh he;
But I don't believe I fear him,
God is now so close to me".
- Father Ab. Eyan.
Numbered with the brave band of French priests, who, at the
solicitation of Bishop Juncker, left the sunny hillsides of
beautiful France in the latter part of the fifties in order to
devote their future lives in the young diocese of Alton, was Rev.
Charles Gonant. He was a native of Nancy, where he received Holy
Orders in 1858. On arriving in the United States in the fall of
that same year, his first assignment was to the parish of
Assumption, which then was greatly peopled by French-speaking
Catholics. He became their first resident pastor. Here Father
Gonant remained three years, from 1858-61, attending during
these years to the spiritual needs of the Catholics of Pana.
From Assumption our worthy priest was ordered to Litchfield to
succeed the Rev. Michael Colton as pastor of that young
congregation. Father Colton had assumed charge of that parish a
few years previous and had caused the first brick church to
be built there in 1859. For ten years Father Gonant remained at
Litchfield. A considerable debt on the church was liquidated and
shortly after succeeded in building a becoming parochial
residence. A two-story brick was erected and nearly all paid
he took possession of it. Hitherto he had lived in a one-story
cottage adjoining the old church and which he rented for years.
From Litchfield he regularly attended Hillsboro.
Leaving Litchfield in June, 1871, he moved to Arcola, where,
however, his stay was but a short one, for he left this charge
in September of the same year. At this juncture our good priest
went to the Peoria diocese to become a subject of Bishop
Spalding Chebanse had become a separate parish and awaited a
pastor. Rev. Charles Gonant was sent thither in 1875 and
he continued to direct the destinies of that congregation for
eleven years, till 1886. He died a priest of that diocese. R. I.