Indian Horse

Father Gaston Leboutilier Character Analysis

A teacher and priest at St. Jerome’s, Father Gaston Leboutilier initially seems to be the only ally Saul Indian Horse has at the school. Leboutilier teaches Saul how to play hockey, and gives him endless encouragement and love. Without Leboutilier, Saul leads readers to believe, Saul would never have developed his skills as a hockey player, and would have continued living at St. Jerome’s in utter misery. However, as the book comes to an end, it becomes clear that Father Leboutilier, quite contrary to being Saul’s friend, was actually a rapist who abused Saul under the guise of nurturing him.

Father Gaston Leboutilier Quotes in Indian Horse

The Indian Horse quotes below are all either spoken by Father Gaston Leboutilier or refer to Father Gaston Leboutilier. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Family and Tradition Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Douglas & McIntyre edition of Indian Horse published in 2012.
Chapter 22 Quotes

"Hockey is like the universe, Saul," he said one day. "When you stand in the dark and look up at it, you see the placid fire of stars. But if we were right in the heart of it, we'd see chaos. Comets churning by. Meteorites. Star explosions. Things being born, things dying. Chaos, Saul. But that chaos is organized. It's harnessed. It's controlled.

Related Characters: Father Gaston Leboutilier (speaker), Saul Indian Horse
Related Symbols: Hockey
Page Number: 84
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 23 Quotes

"Do they hate me?"
"They don't hate you, Saul." 'Well, what, then?"
"They think it's their game."

Related Characters: Saul Indian Horse (speaker), Father Gaston Leboutilier (speaker)
Related Symbols: Hockey
Page Number: 91-92
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 24 Quotes

I looked around at all those adult faces, lingering on Father Leboutilier's. I'd never been offered choice before.
'All right," I said. "I'll go."

Related Characters: Saul Indian Horse (speaker), Father Gaston Leboutilier
Related Symbols: Hockey
Page Number: 97
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 49 Quotes

He'd told me I could play when I was big enough. I loved the idea so much that I kept quiet. I loved the idea of being loved so much that I did what he asked. When I found myself liking it, I felt dirty, repulsive, sick. The secret morning practices that moved me closer to the game also moved me further away from the horror. I used the game to shelter me from seeing the truth, from having to face it every day. Later, after I was gone, the game kept me from remembering. As long as I could escape into it, I could fly away. Fly away and never have to land on the scorched earth of my boyhood.

Related Characters: Saul Indian Horse (speaker), Father Gaston Leboutilier
Related Symbols: Hockey
Page Number: 199
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 55 Quotes

"Did you want to hunt that fucker down? Make him feel some of the same pain?" Virgil asked. He still couldn't turn away from looking at the ice.
'At first, yeah. Then, the more we got into it at the centre the more I realized it was more than just him. I'd be hunting a long time if I lashed out at everyone. In the end, I learned the only one I could take care of was me."

Related Characters: Saul Indian Horse (speaker), Virgil (speaker), Father Gaston Leboutilier
Page Number: 217
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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Father Gaston Leboutilier Character Timeline in Indian Horse

The timeline below shows where the character Father Gaston Leboutilier appears in Indian Horse. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 15
Cultural Genocide Theme Icon
Abuse and Trauma Theme Icon
The same year Saul arrives at St. Jerome’s, a priest named Father Gaston Leboutilier begins teaching there. He’s unusually cheerful and kind, and he takes the children on long... (full context)
Cultural Genocide Theme Icon
Abuse and Trauma Theme Icon
Transcendence Theme Icon
Father Leboutilier urges Saul to join the hockey team, insisting that hockey is “the greatest game” there... (full context)
Transcendence Theme Icon
Saul begs Father Leboutilier to teach him how to play hockey. Father Leboutilier sadly explains that only older boys... (full context)
Chapter 17
Transcendence Theme Icon
By his second winter at St. Jerome’s, Saul has found an important ally in Father Leboutilier . Leboutilier defends Saul from teachers when they’re too cruel to him. Emboldened by Father... (full context)
Chapter 18
Transcendence Theme Icon
In hockey practice, Father Leboutilier is a tough coach. He knows exactly what he wants his boys to learn to... (full context)
Transcendence Theme Icon
...boy, explaining that he’s been practicing every morning. Even though Saul is still too young, Father Leboutilier decides to allow him to fill in during the scrimmage that day. (full context)
Family and Tradition Theme Icon
Transcendence Theme Icon
...fast as he can down the rink, and scores a goal. Everyone is impressed, especially Father Leboutilier . He decides to let Saul play center in the scrimmage. Saul has a great... (full context)
Chapter 19
Cultural Genocide Theme Icon
Transcendence Theme Icon
Although Father Quinney and Sister Ignacia protest, Father Leboutilier is able to convince them to allow Saul to join the hockey team. He insists... (full context)
Chapter 20
Cultural Genocide Theme Icon
Racism and Prejudice Theme Icon
Transcendence Theme Icon
...the opposing team also laugh at Saul and shout, “The Indian school brought their mascot!” Father Leboutilier warns his team that the opposing team is very good, recommending that the boys should... (full context)
Racism and Prejudice Theme Icon
Transcendence Theme Icon
...his own every morning, he takes a shot and scores. The crowd goes “crazy,” and Father Leboutilier shouts, “You were beautiful.” For the rest of the game, Saul excels, scoring goal after... (full context)
Chapter 22
Transcendence Theme Icon
When Saul plays hockey, he leaves his misery and frustration behind. Father Leboutilier continues to take an interest in Saul’s development as a hockey player, and sometimes comes... (full context)
Transcendence Theme Icon
...morning, knowing that he needs to strengthen his legs. He also practices his aim, with Father Leboutilier ’s help. He becomes a celebrity at St. Jerome’s—the champion hockey player. (full context)
Chapter 23
Cultural Genocide Theme Icon
Abuse and Trauma Theme Icon
Transcendence Theme Icon
...new hockey season. Shortly after the season begins, some men from the nearest town approach Father Leboutilier and ask him about Saul. Saul is so talented, they explain, that they want him... (full context)
Racism and Prejudice Theme Icon
Transcendence Theme Icon
...the town team, the White River Falcons, coached by a man named Levi Dieter. However, Father Leboutilier continues coaching Saul in the mornings. As Saul begins playing for the Falcons, he does... (full context)
Racism and Prejudice Theme Icon
Transcendence Theme Icon
One day, Levi Dieter has a talk with Father Leboutilier , and delivers some bad news which Leboutilier has to pass on to Saul: other... (full context)
Chapter 24
Abuse and Trauma Theme Icon
For the rest of hockey season, Saul competes in scrimmages with his teammates. Father Leboutilier continues to work one-on-one with Saul, inspiring him to improve his game. (full context)
Family and Tradition Theme Icon
Abuse and Trauma Theme Icon
Transcendence Theme Icon
...day, a man named Fred Kelly comes to watch Saul and the other players practice. Father Leboutilier explains that Kelly coaches a big tournament team, The Moose. Tournament teams, he elaborates, compete... (full context)
Family and Tradition Theme Icon
Transcendence Theme Icon
Father Leboutilier explains that Fred Kelly has come to make Saul an incredible offer. Saul will live... (full context)
Family and Tradition Theme Icon
Abuse and Trauma Theme Icon
Transcendence Theme Icon
When Father Leboutilier mentions Fred Kelly’s idea to Sister Ignacia, Ignacia is disgusted. She claims that hockey is... (full context)
Family and Tradition Theme Icon
Abuse and Trauma Theme Icon
Transcendence Theme Icon
...and then walks outside to where Fred Kelly is waiting. Before he leaves, he embraces Father Leboutilier , who whispers, “Go with God.” (full context)
Chapter 28
Family and Tradition Theme Icon
Transcendence Theme Icon
...of their games. Saul maintains his teammates’ respect, and gets a lot of play. Sometimes, Father Leboutilier comes to watch his games. Once, Leboutilier tells Saul, “You make the other players better.”... (full context)
Chapter 49
Abuse and Trauma Theme Icon
Saul walks around the St. Jerome’s campus and finds himself remembering his time with Father Leboutilier . When Leboutilier hugged Saul, Saul felt completely and totally loved. This makes him think... (full context)
Chapter 50
Abuse and Trauma Theme Icon
That night, Saul camps by the side of the river. He remembers Father Leboutilier ’s words, “You’re free,” and suddenly becomes angry. He realizes that Leboutilier was lying to... (full context)
Chapter 55
Abuse and Trauma Theme Icon
...he didn’t know this about himself until last year. He proceeds to tell Virgil about Father Leboutilier , his family, and his early life with his family. Virgil asks Saul if he’s... (full context)