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By Paula Newton

LA MOTTE, Quebec (CNN) - A Canadian cardinal is a contender to take the place of Pope Benedict XVI.

By any measure, it's an improbable path to papal greatness.

The snowmobiles roar past the church in La Motte, Quebec is a town of four corners that rests on the shores of a bucolic lake, a remote, rural setting in the Abitibi Region.

The tiny village is typical of northern Quebec; they snowmobile, they ice fish, and yet it could be the birthplace of a pope.

Now, it might be tiny, but at 430 people the challenges here really do typify the challenges of the Catholic Church.

Inside the Church of St. Luc we sit down with Louis Ouellet, the brother of Cardinal Marc Ouellet already a senior Vatican official and now a top papal contender the onetime Archbishop of Quebec heads the group that picks all bishops and cardinals.

"He was baptized here of course and he was named a priest here," said Ouellet.

[Reporter]: "Do you think he was nervous that day?"

"He must have been very emotional," said Ouellet.

The Providence of L'Eglise St. Luc is closely intertwined with that of Cardinal Ouellet, and yet now with dwindling worshippers mass is only observed here every other week. It's also a community center for rent, a theater a necessary refit to save it from demolition.

From his hometown to global scandals, the adversity facing his church has not been lost on Cardinal Ouellet.

[Reporter]: "He actually said that he thinks the job of Pope is a bit of nightmare?"

"He knows exactly what the work is, now I'm not going to speculate on what's going to happen but I know one thing, he's very formed, very well educated, he has a strong background and I know that he can do the job," said Ouellet.

It's with fierce pride that Ouellet walks us through the family history.

"This is the old house where we born, we were all born in the house, not in the hospital," he said.

A close family of eight kids a childhood steeped in singing, study, worship and so much else.

"He was a good hunter, better fisherman, but a good hunter," said Ouellet.

[Reporter]: "How would you describe him to the world?"

"What I know of him, he is my brother so he has love, compassion, he's generous with us, that's the side of Marc that we know most," said Ouellet.

If he is elected pope, Cardinal Ouellet need only look to the evolution of the village he still calls home and try and map a new future for his church.

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