Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

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Theodule-Richard0002HARTFORD – Father J. Theodule Richard, 87, a member of the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette, Province of Mary, Mother of the Americas, died on Nov. 19, 2011, at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford.


He was born on March 31, 1924, in St. Ignace, New Brunswick, Canada, a son of the late Olivier and Eva Richard.

At an early age, he entered the junior Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, also known as the Trappists, in Rogersville, New Brunswick. He was ordained to the priesthood as a Trappist in 1951. Father Richard celebrated his 60th anniversary of ordination earlier this year.

Father Richard transferred to the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette and entered the La Salette Novitiate at Center Harbor, N.H., on July 1, 1956. He professed vows on July 2, 1957. After a brief summer assignment at East Brewster, Mass., he served as submaster of novices at Center Harbor and as second councillor and treasurer at the La Salette Shrine in Enfield, N.H.

Over the next four years, Father Richard ministered at the seminary and shrine in Attleboro as well as at the La Salette House in Brewster, Mass. He returned to his native Canada in 1964 and served until 1971 as priest-chaplain at Hôtel Dieu Hospital in Montreal. He then began a two-year Clinical Pastoral Education chaplaincy internship in Jamestown, N.D.

After a year at a parish in Violet, La., he returned to New Brunswick as a pastor in Richardsville for five years. From 1980-88, he served as chaplain at Woonsocket Hospital in Rhode Island. In 1988, he joined a pastoral team ministering at parishes in Gatineau Quebec, Canada. In 1991, he returned to chaplaincy work at St. Jude’s Nursing Home and the Renaissance Home in Alymer, Canada.

After two years of parish ministry in Granby, Canada, Father Richard became chaplain at Ave Maria Home in Richford, Vermont. Four years later, he retired from active ministry and moved to the La Salette House on New Park Avenue.

In addition to his La Salette community, Father Richard is survived by two brothers, Archbishop Andre Richard of Moncton, New Brunswick, a Holy Cross father, and Jean Richard of New Brunswick, as well as a sister, Florine Grey of Florida.

Archbishop Richard presided at a Mass of Christian Burial on Nov. 22 at the Hartford House chapel, 85 New Park Avenue, Hartford. Burial followed at Mount St. Benedict Cemetery in Bloomfield.


alertAt the Spring Assembly of the U.S. bishops, Cardinal Joseph Tobin suggested that a delegation ofbishops go to the border to see for themselves what was happening to newly arrived immigrants, families and children. On July 1 and 2, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. bishops conference, and five other bishops conducted a pastoral visit to the diocese of Brownsville, Texas. Stops included Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle with the community, a visit to anHHS/OBR Shelter and Mass for the families there, a visit to the Customs and Border Patrol processing center in McAllen, TX, and a press conference at the end of their visit. Catholic News Service accompanied the bishops on their border trip. 

  1. Backgrounder and analysis of the bishops’ trip to the border: Cardinal DiNardo told CNS, “You cannot look at immigration as an abstraction when you meet” the people behind the issue.
  2. At final press conference, Cardinal Daniel Dinardo said the church was willing to be part of any conversation to find humane solutions because even a policy of detaining families together in facilities caused “concern.”
  3. Bishops serve soup to immigrant families at a center run by Catholic Charities and listen to their stories. Scranton Bishop Joseph Bambera said he found hope in hearing the people in the room talk about what’s ahead. They didn’t speak of making money but of finding safety for their children, he said, driven by “the most basic instinct to protect your family.”
  4. At an opening Mass he Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle-National Shrine near McAllen, Texas, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville told Massgoers, “The bishops are visiting here so they can stop and look and talk to people and understand, especially the suffering of many who are amongst us,”

A delegation of U.S. bishops goes on a fact-finding mission at the U.S.-Mexican border to learn more about Central American immigration detention.

Following their visit to an immigrant detention center, U.S. bishops said they are even more determined to call on Congress for comprehensive immigration reform.