Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

Saturday, April 21, 2018

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.