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Obituary for Father Richard Ouellette

Father Richard Ouellette

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Reverend Richard Robert Ouellette, 67, who died Monday, October 17, at a hospital in Massachusetts.

Richard was born on April 21, 1949, in Eagle Lake, the son of Jean Paul and Odette (Leclercq) Ouellette.  Having completed grammar school at the Bailey School in Upper Frenchville, Richard attended and graduated from St. Joseph’s Seminary (high school) in Bucksport.  He then attended the Oblate College and Seminary in Bar Harbor, and he completed his studies in philosophy and theology at St. Paul Seminary, Ottawa, Canada.  After serving as a deacon at St. Louis Parish in Auburn, Richard was ordained to the priesthood by the Most Reverend Edward C. O’Leary, the ninth Bishop of Portland, on June 7, 1975, at St. Luce Church, Upper Frenchville.

During his years of full-time active ministry, Fr. Richard Ouellette served in the following parish assignments:

·  St. Joseph Parish, Bridgton (Parochial Vicar) during the summer of 1975

·  St. Rose of Lima Parish, Jay (Parochial Vicar) 1975-1977

·  St. Andre Parish, Biddeford (Parochial Vicar) 1977-1979

·  Holy Rosary Parish, Caribou (Parochial Vicar) 1979-1985

·  St. Peter Parish, Bingham (Pastor) 1985-1989

·  St. Joseph Parish, Biddeford (Pastor) 1989-1993

· St. Mary Parish, Eagle Lake (Pastor) 1993-1995

·  St. David Parish, Madawaska (Pastor) 1995-1996

·  St. Gerard-Mt. Carmel, Grand Isle (Pastor) 1996-2004 (including a brief term as Temporary Administrator of St. Thomas Parish, Madawaska)

Despite early retirement because of serious health issues, Fr. Ouellette continued to serve faithfully the people of northern Maine throughout his retirement years.  

In addition to his parish assignments, Fr. Ouellette also served the priests and faithful of the diocese in the following capacities:

·  Chaplain to the Knights of Columbus (Luke E. Hart Council), Biddeford (1978-1979)

·  Chaplain to the Daughters of Isabella (Our Lady of Fatima Circle), Biddeford (1978-1979)

·  Chaplain to the Maine Diocesan Council of Catholic Women, Caribou (1979-1985)

·  Chaplain to the Daughters of Isabella, Caribou (1980-1985)

·  Member of the Priests’ Senate/Council of Priests, Aroostook County (1981-1985)

·  Member of the Board of Trustees, Clergy Benefit Plan (1982-1988)

·  Chaplain to the Knights of Columbus (Fr. Marcoux Council), Eagle Lake (1993-1995)

·  Chaplain to the Daughters of Isabella (St. Thomas Circle), Madawaska (1995-1996)

·  Vicar Forane, Deanery I, Aroostook County (2001-2004)

At the time of Fr. Ouellette’s retirement, the Most Reverend Joseph J. Gerry, O.S.B., Tenth Bishop of Portland, wrote him a letter in which he stated (in reference to Fr. Ouellette’s work at merging schools in Biddeford and “twinning” parishes in northern Maine, “Your quiet, efficient way of working made it possible for people to accept the difficult changes that were  being asked of them.  Your availability and your pastoral sensitivity endeared you to your parishioners.”

At this time of loss, please pray for the consolation of his entire family, including his mother, Odette, and siblings who survive him, as well as his brother priests and friends.

May Fr. Richard Ouellette’s soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.