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OBITUARY | Father Richard Thibodeau, CSSR

Fr. Thibodeau
Father Richard Thibodeau, CSSR, died Jan. 16 in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. He was 72 years old.

Memorial Masses were held Jan. 20 at the Redemptorist Retreat Center in Oconomowoc and Jan. 21 at St. Mary’s Assumption Church in New Orleans. A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 27, at St. Clement Redemptorist Mission Community in Liguori.

Richard Keith Thibodeau was born on Oct. 9, 1949, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was accepted into the Redemptorist formation program of the former St. Louis Province, professing temporary vows on Aug. 2, 1970, and perpetual vows on Aug. 25, 1973. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 3, 1976.

Father Thibodeau earned a master’s in teaching and completed graduate courses in educational administration in preparation for returning to the Redemptorist formation program. He joined the faculty of St. Joseph’s Preparatory College in 1977 and was later appointed principal, a position he held until the school closed in 1980. He joined the faculty at Holy Redeemer College in Waterford, Wisconsin, and was elected vicar of the local community, positions he retained until the school closed in 1985.

With the end of the formation program, Father Thibodeau was appointed marketing director of Liguori Publications at Liguori Mission House in Liguori. After two years, he was appointed rector of the community and was named president of Liguori Publications.

Father Thibodeau was elected consultor of the ordinary provincial council of the former St. Louis Province in 1990. He also served as vicar of the Villa Redeemer community in Glenview, Illinois. When the St. Louis and Oakland provinces merged in 1996, Father Thibodeau was elected as the first provincial superior of the new Denver Province. He served two terms, and received permission from the general government to serve an additional term, extending his time at the helm until 2005.

Highlights of his tenure include the beatification of Blessed Francis X. Seelos in 2000 and the consolidation of the Vice Province of New Orleans in 2005.

Father Thibodeau served as pastor of St. Michael Parish in Chicago from 2005-11 and St. Alphonsus Parish in New Orleans from 2011-19. He was popular with parishioners and successfully raised funds to renovate both historic churches.

Father Thibodeau was appointed director of the Redemptorist Retreat Center in Oconomowoc in 2019.

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OBITUARY Father Richard Thibodeau CSSR 7230

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