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Home WHO WE ARE Assumptionists Profiles Fr. EUGENE LAPLANTE, A.A. (1932-2019)

Fr. EUGENE LAPLANTE, A.A. (1932-2019)


Interviewer - As an Assumptionist priest, would you share with us some of your family background, early schooling and how you came to know the Augustinians of the Assumption?

Fr. Eugene - My sister and I came from New Bedford, MA where my father was a weaver in a cotton mill and my mother worked in a pocketbook factory. I attended Holy Rosary School initially and later went to St. Anthony's. At the same time I was an altar boy in a nearby German parish which was staffed by the Fathers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary. When it came time for high school, one of the priests urged me to attend  Assumptionist High School in Worcester because of the excellent quality of education it provided. This was before it became known as the Prep.

- Did this experience influence your decision to become an Assumptionist?

- Yes, because from there I went on to Assumption College. As I had already been interested in the priesthood, I entered the congregation in my second year and did my novitiate in Quebec. I then returned to the college and graduated in 1955 .From there I went to France and was ordained after four years of theological studies.

- Where did your ministerial assignments take you?

- I was assigned to the prep school expecting to spend one pastoral year teaching English but was soon sent to Rome for a Doctorate in Canon Law at the Lateran. After three an a half years there, I returned to the college for two years to teach theology and scripture, serve as assistant dean of men and help out in a nearby parish. One day I was so tired that I fell asleep while I was teaching!
The from 1960 -1965 I was assigned to Moscow. After moving back to North America, I was superior at a minor seminary in Quebec followed by an appointment on the diocesan  Regional Tribunal until 1978, before a return tenure in Moscow until 1983.

Did you have any other ministerial assignments after returning from Moscow?

- Yes, I came home to the U.S. and studied spirituality in Chicago and established a ministry to separated and divorced Catholics in Quebec. From 1993 - 1999 I was a chaplain at a rehab center while doing parish work in the city. All tolled, I spent twenty - five years in Canada. Later that year I took a position as campus minister at Assumption College. and then at Babson College in Wellesley, MA part time. While doing the latter I was also chaplain for the Daughters of St. Paul in Jamaica Plain until 2009.

- What has been your experience over the years of working with the laity as colleagues in ministry?

- The best example I can give was working as a team in Quebec wherein we developed and implemented the programs for the separated and divorced Catholics. It was wonderful how in the sharing of our respective gifts, talents, ideas and faith blossomed in our outreach to those in need.

- What are some of your other interests and hobbies?

- I write religious poetry, have authored ten mystery novels in English and French and have translated two of Fr. d'Alzon's anthologies.

- How do you see the future of the congregation and the Church?

- I see the celebration of greater cultural diversity and future growth of the Church in Third World countries and a new sense of openness to the Spirit.

Note: Since this interview took place, Fr. EUGENE LAPLANTE, A.A. passed away on July 27, 2019. May he rest in peace.

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