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Home WHO WE ARE Assumptionists Profiles Fr. THEODORE FORTIER, A.A. (1927 - 2022)

Fr. THEODORE FORTIER, A.A. (1927 - 2022)


Interviewer - As a native New Englander, would you share with us some of your family background and how you came to know and become an Assumptionist?

Fr. Ted - Though I was born in Hartford, CT, I really grew up in Rumford, ME where my father was the county tax collector. Having had three sisters and one brother, I am blessed today to have many nieces and nephews scattered all over the country. During my elementary school years, the Assumptionists recruited students for the Prep as they traveled to parishes in northern New England to celebrate Sunday Masses. That is how I got to know them.

- Where did your formation in the congregation and subsequent studies take you from there?

- From the Prep, I attended Assumption College and entered the congregation is my sophomore year and went to Quebec for my novitiate. Later after graduation, I returned to Canada for theological studies and was ordained in December of 1953. I taught philosophy and theology at the college for twenty-six years until 1980 having done further graduate work in Quebec where I earned a PhD in philosophy.

- Where have your ministerial assignments taken you?

- I was in Israel for two years from 1980 -1982 and then went to the Congo for two years at the seminary. While there I saw the great work that was being done by the Sacred Heart Fathers in training catechists who were most effective in their ministry. The Fathers preached and labored among the people making bricks and tiles, giving powerful witness to Christ and the gospel. When I came back to the U.S., I did parish work in Quincy, MA for seventeen years. That was followed by an assignment in Athens, Greece for seven years where a minor seminary was established in St. Theresa's parish. I did social work with the English speaking immigrants, mostly from the Philippines and Nigeria. I also worked with the Missionaries of Charity and the Sisters of Charity at their catechetical center, celebrating childrens' Masses in English. While there I was especially impressed and enriched by working with the laity when it came to organizing the various liturgical groups of ministers in planning celebrations.

-  How have your experiences continued to shape your life today?

- Throughout my life, I have always enjoyed reading which continues to sustain me in many ways. As a young man I was skier, especially during those years in Canada. But for medical reasons, I recently returned to the U.S. and since coming to St. Francis Home I celebrate Mass regularly and do anointings. I have also begun to develop 'the Camelite' in me which began in Athens when I was teaching courses to the sisters in French. Now I have the time to pursue these interests.

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