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Home WHO WE ARE Assumptionists Profiles Fr. ALEXIS BABINEAU, A.A. (1919-2015)

Fr. ALEXIS BABINEAU, A.A. (1919-2015)


Interviewer - Would you share with us some of your family's background and your roots in the congregation?

Fr. Alexis - Born in 1919,  I am from Three Rivers, MA and one of four boys and four girls. My father was an insurance agent for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. At twelve years of age I was sent to Assumption High School, as it was known in those days. It was there that I got to know the Assumptionists.

- Where did you go from high school with regard to your studies and formation as an Assumptionist?

- I went on to Assumption College and majored in chemistry. After deciding to enter the congregation, I went to Quebec for the novitiate. Later, after graduation from the college and theological studies in Canada, I was ordained. Soon after returning to the U.S. and Assumption, I taught at the high school and began my studies at Clark University for the next six or seven years. In 1952 I was teaching at the college when in 1953 the tornado hit Worcester. I remember when the hail started hitting the windows, several of us ran to hide in the stairwell making our way down to the kitchen. There we found a few of the sisters who were injured and needed hospital attention as soon as possible. That year I graduated from Clark and taught chemistry at Assumption for seventeen years.

- Have you been involved in other ministries besides teaching?

- Yes, because of the growth of the school and Fr. Ernest Fortin's involvement in its expansion, I stopped teaching in 1969 to do administrative work full time. The building of our house on three and a half acres owned by the college at the end of Old English Road was one major project. We needed a house for the community because up until then the Assumptionists were living in the dorms with the students. We moved into this new residence in 1973. In addition, we built new dorms and apartment complexes on campus. As part of the college's vision for the future at that time, we brought laymen onto the Board of Trustees. From 1968-1971 I was superior and a board member. For many years after,  I assisted presidents of the college, when, in 1993, I was asked to go to Nairobi and work with Fr. Richard Brunelle at the seminary for one year. While in Kenya, I worked with the Daughters of St. Paul proofreading their materials for five years. Oftentimes the poor in the area would come to our house and beg for food and money.

- What have been some of your hobbies and other interests over the years?

-  My hobbies and interests have included reading, puzzles and card games, especially bridge and cribbage. At the invitation of a friend from my years at Clark and a subsequent trip to Europe with him, I developed an interest in stamp collecting. He eventually passed on to me his collection of several albums  which are now housed at  Old English Road.

- What are your plans now that you have returned to Worcester?

- For medical reasons, I returned from Africa in 2000 and lived at OER until I needed to move to the Notre Dame du Lac Assisted Living facility in Worcester.  Now there, I do try to get back to the house weekly or as often as I can to be with the community.

NOTE: Since this interview took place, Fr. Alexis Babineau, A.A. passed away on March 21, 2015. May he rest in peace.

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