Obituary: Father Leonidas Bernard Laroche
Father Leonidas Bernard Laroche, 84, died Feb. 20 at his home in St. Albans.
He was born on May 18, 1934, in Highgate Center to the late Henri and Maria (Gagne) Laroche.
He attended St. Anne Academy in Swanton and Cardinal O’Connell Seminary and St. John Seminary in Boston. He was ordained to the priesthood on Feb. 3, 1961, at St. Louis Church in Highgate Center by Burlington Bishop Robert F. Joyce.
His priestly ministry began as parochial vicar at All Saints Church in Richford from (1961-1964). He also served at St. Anthony Church in White River Junction (1964 to 1966), St. Stephen Church in Winooski (1966-1967) and St. Peter Church in Rutland 1967-1971).
His first pastorate was at St. Michael Church in Greensboro Bend (1971-1977). He also served as pastor at All Saints in Richford (1977-1991), Immaculate Conception (St. Mary) Church in St. Albans (1991-2006), and St. Patrick Church in Fairfield and St. Anthony/St. George in East Fairfield (2006-2012). Father Laroche was granted senior priest status in 2012.
His diocesan responsibilities included serving on the Diocesan Personnel Board, spiritual director of Cursillo and chaplain to the Boy Scouts of America. Father Laroche was also a member of the Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree.
He is survived by two sisters, Marieange Belanger and Roseanna Paquette; and many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews. Besides his parents, Father Laroche was predeceased by his siblings Lucienne Lambert, Leonard Laroche, Laurent Laroche, Florence Plant, Alice Paquette, Jean Marie Laroche, Yvonne Moreau, Clement Laroche, Theresa Paquette and Gertrude Cook.
Visitation will take place Feb. 25 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Kidder Memorial Home, 89 Grand Ave., Swanton.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Feb. 26 at 11 a.m. at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, Canada Street, Swanton, with Burlington Bishop Christopher Coyne as principal celebrant. Interment will follow in St. Louis Cemetery in Highgate Center.
Viewing will take place on Tuesday at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church from 10 a.m. until the hour of the Mass.