Special Mass on Sunday for Rev. Desaulniers' retirement

Special Mass on Sunday for Rev. Desaulniers' retirement

This story reflects a corrected date for the Mass that was changed to Sunday, June 29 at 10 a.m.
LINCOLN - Rev. Richard P. Desaulniers, pastor of St. James Church in Manville, will retire on Monday, June 30 and a Mass of Thanksgiving will be held this Sunday, June 29, at 10 a.m. to commend him for his many years of servitude.

Rev. Desaulniers was born in Woonsocket on June 9, 1944 to Robert and Jeanne (Goulet) Desaulniers. He grew up with five siblings in the Bernon section of Woonsocket, attending both Mount St. Francis Elementary School and Precious Blood Junior High School.

He entered Our Lady of Providence Seminary High School in Warwick Neck in the fall of 1959 and graduated from its college in June 1966 with a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy.

He was assigned to St. Bernard's Seminary in Rochester, N.Y., where he received a Master of Divinity degree in 1969 and a Master of Theology degree in 1970.

During the summer of 1969, he provided diaconate service at St. Joseph's Church in Woonsocket and was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Russell McVinney. He was the first priest to be ordained at Precious Blood Church.

His first assignment was at St. Jean-Baptiste in Pawtucket.Rev. Desaulniers later served at St. Joseph's in Woonsocket, St. Rita's in Warwick, St. Francis of Assisi in Wakefield and finally, St. James Church in Manville.

Past civic involvements have included: Member, Social Progress Action Corporation Board of Directors; Chaplain and Treasurer, Woonsocket Jaycees; Chaplain, Rhode Island Jaycees; Chairman, Woonsocket Drug Commission; Chairman, Woonsocket School Curriculum Review Committee; President and Treasurer, Woonsocket Clergy Association; Chaplain, Woonsocket Fire Department. He was a member of the Board of the Mount St. Francis Day Care, Diocesan Grievance Committee and Diocesan Priests' Council. He served as Chaplain of the Manville Fire Department for 28 years. Father Desaulniers also served as a member of the Town of Lincoln Personnel Board. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Father Marot CYO Center and Treasurer of the SJ Scholarship Fund.