Joseph Gerard Raymond – Tewksbury, Mass.

Joseph Gerard Raymond – Tewksbury, Mass.

Joseph Gerard Raymond (“Ray”) Lacasse, age 84, died on October 7, 2017, at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Residence in Tewksbury, Massachusetts. Born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, he was a son of the late Amedée Lacasse and Angeline (Richard) Lacasse. He was predeceased by two brothers, Rev. Henri Lacasse and Rev. Roger Lacasse; and by a sister, Gisele Williams.

Ray Lacasse was educated at St. Joseph Seminary in Bucksport, Maine; at the Oblate Seminary in Bar Harbor, Maine; and at the Oblates of Mary Immaculate Scholasticate in Natick, Massachusetts. He entered religious life at the Oblate Novitiate in Colebrook, New Hampshire, in 1952, where he made his first vows on August 2, 1953. He made his perpetual vows on September 8, 1956, at Sacred Heart Church in South Natick, Massachusetts. He was ordained a priest on September 15, 1958, at St. Patrick Church in Natick by Bishop Louis Collignon, OMI.

Following ordination, he was assigned to the Oblate missions in the Philippines from 1959 until 1973. He was a member of the retreat staff at the Ephpheta Retreat House in Manville, Rhode Island, from 1973 until 1977, after which he became the local Superior and Director of Programs at the retreat house until 1981. In 1976 he founded the “Catch the New Wind Youth Ministries” program and was the director of that program for many years.

In 1981 he moved to the Immaculata Retreat House in Willimantic, Connecticut, where he was eventually appointed Superior and Director. In 1997 he was assigned to the Oblate Foreign Missions House in Lowell, Massachusetts. He became the Director of the Griffith House retirement residence in San Fernando, California, in 2000 until 2011.
In 2012, for reasons of his own, Ray requested to be released from his vows, and his request was granted; however, he wanted to continue to live with Oblates, and that also was granted. Given his health needs, he moved to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Residence where he remained until his death.

Ray is survived by two sisters: Madeleine Kula, of Woonsocket, and Therese Richard of Warwick, R.I.; and by two nieces: Elizabeth Kula of North Smithfield, R.I., and Anne Marie Silvi of Dedham, Mass. He is also survived by the many participants in the Catch the New Wind Youth Ministries program who remember and honor him for the impact that the program and Ray himself had on them.

A Memorial Mass was celebrated October 21, 2017, in the Chapel at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Residence, 486 Chandler Street, Tewksbury.

Donations in Ray’s memory may be made to the Oblate Infirmary Fund, 486 Chandler Street, Tewksbury, MA 01876-2849.