Pastors retire; priests never do
By Patricia O’Connell
Father Louis J. Gould was once a Missionary of LaSalette. As a religious priest, he took a vow of poverty. He didn’t plan for retirement.
Circumstances, however, dictated otherwise. His older brother was sick, and Father Gould needed to help him. So he joined the Worcester Diocese.
Father Gould is now retired, after 25 years in the diocese. He lives on his own and depends upon his pension.
“As long as I can take care of myself I can stay home,” he explained. “It’s a very good situation for me.”
Father Gould is well aware this is made possible by Partners in Charity, which, last year, gave $450,000 to the Priest Retirement Fund.
He’s extremely thankful. “It’s certainly kind of the reason we’re so well taken care of,” he added.
Partners in Charity is a cause Father Gould has long supported. He, along with other diocesan priests, help fund this annual campaign with their own donations.
And, in his earlier years, while serving as a pastor, Father Gould encouraged his flock to give generously.
Father Andre Gariepy is also retired from active ministry. He lives on his own, in an apartment not far from Father Gould’s.
“It helps you to live,” he said of the assistance he receives from the diocese.
Father Gariepy, now in his 80s, was ordained 55 years ago and he spent 48 years serving in various parishes.
He still keeps busy, saying Masses, officiating at funerals and hearing confessions in the North County.
I’m still a priest, I’m not a pastor,” he explained. “That’s my definition of retirement.”
Actually, he pointed out, retiring from the priesthood is never an option.
“The only time I’m retired from being a priest is when they put me in my coffin,” he added.
Father Robert Gariepy (Father Andre’s cousin) lives at Southgate retirement complex in Shrewsbury. About 15 retired priests live at Southgate, which includes an assisted-living component.
Father Gariepy said all the priests at Southgate have meals together.
“It’s a nice community of priests,” he said. “Just being here is a real joy, a privilege to be able to be with other priests that are growing old like we are. We have a lot in common.”
Father Gariepy, who retired in 1990, spent many years in active ministry. His last assignment was pastor of Sacred Heart in Gardner. He celebrates his golden jubilee this year – 50 years in priestly ministry.
Born in Leominster, Father Gariepy still travels to the North County to assist at different parishes. He frequently hears confessions at St. Cecilia Parish. He will be one of the priests hearing confessions at St. Cecilia during the upcoming citywide Lenten mission that runs from March 17-20. The penance service at St. Cecilia’s is on Tuesday March 19 at 7 p.m.