By Fr. Alain Léonard, SDB
(Sherbrooke, QC – January 25) – On Monday, January 30, our oldest confrere in the province turns 100 years old!
For this occasion, several members of his family (cousins, nephews, nieces) will come from New Brunswick (NB). A Mass of Thanksgiving will be celebrated by the Archbishop of Sherbrooke, His Excellency Luc Cyr.
Br. Gérard Richard was born in St- Louis de Kent, NB, on January 30, 1923, which makes him a true Acadian. At the age of 31, he entered the Salesian novitiate in Newton (NJ-USA) and made his profession on September 8, 1955. After four years of professional training, he specialized in electronics and building maintenance techniques. He has served mainly in the communities of Boucherville (QC), Sherbrooke (QC), West Haverstraw (NY-USA), and Jacquet River (NB). At Séminaire Salésien of Sherbrooke, he has been a jack of all trades and repaired everything. He is skilled in operating all kinds of machinery and tools, so much so, that he will receive from many the title of "The Carpenter of the Salesians" or even "The St. Joseph of the Salesians!"
Although Br. Gérard does not speak much, his actions, services rendered good mood, and sense of humor contribute to the influence of the religious man he represents. He always knew how to love people and speak with admiration and warmth of his confreres and fellow workers.
After a hip fracture at the age of 96, Br. Gérard entered a residence for the elderly to have appropriate care for his condition.
"Thank you for all the confreres I met and who were a source of inspiration for me," Br. Gérard shares with the province. "I was enticed by Don Bosco when I was young and happy to follow Jesus in the Salesian way. I also thank all my family: my parents, brothers, and sisters, and now my cousins, nephews, and nieces who have remained close to me. May God protect them."
May the Lord continue to pour down upon him, his confreres, and his Acadian relatives, the Graces of joy, hope, and inner peace.