LEWISTON — Father Laurent R. Laplante died unexpectedly Sunday, May 1, at his home.
He was born in Lewiston, June 3, 1931, the fourth child of Cyrille and Reinelde Guilmette Laplante. He was educated at Holy Cross School in Lewiston and at age 14, as he already knew of his priestly calling, he started his studies at the Oblate Seminary in Bucksport and Bar Harbor. He then transferred to Le Grand Seminaire in Montreal, where he was ordained a deacon. He was ordained a priest on June 15, 1957 by Bishop Feeney at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland. He celebrated his first Mass the following day at Holy Cross Church.
As a newly ordained priest, he spent his first summer helping in Northeast Harbor. He was then assigned as parochial vicar at St. Charles in Brunswick and then St. Theresa in Mexico. He was then appointed director of religious education for the Diocese of Portland. His first parish as pastor was at St. Matthew’s in Hampden, followed by St. Margaret’s in Old Orchard Beach, St. Matthew’s in Limerick, St. Andre in Biddeford and St. Martha in Kennebunk. He was instrumental in building new churches in Limerick and Kennebunk.
He is survived by his seven sisters, Fernande Dodge, Irene Francoeur, Cecile and husband, Russell Gagnon, Lorraine Ouellette, Yvette and her husband, Reggie Parent, Carmelle Laplante and Simonne Paul; he also leaves 20 nieces and nephews; and several great-nieces and nephews.
Besides his parents, he was predeceased by brothers-in-law, Glenn Dodge, Onile Francoeur, Bob Ouellette and Jim Paul; and nephew, Richard Ouellette.
You are invited to share fond memories of Fr. Laplante by visiting his guest book at www.thefortingrouplewiston.com.