Reverend Monsignor Maurice D. Lavigne Called to His Rest
Reverend Monsignor Maurice D. Lavigne, Pastor of Saint Theresa Church Rye Beach was called to his rest and to the glory of the Resurrection promised by the Lord Saturday morning, September 23, 2017 at Exeter Hospital, in Exeter, New Hampshire, surrounded by his loving family. He was 74 years old.
Monsignor Lavigne was born December 13, 1942 in Manchester, New Hampshire the son of the late Louis-Philippe and Marguerite L. (Marion) Lavigne. He was ordained a priest on May 18, 1968 by the Most Reverend Ernest J. Primeau, S.T.D., at Saint Joseph Cathedral in Manchester. Monsignor Lavigne studied at Saint Anselm College, and then completed his ecclesiastical studies at Saint Francis Seminary in Loretto, PA. On February 13, 2017, Father Lavigne was named Chaplain to His Holiness by Pope Francis with the title Monsignor.
Monsignor Lavigne served as associate pastor of Saint Martin Parish, Somersworth; Saint Anne Parish, Berlin; Sacred Heart Parish, Lebanon; Saint Margaret Mary Parish, Keene; Saint Mary Parish, Claremont, and Saint Catherine Parish, Manchester.
Monsignor Lavigne served as pastor of Saint Matthew Parish, Windham; Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Manchester and Saint Theresa Parish in Rye Beach where he served until his death.
Monsignor Lavigne had also served as Chaplain to the Claremont District of the Boy Scouts of America; Judge of the Diocesan Matrimonial Tribunal; member of the Diocesan Vocation Board and had participated in the New Pastors Program at Saint John’s Seminary, Brighton, MA.
A warm and lighthearted man, Monsignor Lavigne enjoyed people. He found great joy in his family, his many friends and most especially his parishioners. Devoted to his calling, his first priority was always the diocese and the parishes that he served. This was demonstrated through 49 years of loving service. From a young age, he wanted to enter the priesthood and he always thrived in helping others. Monsignor Lavigne loved to laugh and he often chuckled at his own jokes, which made all the more endearing. He enjoyed the arts and embraced both the theatre and movies. He appreciated music of all genres. His home in the rectory at Rye Beach was a place of quiet joy and contemplation and he enjoyed time spent there tremendously.
As his illness progressed, Monsignor Lavigne welcomed death without fear. In the past months, it was not uncommon for him to console others as they extended themselves to him or for him to personally share his love with those around him. Father Moe, as he was so affectionately called, closed many of his funeral homilies with a passage from Pope John XXIII. It is only appropriate that he be sent off with the same words of inspiration and comfort: “In the hour of farewell, or, better, of leave-taking, I repeat once more that what matters most in this life is: our blessed Jesus Christ, his holy Church, his Gospel, and in the Gospel above all else the Our Father according to the mind and heart of Jesus, and the truth and goodness of his Gospel, goodness which must be meek and kind, hardworking and patient, unconquerable and victorious.”
He is survived by his sisters Suzanne P. Therrien and her son Gary M. Therrien, Diane A. Lavigne and Jeannette M. (Mrs. Drew J.) Plumpton and their daughters Katherine M. Plumpton, Meghan T. (Mrs. Kevin C.) Cotter and Jennifer S. (Mrs. Avert C.) Guldemond. He is further survived by his grand-nephew Noah Hall-Plumpton and grand-nieces Lily Hall-Plumpton and Maeve J. Cotter. He was predeceased by his brother Edward L. Lavigne in 2009.
Monsignor Lavigne will lie in repose in the church at Saint Theresa Church, 815 Central Road Rye Beach on Tuesday from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM and again in the evening from 7:00 PM -9:00PM. The Rite of Reception of the Body will take place at 2:00 PM. Evening Mass in the presence of his body will be celebrated at 6:00 PM. The Most Reverent Peter A. Libacsi, Bishop of Manchester will preside at a Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at Saint Theresa Church. The Rite of Committal and burial will be held at 3:00 PM at Mount Calvary Cemetery, 474 Goffstown Road, Manchester. Family, friends and former parishioners are invited to attend. In his memory, contributions may be directed to Saint Theresa Church, Rye Beach, New Hampshire. Arrangements under the direction of Farrell Funeral Home 684 State Street Portsmouth, New Hampshire 03801