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Pope Francis Names Three Priests Chaplain of His Holiness

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 22, 2017

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
TOM BEBBINGTON
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATION
603-663-0150

Pope Francis Names Three Priests Chaplain of His Holiness,
Conferring The Title of Monsignor

Installation ceremony to be held April 3 at Saint Joseph Cathedral

(MANCHESTER, NH) The Most Reverend Peter A. Libasci, Bishop of Manchester, announced today that His Holiness Pope Francis has elevated three priests of the Diocese of Manchester to Chaplains of His Holiness: Reverend Monsignor C. Peter Dumont, Reverend Monsignor Maurice D. Lavigne, and Reverend Monsignor Richard B. Thompson.

“I know that these honors are humbly but joyfully received by all,” said Bishop Libasci. “They serve as a sign to our diocese of the Holy Father’s ongoing recognition of those holy priests, three among many, who have been so dedicated in their service to our Lord and His Church here in New Hampshire.”

A special installation ceremony with Vespers will be held on Monday, April 3, at 7:00 PM at St. Joseph Cathedral in Manchester, with Bishop Libasci presiding.

A brief biography of each recipient and information about the honor follows.

Reverend Monsignor C. Peter Dumont was born in Nashua, New Hampshire. After completing his studies at Saint John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts and Saint Francis Seminary in Loretto, Pennsylvania, he was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Manchester on May 15, 1971 by the Most Reverend Ernest J. Primeau, S.T.D.

He served as Parochial Vicar and Temporary Administrator in various parishes and on November 30, 1984 he was named Pastor of Guardian Angel Parish in Berlin, where he served until June 1994. He was then named Pastor of St. John the Baptist, Suncook (1994-2001), Saint John the Evangelist Parish, Concord (2001-2003), Saint Peter Parish, Auburn (2003-2011). He also served as Administrator of Holy Rosary Parish, Hooksett (2001). He served as Dean for the Capital Deanery from 1996-2000 and for the Amoskeag Deanery in 2004.

Deeply committed to Diocesan matters, Father Dumont served as Judge for the Diocesan Matrimonial Tribunal, Chaplain for Court Josephine #319 Catholic Daughters of the Americas, Chaplain of Boy Scouts of America – Monadnock and Spaulding-Bay Districts, and several terms on the Board of Trustees of Catholic Charities New Hampshire. He has served on the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese nearly continuously since 1975, and currently is a member of the College of Consultors. Father Dumont retired from active ministry in 2011 and continues to assist in various parishes and nursing homes as needed.

Reverend Monsignor Maurice D. Lavigne was born in Manchester, New Hampshire. After completing his studies at Saint Francis Seminary in Loretto, Pennsylvania, he was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Manchester on May 18, 1968 by the Most Reverend Ernest J. Primeau, S.T.D.

He served as Parochial Vicar in various parishes and on June 15, 1982 was named Pastor of Saint Matthew Parish in Windham, New Hampshire. He was then named Pastor Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Manchester, New Hampshire (1991-1999) and Saint Theresa Parish, Rye Beach where he continues to serve as Pastor.

Father Lavigne has served as Chaplain for the Boy Scouts of America, Judge for the Diocesan Matrimonial Tribunal (1981-1986), and on the Diocesan Vocation Board (1983-1985). Father Lavigne is a generous supporter and host of numerous diocesan meetings, most especially the Annual Day of Renewal for the staff of Catholic Charities.

Reverend Monsignor Richard Bertrand Thompson was born in Manchester, New Hampshire. After completing his studies at Our Lady of Angels Seminary in Albany, New York, he was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Manchester on November 8, 1969 by the Most Reverend Ernest J. Primeau, S.T.D.

He served as Parochial Vicar from 1969 until 1974 when he was named Director of the Diocesan Christian Life Center in Nashua, New Hampshire. After serving twice as Parish Administrator, Father Thompson was named Pastor of St. Thomas More Parish in Durham, New Hampshire (1982-1986), St. Patrick Parish in Milford, New Hampshire (1986-1994), Holy Angels Parish in Plaistow (1994-1999) and St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Meredith (1999-2006). He later served as Administrator in a number of other parishes, where his assignments were often to rebuild, redirect and make whole parishes that were struggling for various reasons. He also served as Chaplain to the New Hampshire Army National Guard for 25 years.

Father Thompson is deeply committed to diocesan personnel matters, having served on the Priest Personnel Board, Priestly Continuing Education Program, Ad Hoc Committee for Funding for the Permanent Diaconate Program, Diocesan Vocation Board, Presbyteral Council, and as Dean of the Lakes Region Deanery. He was appointed Vicar for Priests in 2005. From 2006 to 2009, he served as Cabinet Secretary for Ministry Formation, and was Vicar for Clergy from 2009 until his retirement October 1, 2016.

Chaplain of His Holiness is a title of distinction given by the Pope in recognition of a priest’s service to the Church. Only those priests who have reached the age of 65 and are considered worthy by their diocesan bishop are eligible for the Honor of Chaplain to His Holiness, with the title of Monsignor. Note that “Monsignor” is not an appointment; rather it is an honorific form of address that can come with a title or honor granted by the Pope.

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The Diocese of Manchester is the Roman Catholic Church in New Hampshire, serving the needs of 255,000 Catholics. For more information, please visit www.catholicnh.org/overview.D

DOWNLOAD a photo of Rev. Msgr. C. Peter Dumont

DOWNLOAD a photo of Rev. Msgr. Maurice Lavigne

DOWNLOAD a photo of Rev. Msgr. Richard Thompson