Rev. Roland S. Nadeau, age 79, of the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette, died September 14, 2023, at Orlando Regional Medical Center in Orlando, Florida.
He was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts on February 10, 1944, to Rene Nadeau and Christine (Soucy) Nadeau. He attended Notre Dame Parochial Grammar School; high school at the La Salette Seminary in Enfield, New Hampshire; and college at the La Salette Seminary in East Brewster, MA. In 1963, he entered the La Salette Novitiate in Center Harbor, NH, making his First Religious Profession as a La Salette Missionary 1964 and his Perpetual Profession in 1967.
He was ordained to the priesthood on September 3, 1967 in Pawtucket, RI. Father continued his education, receiving a B.A. and B.Ph. in 1966 from the University of Ottawa; an S.T.B. in 1969 from St. Paul University; a B.Th. in 1969 from the University of Ottawa; and a Doctor of Humanities Degree “Honoris Causam” in the Philippines in 2002.
Father Nadeau served on many committees, task forces and local councils. He ministered in Worcester, MA for Outreach Service and in 1973, he was assigned to the Center for Christian Living in Attleboro, MA, where, in addition to his ministry, he served his community on several committees. In 1977, he moved to Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Ontario, Canada as Co-Pastor.
In 1982, Father was elected as Provincial Vicar and ministered at the La Salette Shrine in Attleboro, MA. In 1986, he was assigned to the La Salette Shrine in Enfield, NH, where he ministered at Mary Hitchcock Hospital in Hanover, NH, continuing on as a full-time Chaplain at the hospital in 1987. In that year, he was also appointed as Provincial Secretary. In 2000, he was elected Vicar General and served his Congregation with his Council in Rome, Italy. Upon the completion of his term, he was named as Pastor of Blessed Trinity Parish in Orlando, Florida in 2006. Father was again elected as Provincial Vicar in 2021. He remained at Blessed Trinity Parish until his death in 2023.
In the Florida Catholic in 2019, Father Nadeau stated that he entered the priesthood because he was “attracted by the role models” that the priests provided. “The role of a priest makes for a much-trusted companion, a confessor.” The article went on, ‘Father Nadeau’s motivation is his ability to help others in the Catholic faith. Assisting with the sacraments, especially “marrying the young adults”, allows him to practice his devotion to the Lord by bringing Catholics together in Christ. Another way Father Nadeau helps is by giving advice that encourages young men to begin the process of priesthood, “root your decision-making in prayer”; “the integrity of a priest has got to be a solid rock for any person considering the priesthood”.
Father Roland was loved, and admired by many of his brothers in community, and the people that he befriended on a very personal basis, and there were many. As a friend, he was quick to make you feel at ease and at home; his smile and laughter were infectious; he was a gentle listener, and open to helping with advice when asked. He made friends not only through his ministry, but also on the ski slopes, the tennis court, the skating rink, on the biking trail and around the table. Roland loved to sing and was a member of the LS/OMI vocal group, the AMEN, animating Spirit-filled liturgies at the University of Ottawa and touring Canada and US venues.
Father Nadeau is survived by his sisters, Rita (Lewis) Overbaugh and Claudette (Forrest) Manning, both of W. Peabody, MA.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be concelebrated at Blessed Trinity Parish in Orlando, Florida, on Wednesday, September 20, 2023 at 11:00 AM. The wake will be held at Blessed Trinity Parish on Tuesday, September 19, 2023, from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM.
A funeral Mass will also be held at the Shrine Church of the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attleboro, Massachusetts on Saturday, September 23, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.
The wake will be held in the Shrine Church on Friday, September 22, 2023 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., followed by burial in the La Salette Cemetery in Enfield, New Hampshire.