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Bishop Odore Gendron Called to His Eternal Rest

October 17, 2020

Most Reverend Odore J. Gendron Called To His Eternal Rest
Seventh Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester
has passed away

(MANCHESTER, NH) – The Most Reverend Peter A. Libasci, Tenth Bishop of Manchester, announced today the death of the Most Reverend Odore J. Gendron. Bishop Emeritus Gendron was 99 years old and was the oldest living bishop in the United States at the time of his passing. Bishop Gendron had been receiving supporting care at Mount Carmel Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Manchester, New Hampshire, for several years.

Odore J. Gendron was born on September 13, 1921, in Manchester and was ordained a priest on May 31, 1947, by the Most Reverend Matthew F. Brady, D.D., Fifth Bishop of Manchester, at Saint Joseph Cathedral in Manchester. Father Gendron studied at Saint Charles College, Sherbrooke, PQ, Canada and completed his ecclesiastical studies at Saint Paul’s Seminary in Ottawa, PQ, Canada.

Father Gendron was assigned as associate pastor of Guardian Angel Parish in Berlin in June 1947, and then as associate pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Lebanon in December 1952. In May 1960, Father Gendron was assigned as associate pastor of Saint Aloysius Parish in Nashua.

In April 1965, Bishop Ernest J. Primeau, D.D., S.T.D., appointed Father Gendron as pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Pittsfield. In 1966, he became Diocesan Vicar for Religious for the French-Speaking Communities of Women. In September 1967, Bishop Primeau appointed Father Gendron pastor of Saint Augustin Parish in Manchester, where he served until February 1971 when he resigned the pastorate to become Diocesan Vicar for Religious full time.

On December 22, 1970, Pope Paul VI named Father Gendron a Prelate of Honor with the title of Reverend Monsignor. In April 1972 he was named the first Episcopal Vicar for Religious in the Diocese of Manchester. In January 1974 he became the first Episcopal Vicar for Clergy in the Diocese of Manchester. On December 12, 1974, he was appointed by Pope Paul VI as Bishop for the Diocese of Manchester. His Episcopal Ordination and Installation as Bishop took place on February 3, 1975.

Prior to his ordination as Bishop of Manchester, Father Gendron also served as Notary to the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal; Chairman of the Diocesan Personnel Board; founding member of the Pastoral Commission; Chaplain, Court of Our Lady of Lourdes of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, Pittsfield; Diocesan Consultor; President, Diocesan Senate of Priests; ex officio Chairman of Diocesan Personnel Board; received the “Granite Award” from the Knights of Columbus; and received the “Defender of the Innocent Award” from the N.E. Christian Conference, Hampton. Bishop Gendron retired from ministry as bishop on June 12, 1990.

Funeral arrangements will be announced as they become available.

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The Diocese of Manchester is the Roman Catholic Church in New Hampshire, serving the needs of nearly 235,000 Catholics. For more information, please visit www.catholicnh.org/overview.