Auburn – Donald S. Gagne, SM, passed away peacefully at the Clover Health Care Nursing facility on 23 October 2021 at the age of 89.
He was born in Brunswick n 17 April 1932, the son of Marianne (Gagne) Thibeault and Arthur Gagne. He was the youngest of 11 children with six sisters and four brothers.
He graduated from St. John’s Parochial School and then went on to the Marist Preparatory Seminary in Bedford, Ma. and continuing his studies in Framingham, Ma.. He then spent a year in Quebec, Canada and a year in Washington, D.C. His years of continuous studies culminated with his ordination on February 7, 1959 at the National Shrine in Washington, D.C. In that same year, he celebrated his First High Mass at St. John’s Church in Brunswick.
Father Gagne had many pastoral assignments in his 62 years of priesthood. He began at St. Bruno’s in Van Buren followed by St. Anne’s in Lawrence, Ma. His next assignment was Our Lady of Pity in Cambridge, Ma and then Chaplain at Mass. General Hospital. He was then assigned back to where he grew up at St. John’s Church in Brunswick that inspired his own vocation. He then returned to St. Anne’s in Lawrence as Pastor. After five years there, he takes sick and undergoes three serious operations, first at Boston’s Eye and Ear Hospital and two at Mass. General. He returned to St. Anne’s after the surgeries to recuperate while awaiting his next assignment. This time he was appointed Director of the Lourdes Center in Boston where he spent 12 years. There he organized many pilgrimages to Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in France. Next was Our Lady of Victories Parish in Boston as Pastor, and he then returned to Our Lady of Pity Parish. He followed this assignment at ST. Theresa’s Parish in Methuen, Ma. and also St. Joseph’s Parish in Haverhill, Ma.
His next stop was in Vermont at Our Lady of Perpetual Help. He then returned to Maine in Lewiston as Chaplain at St. Mary’s Hospital and Central Maine Medical Center. As it turned out, this was his final priestly assignment due to health reasons. This represents quite a varied and interesting career of Father Gagne. He was the last Marist Father in the State of Maine.
He has been predeceased by all eleven of his brothers and sisters; Grace Cloutier, Imelda Tetu, Mary Jane Levesque, Theresa Lachance, Bernadette Dugal, Ginette Beauchesne, Sylvio Gagne, Doue Gagne, Arthur Gagne, and Anthony Gagne. He leaves behind many nieces and nephews.
A special “thanks” goes out to the staff at Clover Health Care in Auburn for the wonderful care and respect they provided to him in his 5 years there.
Visiting hours will be held on Wednesday, October 27, 2021 from 5:00-7:00pm at the All Saints Parish, St. John’s the Baptist Catholic Church. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at St. John’s Church on Thursday, October 28, 2021 at 11:00am, burial will follow at St. John’s Cemetery in Brunswick.
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