John Richardson Dies

HNP Communications Friar News

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — John Richardson, OFM, died Nov. 25 at St. Anthony’s Hospital as the result of an infection that followed surgery. He was 82 years old, a professed friar for 59 years and a priest for 54.

Early Years
He was born March 4, 1928, in Elmira, N.Y., to John and Agatha Richardson and attended St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y.

In 1950, John entered the Holy Name Province novitiate, receiving the religious name Remigius. He professed first vows the following year. Remigius professed his final vows in 1954 at Christ the King Seminary, Allegany, N.Y., and was ordained to the priesthood in 1956 at the Franciscan Monastery in Washington, D.C.

After completing theological studies, Remigius served a pastoral internship year at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston from 1957 to 1958. He then volunteered for the Province’s mission in Goias, Brazil, where he served from 1958 to 1965.

Due to health reasons, he returned to the United States where he ministered again at St. Anthony Shrine until 1968. During these years, Gus reverted to the use of his baptismal name, John, but remained “Gus” to his brothers.

In 1968, he began a long and successful ministry as a chaplain at the Veterans Administration Hospital in West Haven, Conn., in which he earned commendations from the VA as well as the state of Connecticut. After 20 years of service, Gus retired as chief of chaplains in West Haven in 1988, and was assigned to St. Francis Friary, New York, N.Y., where he worked as promoter for the Franciscan Missionary Union. He then served as a member of the pastoral staff of St. Francis Chapel in Providence, R.I., and later was assigned to St. Anthony Friary, Butler, N.J.

In 1996, Gus was appointed pastor of St. Mary Church in Obernburg, N.Y., where he served over a decade. He retired from active ministry in 2008 to St. Anthony Friary in Butler. In March 2010, Gus relocated to St. Anthony Friary in St. Petersburg. 

Funeral Services
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated by Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, on Nov. 30 at St. Mary, Our Lady of Grace Church in St. Petersburg. James Toal, OFM, preached the homily. Burial followed at the friars’ plot in Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Clearwater, Fla.

Gus is survived by his sister, Sr. Therese Richardson, RSM. Condolences may be sent to her at 21 Rand Pl., Pittsford NJ 14534. Memorial contributions can be made to The Franciscan Missionary Union, 135 West 31st St., New York, NY 10001-3403.