Reverend Roger J. Plante, M.S., 82, a Missionary of Our Lady of La Salette and Senior Priest in Residence at St. Ann Parish in Marietta, Georgia, died suddenly on Saturday, December 9, 2017. He was born Springvale, Maine on March 19, 1935, son of the late Ovila and Diana (Mailhot) Plante. He attended La Salette Seminary in Enfield, New Hampshire and entered the La Salette Novitiate in Center Harbor, NH on July 1, 1954. Father Roger pronounced his First Vows on July 2, 1955 and made Perpetual Profession on July 2, 1958. He continued his studies at La Salette seminaries in East Brewster and Attleboro, Massachusetts and in Rome, Italy where he received his B.A. in Theology from Angelicum University in 1960. He was ordained to the priesthood in Rome on September 24, 1961 and received his S.T.L. in 1962. He studied Moral Theology at Alphonsus University in Rome in 1963-64.
Father was recognized to be a skillful educator and his early assignments were mainly serving as professor or director in La Salette seminaries in New England.
He was recognized as well for his leadership skills and qualities and was chosen by the Province of Mary Immaculate to serve in administrative capacities including Treasurer, Provincial Councilor and Provincial Superior.
From early in his priesthood, Father was drawn to the deep desire to help those in need by giving them tools to be self-sufficient. He founded a co-op in New Hampshire to assist people in growing and harvesting their own food. In 1974, this covered 25 acres (formerly the La Salette Seminary grounds) for people to grow 20 varieties of vegetables. He then used the La Salette cannery to preserve these foods for low-income people to purchase at a reduced price. In addition to his assigned ministry, Father Roger also worked untiringly for many years with UNBOUND, an organization that partners with families living in poverty to assist them in becoming self-sufficient. His La Salette life was filled with caring for those around him, especially the poor, in meeting their spiritual and material needs.
Besides his administrative and outreach work, Father Roger also served as a Chaplain at the La Salette Holy Mountain in France, where the Apparition of Our Lady of La Salette occurred; Director of the La Salette Retreat Center in Attleboro, MA; assisted at the Enfield Shrine and Center in Enfield, NH; and most recently, at St. Ann Parish in Marietta, Georgia.
In addition to his La Salette confreres, Father Roger is survived by his brother, Robert and his wife Mary Beth; his sister-in-law, Bibian Plante; several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a brother, Rene and a sister, Madelein.
Visiting hours will be held on Monday, December 18 from 6-9 with a prayer service at 7 p.m. at the Retreat House at La Salette Shrine, 947 Park Street, Attleboro. A funeral Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, December 19 at 10:30 at the Shrine Church. Burial will be held at a later date at La Salette Cemetery in Enfield, NH.
Contributions in his memory may be made to: Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette Retirement Fund, 915 Maple Avenue, Hartford, CT 06114-2330.