Bishop Louis E. Gelineau, who led the Providence diocese from 1972 to 1997, turned 90 on May 3. Bishop Gelineau guided the Catholic community here in Rhode Island during the exciting, challenging (and sometimes confusing) years following the Second Vatican Council. He has been a selfless servant who, like all ordained disciples of Jesus Christ, experienced his share of both triumphs — and tragedies — during his time in office. He also was present to the Catholic community of this state (and the non-Catholic community as well) in a way that previous bishops had not been. As Providence Journal writer Mark Patinkin put it in a column he wrote last week, Bishop Gelineau “showed up for everything.”
That he did. And people loved him for it.
Not surprisingly, given his love for God and his love for God’s people, the bishop has continued to serve the Lord faithfully in his retirement, something for which the residents of St. Antoine’s Villa in North Smithfield are no doubt extremely grateful.
In the recent interview with Patinkin, Bishop Gelineau was quoted as saying, “God has been good to me.” Today we thank the Lord for his goodness to us in the Diocese of Providence, in giving us this faithful shepherd to lead us for 25 years. Happy 90th, Bishop Gelineau! Ad multos annos!