- Rev. Fr. Claude Joseph Albert, 79, of Saco, died Thursday, January 19, 2017, at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Scarborough. Claude was born to Joseph and Irene (Collins) Albert in St. Agatha, Maine, on December 15, 1937. After graduating from St. Agatha High School, he attended St. Joseph University in Memramrook, New Brunswick (now part of the Université de Moncton), from 1956-58; he then went to Montreal, where he completed his philosophy studies at the Séminaire de Philosophie (1958-60) and his theology studies at le Grand Séminaire de Saint-Sulpice (1960-64). He was ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception by the Most Reverend Daniel J. Feeney, Seventh Bishop of Portland, on May 16, 1964.
During his years of full-time active ministry, Fr. Albert served in the following assignments: Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish (St. Mary's), Presque Isle-Assistant Pastor (1964-1969), including Chaplain to the Newman Club at the Aroostook State Teachers College (later UMPI), Presque Isle; St. Louis Parish, Fort Kent - Assistant Pastor (1969-1972), including Chaplain to the Newman Program at the Aroostook State Teachers College (later UMFK), Fort Kent; Holy Rosary Parish, Caribou - Assistant Pastor (1972-1974); St. Joseph Parish, Sinclair and Holy Family Parish, Daigle - Pastor (1974-1978); Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish (St. Mary's), Presque Isle and St. Joseph Parish, Mars Hill - Pastor (1973-1993); Holy Family Parish, Lewiston - Pastor (1993-2000); St. Ignatius and Holy Family Parish, Sanford, and Notre Dame Parish, Springvale - Pastor (in solidum with Rev. Timothy Nadeau) and Moderator (2000-2006); St. Martha Parish, Kennebunk - Administrator (July 2006-December 2007). He also served as Temporary Administrator of SS. Anthanasius and John Parish, Rumford and St. Theresa of the Infant Jesus, Mexico (later Summer 2006).
Fr. Albert also served the people of God, his bishops and brother priests in many other capacities, including the following: Diocesan Priests Senate (1975-1978); Vicar Forane: Deanery II, Eastern Aroostook County (1989-1991; 1991-1993); Androscoggin Deanery (1994-1996); Chaplain to the Daughters of Isabella: Mary Magdalene Circle #649 - Presque Isle (1978-1993); Mater Circle #389 - Sanford (2001-2006); Friar to the Knights of Columbus: Bishop Daniel J. Feeney Assembly, 4th Degree (1984-1993) - Presque Isle; Council #10019 - Lewiston (1993-2000); Plenary Council at St. Dominic Regional High School (1993-1996); Board of Directors at St. Dominic Regional High School (1994-1997).
Fr. Albert retired from full-time ministry on December 31, 2007. He continued to remain active, including serving as Temporary Administrator of St. Therese of Lisieux Parish from September 1 to December 1, 2008. Among his many gifts in pastoral ministry, Fr. Albert was known for his attention to the sick, always making certain to go and be with them whenever he was called. At the time of his retirement, Bishop Richard Malone noted: "Among the things that were notable about you were your frankness, fidelity to duty, spirit of enterprise, a sincere piety, a sense of initiative, decisiveness and organization ... I note in particular that you are renowned among the clergy for being welcoming of other clergy and always fostering clergy gatherings and building fraternity." On the occasion of his 50th jubilee, Bishop Robert Deeley wrote to Fr. Albert, saying, "Thank you for responding to the Lord's call to you those many years ago and for your perseverance, your fidelity, your generosity and your service to God's holy people in your care."
Fr. Albert is survived by his sister, Fern Albert Gauvin and her husband, Robert E. Gauvin, a nephew, Robert J. Gauvin of The Colony, Texas, and a niece, Stacy Ann Phares of Smithville, Texas.
Fr. Albert sincerely asks you to pray for the forgiveness of his sins and for his eternal rest. The loved ones of Fr. Albert express special thanks for the many caregivers during his illness.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Reception of the Body and Liturgy of the Hours celebrating the Office for the Dead at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 at Holy Spirit Parish/St. Martha's Catholic Church, Route One, Kennebunk. Following the prayers, Fr. Albert will lie in state at the church until 7 p.m. A concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, January 25, 2017, at St. Martha's Church with The Most Rev. Robert P. Deeley, J.C.D., as principle celebrant. Spring burial will be in St. Agatha. Memorial donations in Fr. Albert's memory may be made to St. Martha's Church or the Diocesan Priests Pension.
Arrangements are in care of Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer Street, Kennebunk, ME 04043. To share a memory or leave a message of condolence, please visit Fr. Albert's Book of Memories Page at www.bibberfuneral.com.
Published on  January 23, 2017