Search the Directory

Rev. Richard R. Russell

Deceased: 2016-05-19


Seminary Graduation Year: 1962

The Reverend Richard R. Russell, 79, former Pastor of Saint Catherine of Siena Church, West Simsbury, passed away Thursday, May 19, 2016.

Born and raised in Hartford, he was the son of the late Richard and Catherine (O’Keefe) Russell. He was educated at the St. Joseph Cathedral School, then St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield where he continued his college education until 1956. He studied philosophy at St. Bernard Seminary in Rochester, NY (1956-58). He completed studies in Theology and graduated from the North American College in Rome (1958-1962).

He was ordained a priest on December 20, 1961 at St. Peter’s in Rome, by Archbishop Martin J. O’Connor, then rector of the North American College. Upon ordination he served as assistant of St. Teresa in Woodbury, St. Thomas in Thomaston, and Sacred Heart in New Haven. Then in September of 1964, he became the assistant chaplain at the Chapel of St. Thomas More, Yale University. In 1968 he became Chaplain, a position he held for twenty years. In 1989, he became pastor of St. Catherine of Siena in West Simsbury, where he served up until March of 2007, He retired a senior priest in August, and resided with his brother priests at the Archbishop Daniel A. Cronin Residence at St. Thomas Seminary.

He leaves his sister Denise Rancourt of Clinton; a brother-in-law Robert V. Claffey of East Hartford; six nephews Robert Claffey (Lori), Dennis Claffey (Patricia), Richard Claffey, Russell Rancourt (Julianne), Kevin Rancourt, and Timothy Rancourt; six nieces Mary Priest (Llewellyn), Ellen Rawding (Brian), Ann Bradley (Christopher), Kathleen Dziedzic (Robert), Linda Livengood (William), and Donna Stahurski (Stanley); and many grandnieces and nephews. Beside his parents he was predeceased by a sister Catherine Claffey and brother-in-law Renald J. Rancourt.

His family would like to thank especially his caregiver, Ernest, who has been with Father Russell for the past three years.

On Tuesday, May 24, 2016, his body will be received at Saint Catherine of Siena Church; with ceremonies beginning at 3 pm. Calling hours will continue thru 6 pm. There will be a Parish Mass of Thanksgiving at 7 pm. The Mass of Christian Burial will take place Wednesday, May 25, 2016, at 11 am in Saint Catherine of Siena Church, 265 Stratton Brook Road, West Simsbury. The Most Reverent Leonard P. Blair, will be Principal Celebrant. Burial will take place privately at Mount St. Benedict Cemetery, Bloomfield.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Endowment of the Reverend Richard Russell Lecture at St. Thomas More Catholic Center at Yale, 268 Park Street, New Haven, CT 06511.

There will be a Memorial Mass celebrated Saturday, June 25, 2016, at 11am at St. Thomas More Catholic Center at Yale.