A great priest goes to the Lord

June 27, 2012 – I received the sad news that my dear friend Fr. George Almeida passed away suddenly this morning.  Fr. Almeida celebrated the 7:00 am morning Mass at my parish, administered the Sacrament of the Sick to a parishioner before heading to another parish for a second Mass.  After finishing Mass, he returned home to the Priest’s Residence.  In the words of one of his fellow priests in the retirement home: “We had finished having our usual animated breakfast and we left the dining room about 10:30 to go to our rooms. The housekeeper found him on the floor in his room about 11 AM. He was already dead.”

Since I arrived at Holy Ghost as pastor 10 years ago, Fr. George Almeida, a priest of the Diocese of Fall River, MA has been actively involved in the life of my parish.  Fr. Almeida has covered Masses on my day off, and vacations, he has covered from funerals and assisted with Confessions.  Not only was Fr. Almeida a great help to my ministry and the parish, but he served as my weekly confessor.  He always had kind and encouraging words: “Your doing a great job, keep up your good work.”

One priest from his diocese often told me: “Fr. Almeida is the happiest priest in the diocese.”  Indeed he was a very happy priest!  He was a delayed vocation, hearing God’s call “at the age of 37.”  Having served in the Navy aboard the USS Midway.  It was during a pilgrimage to Lourdes with the Catholic Chaplain and 30 other sailers that he heard the call.  “During my privacy in prayer, I felt Our Lady asking me to enter the priesthood, as I looked at her beautiful statue in the grotto.”  Throughout the years, Fr. Almeida has had a deep love and devotion the Our Lady.  Each year, he served as chaplain for a pilgrimage group to Garabandal, Spain and returned to Lourdes on several occassions.

The story of Fr. Almeida is so inspiring when we hear so much negative news about the priesthood.  Like so many faithful priests, Fr. George Almeida lived his priesthood with all his heart, not seeking any recognition, yet, he light shined bright for all to see.

Eternal rest, grant unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him.  May they rest in peace. Amen. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen

– Read about Fr. Almeida’s call: “Imitating Mary’s ‘yes’
Even in retirement, Father Almeida continues ministering to military.

7 thoughts on “A great priest goes to the Lord

  1. A natural born priest who lifted the hearts of his parishioners. He was so much fun and always so inviting- parish life with him was a treasure. Thank you for writing such nice words about this man who was very much loved and admired here at Holy Family Church in East Taunton.

  2. Fr. Jay:
    Our sincere condolences on the loss of a great priest and your good friend.

    Warm regards,
    Jeannie and Michael Veegh

  3. Father Almeida baptized my husband. My husband was in tears reading about his death. All I can imagine is Father Almeida arriving in heaven and being given the keys to a really fast chariot. He’s probably driving St. Peter around right now, but St. Peter now needs a crash helmet. That man had a need for speed!

  4. I was a close friend of Fr Almedia. We traveled to Spain with him. Today my daughter who lives in London had a baby boy. 8lbs 6ozs. She called me to tell me so of course I asked his name. Imagine my surprise when she said George. I asked why George. She said it was a strong name they didn’t know anyone named George and they liked it. Then I told her about Fr Almedia.

  5. I used to go to his Daily Mass on the Naval Base until the powers to be decided that daily Masses were unnecessary. He would always hear my confessions before or after Mass, and always had words of hope for me. He exuded such a stong Marian devotion that never failed to get you ready to tackle the day in a better frame of mind. He will be sorely missed, by me, and my wife Susan, but God decided that he was needed more by Him than by us. Father, Rest in Peace.

  6. My Memory of Father (Saint) George Almeida

    Father George, a very good priest, former USS Midway sailor, former
    Priest/Chaplain of Naval Station Newport will be missed by thousands of people he touched during his humble ministry in the US and around the world.

    Father George will be remembered for his “winning smile” for all hands.
    He dedicated over three years ministering, serving, and helping
    our Naval Academy Preparatory School and Officer Candidate School and all students needing his services at Naval Station Newport in 2009-2012.
    He was always available to say the Mass at Chapel of Hope even during stormy weathers in New England.

    Newport friends and I had a rare privilege of having “the Last Supper” with Father George on Jan 9, 2012 in Fall River, MA. Father George was a blessing to me and to myriads of people he met in the journey. I will miss Father George, but will see him and Father Dennis Rocheford in heaven someday. Rest in Peace my fellow faithful servant of God. Brother in Christ, Chaplain Don Biadog, Jr.

  7. Pingback: A great priest goes to the Lord | Catholic Canada

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