It is with great sorrow that we announce that Fr. Alphonsus M. Sutton of our New Bedford Friary passed away at the age of 91 years early Saturday morning, May 7.
From Fr. Louis Maximilian, the superior at New Bedford:
Fr. Alphonsus was among the original group of friars when the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate was erected as an Institute of diocesan right in 1990. As many of you know, he suffered from deteriorating health for the past several years. The various ailments, some very serious and at times life-threatening, from which he suffered are too numerous to recount here. It was the joy of the friars at New Bedford to take care of Fr. Alphonsus faithfully day in and day out for as long as he was able to stay at the friary.
His final decline in health began early this year when he contracted a bout of pneumonia which had more serious side effects than previous bouts. From this past January onward he required specialized care that prevented him from ever returning to the friary. During this stay at the hospital the friars, sisters and various lay people who knew Fr. Alphonsus well visited him daily and prayed with him. He did not speak during these last months, but, still very much conscious and alert, he would make the sign of the Cross at the beginning and end of the rosaries we prayed with him, and he would impart his blessing and give us gentle pats of the hand.
After a fairly long period of stability Father Alphonsus contracted one final bout of pneumonia. A group of friars and sisters maintained a vigil at his bedside during the hours prior to his passing away. He expired in peace very early in the morning on Saturday, May 7.
We will certainly miss Fr. Alphonsus, but at the same time we have the confident hope that he is already with Our Lord and His most holy Mother. Of course we ask you to offer up your prayers for the repose of his soul. Without a doubt he has already obtained many blessings for our religious Family and for each one of us individually.
A wake service will be held for Fr. Alphonsus at Our Lady’s Chapel in New Bedford, Tuesday, May 10, at 6:00 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Wednesday, May 11, at 10:00 a.m., at Our Lady’s Chapel, followed by burial at St. Marys Cemetery in nearby North Dartmouth.
Obituary in the Standard Times/SouthCastToday
Fr. Alphonsus, we will miss you.