Snowflake, Ariz. – Father Bob Mathieu passed away Feb. 16, 2018 from injuries sustained in a car accident in Albuquerque, N.M. He was patient and kind and will be remembered for his laughter and easy going attitude. Over the course of his 42 years in the priesthood, he formed beautiful and lasting friendships, and will be greatly missed.
Born in Winchendon and raised in Westborough, Father Bob was the oldest of twelve children. He felt a calling to the priesthood at the age of eight and in high school decided to answer that call. Ordained at St. Luke’s Parish in Westborough in 1976, Father Bob began his ministry in the Southwest.
Father Bob’s first assignment was at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Winslow, Ariz. where he served as assistant to the pastor. He also served in various parishes throughout the Diocese of Gallup, including Holbrook and Springerville, Ariz., and Grants, N.M. At the time of the accident, he was the pastor of Our Lady of the Snow in Snowflake, Ariz.
Father Bob enjoyed serving as a chaplain at the Apache Unit, Arizona State Prison, the Women’s Prison, and the Men’s facility in Grants, N.M. His passion for his Catholic ministry was also apparent through his active involvement in the Cursillo movement and the Youth Ministry. Father Bob also led several pilgrimages and served as spiritual leader during visits to the Holy Land, Ireland, and Medjugorje.
Father Bob leaves behind six brothers and five sisters, Michael and his wife Paula of Westborough; Thomas of West Palm Beach, Fla.; Beatrice and her husband Douglas Duncan of Natick; Leonore Griffin and her partner Michael Warren of Worcester; Leo of Westborough; Theresa and her husband John Strouse of Grafton; Joseph and his wife Judith of Belfast, Maine; Mary and her husband Preben Christensen of Westborough; Mark and his wife Lisa of Dover, N.H.; Roberta and her husband Brian Falvey of Westborough; and John and his wife Kerry of Westborough. He also leaves behind 27 beloved nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Robert J. and Leonore M. Mathieu.
The Mathieu family would like to express sincere gratitude and appreciation to all who touched Father Bob’s life and welcomed him into their lives.
Father Bob sought to serve his diocese for many years. Memorial contributions in his name may be made to The Diocese of Gallup, 503 W. Highway 66, Suite B, P.O. Box 1338, Gallup, NM 87301.
Funeral services and burial were held in Snowflake, Ariz. A Memorial Mass and Celebration of His Life will be held Saturday, March 24, at 10 a.m., at St. Luke’s Church, 70 West Main St., Westborough.