Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Great Man has Died!

This story was writtyen by Tatiana Pina  of the The Providence Journal Co.,

Priest dies after jumping off Newport bridge

The Rev. Dennis. J. Rocheford, 60, a long-time military chaplain and pastor at St. Ann Parish in North Oxford, Mass., died after jumping off the Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge last Thursday, according to Rhode Island State Police.
Rocheford was on leave from St. Ann and also had been serving at the Chapel of Hope at the Naval Station Newport.
The state police received a call around 8 a.m. about a unattended vehicle on the center span of the bridge, according to Capt. James Swanberg. Newport police also went to the scene. When the police looked over the bridge railing they saw someone face down in the water, Swanberg said.
The Coast Guard and a Jamestown Fire Marine unit were dispatched to retrieved Rocheford's body. He was given medical treatment and taken to Newport Hospital where he was pronounced dead, Swanberg said.
The Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, Bishop of Worcester, responded to Rocheford's death on the diocese Web site. "It is with profound sadness that I ask the Catholic Community to pray for the repose of the soul of Father Dennis Rocheford. The diocese of Worcester was blessed over the years through his priestly ministry in parishes in Worcester, Fitchburg, Hopedale, Clinton, Blackstone and North Oxford. Many members of the military were also comforted by his dedicated service as a Catholic chaplain whether in Iraq or at Naval and Marine Corps bases at home. May his soul rest in the peace of the Risen Christ. Father Rocheford's death was tragic, but our faith teaches us that we must not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives... "
Rocheford became pastor of St. Ann Parish on July 1, according to Raymond Delisle, spokesman for the Diocese of Worcester. Rocheford lived part of the time at the St. Ann Parish rectory and at his personal residence in Jamestown, Delisle said.
After graduating from high school in Worcester, Rocheford joined the Marine Corps and served for three years, 13 months of which was spent in Vietnam. He received two Purple Heart medals and was awarded a Bronze Star for gallantry in action.
Rocheford was ordained a priest in June of 1977 and later joined the Naval Chaplain Corps serving in numerous military campaigns including Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Before St. Ann he served as pastor at St. Teresa Parish in Blackstone, Mass
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The following is my input!

Yes Lt.Cmdr. & Rev. Dennis J. Rocheford (USMC) is a great man! He was also a survivor of the Battle at Hue city! He would hump pack with the Grunts knowing everyones name! I was baptised by him and the Bishop in Liberia, Africa. He guided me through some really dark times in my life. He was enlisted before and then became an officer if that does not tell you something about him. I cant type any more need to whipe my face. Rest in Peace sir and know you have touched the lives of many and have saved them all in one way or another!

Your Brother in Arms,

Tom