BRADLEY — Father Rene Dionne, 87, a priest of the Missionaries of Africa, passed away Dec. 7, 2021, in Madrid, Spain.
A funeral Mass, as well as internment, were held at the Missionary House in Madrid, Spain.
He was born in Bradley, the son of Lawrence and Lena Dionne, the eldest of five children. He attended St. Joseph’s Catholic Grade School and graduated from St Patrick’s High School (presently, Bishop McNamara Catholic High School).
Father Rene joined the Missionaries of Africa in Alexandria Bay, N.Y., on Sept. 5, 1956; and was ordained a priest Jan. 27, 1961, in Carthage (Tunisia), Africa.
He returned to the U.S. several months later to celebrate his priestly ordination with his family and friends at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Bradley, on Sept. 1, 1961. His was the first priestly vocation from the parish and the first to celebrate Mass at its new altar after the church was rebuilt following a fire that destroyed the building in the 1950s.
Father Rene had many ministries throughout the 60 years of his priesthood. In 1980, he was assigned to Madrid, Spain. There, he dedicated his life to the care and attention of his confreres and where he remained until his death.
He was a loving son, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, great-uncle, cousin and spiritual guide to his family.
Surviving are his sister, Margaret (Arnie) Joubert; brother-in-law, Richard Groff; sisters-in-law, Diana Dionne and Lois Dionne; as well as many nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Lawrence and Lena Dionne; sister, Marlene and brother-in-law, Tom Boudreau; brother, Ronald Dionne; and sister, Mary Ann Groff.