Rev. Eugene L. Rivard, CSV, died Nov. 29, 1929 at Oak Park Hospital in Illinois, after complications related to his paralysis. He was 68.

Fr. Rivard was born Nov. 8, 1861 in Bourbonnais and was the first novice of the American Province of the Clerics of St. Viator. He pronounced his first vows Jul. 12, 1884 and his final vows on Jul. 20, 1889.

He studied philosophy and theology at St. Viator College in Bourbonnais and was ordained to the priesthood on Jun. 16, 1885.  Fr. Rivard also studied in Rome, earning a degree in philosophy and a doctorate in divinity.

For 30 years, he dedicated himself to teaching at St. Viator College in Bourbonnais, in the departments of philosophy and literature. He also published two books, “Views on Dante” and “St. Viator and the Viatorians.”

In 1910, Fr. Rivard assumed the role of Master of Novices, where he served for two years, before being appointed Provincial of the Viatorian Community from 1912-1923.

In 1923, Fr. Rivard was named Assistant Superior General in Jette, Belgium after being active in many General Chapter meetings. It was in Belgium that he was first stricken with paralysis, which eventually ended his earthly career of prayer, study and labor.

Fr. Rivard’s body lay in state from Nov. 30 until the funeral on Dec. 2, in the St. Viator College chapel, where it was attended by a constant honor guard.

The Solemn Requiem Mass took place at Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Bourbonnais. Msgr. Gerasime M. Legris, a lifelong friend of the deceased, presided at the funeral, while the Rev. John P. O’Mahoney, CSV, Provincial of the Clerics of St. Viator preached the sermon.

A choir of Viatorian brothers and members of the Village Church Choir, provided music for the funeral, under the direction of Mr. Roy Rivard, cousin of the deceased, while the Rev. Bernard J. Sheil, DD, former student of Fr. Rivard and Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago, performed absolution.

Fr. Rivard was buried in the Viatorian plot of Maternity BVM Cemetery in Bourbonnais.


Taken from “The Viatorian” – the college newspaper, dated Dec. 9, 1929, p. 1