Fr. Ralph Poirier, C.S.Sp. of Bethel Park, a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, died peacefully at ProMedica Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation, Bethel Park PA September 6th. He was 85 years old.
Fr. Poirier was born March 7, 1937 in Bay City, MI. He professed his vows as a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit on August 22, 1958 at Holy Ghost Novitiate in Ridgefield, CT and was ordained to the Priesthood May 30, 1963 at St. Mary’s Seminary, Ferndale in Norwalk CT.
Fr. Poirier’s first appointment was to the District of Kilmanjaro in 1964 where he served until 1983. Fr. Ralph created a “Maasai Circle” ideogram with 10 images representing the essentials of the Gospel message in a format easily understood by non-literate peoples. He also published a book titled Christ Before Literacy which details his time in the missions teaching the Maasai.
After his return to the United States, he ministered at St Joseph’s in Bay City, St Philip Neri, Houston TX, Sacred Heart Parish, Emsworth PA, Sacred Heart Parish in San Diego CA and Our Lady of Grace Church in El Cajon CA. He retired first at Casa Laval in Hemet CA and then in 2010 took up residence in Libermann Hall in Bethel Park PA. His last few years were spent at the Manor Care nursing home due to his medical condition.
Fr. Poirier was preceded in death by his parents Ralph and Margaret Poirier. He is survived by his brothers Ernest Poirier of Essexville MI and Gary Poirier of Hoover AL, nieces, nephews and extended family members.
There will be viewing at 8:30 AM in the Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel at the Spiritan Center, 6230 Brush Run Road, Bethel Park on Friday September 9, 2022 with the Funeral Mass being celebrated at 10:00 AM. Burial will take place at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Sharpsburg.
In memory of Fr. Poirier donations may be made to the Congregation of the Holy Spirit designated for retirement or for the educations of future Holy Spirit Fathers and Brothers 6230 Brush Run Road, Bethel Park PA 15102.