PROVIDENCE — Bishop Francis X. Roque, D.D., retired Bishop in Residence in the Diocese of Providence, who also served as Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of the U.S. Military Archdiocese and Titular Bishop of Bagai, died on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, at the Jeanne Jugan Residence Home in Pawtucket. He was 90.
“Bishop Roque was a good and gracious man who served God, his Church and his Nation with great distinction. May he now rest in the perfect peace and joy of God’s Kingdom,” said Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, who will lead a concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial offered for Bishop Roque’s soul on Thursday, Sept. 19, 11 a.m., at the Cathedral of SS. Peter & Paul, with burial in St. Ann Cemetery, Cranston.
Born in Providence, a son of the late Warren E. and Mary L. (Gallagher) Roque, he attended Saint Paul School, Cranston and LaSalle Academy, Providence.
In preparation for the priesthood, he studied at Our Lady of Providence Seminary in Warwick, Rhode Island, and Saint John Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts. He was ordained a priest for the service of the Diocese of Providence on September 19, 1953 at the Cathedral of SS. Peter & Paul in Providence by Bishop Russell J. McVinney.
Father Roque was assistant pastor at Saint Luke Parish in Barrington (1953-56) and at the Cathedral of SS. Peter & Paul in Providence (1956-61).
On Oct. 9, 1961, Father Roque joined the U.S. Army. After Chaplain School in Fort Slocum, New York, he was assigned to Fort Gordon, Georgia, and later to Fort Campbell, Kentucky. In 1965, he was stationed in Korea for one year, and in 1968, he was made assistant Division Chaplain for the 4th Infantry in Vietnam. He would later serve in Germany.
Father Roque was awarded a Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam as well as two Meritorious Service Medals and a Distinguished Service Medal during his years of dedication in the military.
On March 25, 1983 he was named Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese for the Military Services. He was ordained a bishop on May 10, 1983 in the Cathedral of Saint Patrick in New York City by Cardinal Terence Cooke and served with zeal and distinction until his retirement from the Archdiocese for the Military Services in 2004.
“Bishop Roque was known for his kindness and his tireless service to others. Even in his retirement, which is the only time I knew him, he continued to minister to the men and women in uniform, their families, and the Veterans. As Christians we live in the hope of our full participation in the Resurrection. Consequently, while saddened, we pray that Bishop Roque now enjoys that for which we hope,” said Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., shepherd of the Archdiocese for the Military Services.
Upon retirement, Bishop Roque returned to the Diocese of Providence where he generously assisted at confirmations and other pontifical ceremonies and also provided leadership and spiritual guidance to the local Legion of Mary and pastoral care at St. Jeanne Jugan Residence in Pawtucket, where he resided.
In 2018, Bishop Roque celebrated the 65th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood and the 35th anniversary of his ordination as a bishop.
Bishop Roque was the brother of the late John A. Roque, Robert E. Roque, Mary L. Roque Guertin, Warren P. Roque, Barbara M. Roque, and Gerald W. Roque; and the uncle of twenty-one nieces and nephews.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the Little Sisters of the Poor, 964 Main St., Pawtucket, RI 02860 or the Mother of Life Center, 400 Atwells Ave., Providence, RI 02909.