Paul C. Thabault, O.S.A.

1918 – 1994 (June 24)

Paul Camille Thabault was born in Winsooki, Vermont on February 6, 1918 to Joseph Thabault and Beatrice Carpentier. He had three brothers and seven sisters. Paul was baptized in Saint Francis Xavier Church in Winsooski and his early education was at Saint Louis Convent School in Winsooski. In 1936 he graduated from Cathedral High School in Burlington, Vermont, and enrolled in Saint Michael’s College in Winsooski. After two years at Saint Michael’s he applied, in 1938, to join the Order. He was accepted, made his novitiate at Our Mother of Good Counsel in New Hamburg, New York, and professed simple vows on October 31, 1939. Three years later he made his solemn profession. Paul completed his education at Villanova College, Villanova, Pennsylvania, and graduated in 1941 with an A.B. degree. He did his theological studies at Augustinian College in Washington. DC, and was ordained a priest in the chapel of Trinity College, Washington. DC, on May 18, 1944. While studying theology he took graduate courses at Catholic University gaining in 1945 a master’s in French.

Father Thabault’s first assignment in 1945 was to Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Church in Jamaica, New York, where he was in residence while taking post-graduate courses at Columbia University in New York City. In 1948 he was transferred to Saint Mary’s Hall, the collegiate seminary at Villanova, where he taught French. In 1951 he was assigned to Saint John the Baptist Church in Schaghticoke, New York. The following year he was assigned to Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Staten Island, then transferred in the Fall of 1951 to Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts.  

At Merrimack, he taught French and served as registrar of the College. In 1969, Father Thabault was assigned to Villanova University and four years later to Biscayne College, Miami, Florida. In both institutions he served in the modern language department as a professor of French. In 1975 he was assigned as an assistant at Saint Mary’s Church in Lawrence, Massachusetts, however by August of that year he was returned to Merrimack College, where he again taught French and resumed his activities in the college community. In 1986, Father retired, residing at Our Mother of Good Counsel Monastery on the College campus, where for many years he served as the community treasurer.Father Thabault spent twenty-eight years at Merrimack College where, besides his teaching and administrative duties, he was instrumental in establishing the college varsity hockey team and in the construction of a sports center. In 1984 he was inducted into the Merrimack College Athletic Hall of Fame. In his retirement he was able to engage in his love of music; he played several wind instruments and had taken up he cello; he was able to renew his interest in golf. In May of 1994, he celebrated fifty years as a priest. By this time, however, he was suffering from cancer and was in and out of the hospital. He died on June 24, 1994 at Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, Massachusetts. Father was seventy-six years of age.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at the Collegiate Church of Christ the Teacher on the Merrimack campus. The celebrant was Arthur D. Johnson, O.S.A., Councilor of the Province. Interment was in the Augustinian plot of Saint Mary’s Cemetery, Lawrence, Massachusetts.